This summer, I am working virtually as a legal and administrative intern with Health Innovation Capital (HIC), a Chicago-based venture capital impact investor targeting the unmet innovation needs of pediatric patients within oncology, infectious diseases, and select rare/orphan designations. We are among the only independent U.S. Impact venture capital firms that maintains such an integrated investment thesis, impact strategy, and return model. Our mission is stated as follows, “HIC is committed to ensuring that the health innovation and impact investing that the firm pursues improves the quality of life and outcomes for the most vulnerable and at-risk patient populations. We evolved from the belief that there is no silver bullet to creating a sustainable, medicinally relevant, commercially viable and investor worthy medical innovation company that is patient and outcomes driven to the core.”
While HIC follows the format of a typical venture capital fund, (fundraising through limited partners and investing in growing businesses) we have a focus on impact. To ensure that all patients have access to care regardless of income, location, or another factor, HIC has established a not-for-profit organization that partners with centers of excellence around the world and donates an estimated 10% of the general partner carry allocation or 2% of the firm’s overall performance back to these centers of excellence.
As this is only the firm’s first fund, it could be considered a startup. Therefore, I have been involved in helping set up and choose many of the business administration tools our whole fund will be using such as our Customer Relationship Management tool (CRM), our fund administrator, and our data room provider. Through meetings with different representatives taking notes, comparing and contrasting functionality, and discussing with the general partners we have made decisions and hope to get all three fully set up by the end of next week. I also have helped create and organize our company’s digital filing system and created Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for sharing and saving data, which has streamlined communication and organization for us. On the legal side, I have had the opportunity to help read and even write up employment agreements for some of the fund’s new hires. Not only this, but I have created and sent out many non-disclosure agreements to be executed by those with who we begin to do business. This has not only taught me how to better read and understand contracts and legalese but has helped the partners and general counsel by speeding up business processes.
My learning goals for the rest of the summer are to continue working in lockstep with the general partners to continue gaining experience in the field of venture capital and transaction law. I will continue to work with legal counsel and the general partners to help revise and finalize different legal documentation such as term sheets and private placement memorandums with the final goal of being able to create and execute them independently. I will also undergo training on how to evaluate new investments and learn, from the ground-up with senior partner mentorship, how a sector-specific venture investor identifies, evaluates, and executes investments in a diverse set of companies. On occasion, I may also support a General Partner and HIC portfolio company’s executives (CEOs, COOs, etc.) to employ a revised investment and operating model to drive investor returns.