Felice Verduyn-van Weegen_How To Make Sustainable Investment Decisions_episode cover

How To Make Sustainable Investment Decisions with Felice Verduyn-van Weegen, EQT

February 22, 2023

As an investor in the biotech industry, today’s guest, Felice Verduyn-van Weegen, brings a different perspective to the podcast as we discuss her approach to making investment decisions! Listen in as she shares some of the key factors she considers before investing in a company and her thoughts on what it takes to be a successful investor and entrepreneur. 

About Felice Verduyn-van Weegen:

Felice Verduyn-van Weegen is a Partner at EQT, in the life sciences venture team. She holds an MSc in Neuroscience and an MBA from Columbia Business School. Before taking on her current role, Felice worked as a neuroscientist and statistical geneticist and then as a consultant at McKinsey & Company. She also started a foundation called Healthcare Embassy (Zorgambassade) to improve the healthcare system in the Netherlands.

What are the rewards of good investment decisions?

Making wise investing decisions can result in a number of rewards including:

  • Achieve financial goals: Making wise investing decisions can help you in achieve various financial objectives, both short and long-term. Smart investment can offer the resources and growth required to reach your goals, whether they be to start a business, pay for college costs, save for a down payment on a home, or become financially independent.
  • Financial returns: Financial returns could be one of the main benefits of wise investing decisions. You have the chance to increase your wealth and create income by making good investments. Over time, profitable assets may increase in value, generating capital gains when you sell them.
  • Capitalizing on opportunities: Making wise investing choices might help you take advantage of market opportunities. You can put yourself in a position to profit from prospective market growth by recognizing  assets, emerging industries, or promising trends.
  • Legacy building: You can leave a lasting legacy for future generations by making good investments. You can leave a financial inheritance for your loved ones, give to charities, or support causes that are in line with your values by wisely investing your money to develop and protect your wealth.

It’s crucial to remember that investing carries risks, and exact outcomes cannot be guaranteed. However, you can increase your chances of getting these rewards and becoming financially successful by making wise decisions, diversifying your investments, and remaining committed to your long-term objectives.

Episode highlights:

  • One of the key indicators of acquisition success is cultural fit (i.e. the values and foundational principles of your organization). So, if you are acquiring a company or your company is going to be acquired, ensure that you emphasize the cultural aspects of the transition. (07:25)
  • Just as investors need to carefully consider where they invest their money, investees need to be discerning about who they take money from. The right investors can benefit a business financially and from a networking perspective, so don’t take the decision lightly. (16:21)
  • As is the case with investors, your reputation as an entrepreneur is everything. Build your reputation by becoming someone to whom people want to reach out. Network by attending conferences, meeting people for coffee, or doing podcast interviews! (25:58)
  • No matter how much we know, there is always more to learn. Constantly pursue knowledge but also accept the fact that you won’t be able to know it all. (27:05)
  • Many investors want to become part of the team they are investing in. So, if you’re looking for investments, ensure that you give them a chance to participate and that your team is an attractive one to work with. (28:32)

Felice’s best advice for entrepreneurs:

“A key factor in the investment decision is always the team.” (28:17) 

Connect with Felice Verduyn-van Weegen:

Follow Beyond 8 Figures:


[00:01:25] A.J. Lawrence: Today we’re talking with Felice Verduyn out of Amsterdam. I’m very jealous, I love Amsterdam. And she is a partner at EQT Life Sciences. Now, EQT is one of the largest European investment funds, and she was a partner at LSP, which was acquired by EQT recently, and now is a partner in their Life Sciences team. So LSB is now their Life Sciences team.

[00:01:52] So really, we’re gonna be talking about the value of sort of an investor in creating or bringing to bear Life Sciences opportunities. It’s gonna be kind of cool to dive into this, but first, you know the reason why Felice is really interesting is she comes with this amazing background.

[00:02:11] Not only has she been doing some amazing investments over the past eight years and the trajectory of what they’ve done as a fund and now as part of EQT, she comes out of McKinsey, always a tough route. She was a neuroscientist, statistical geneticist, she’s worked with the Broad Institute, the Harvard Medical School, she has scientific degrees and MBA out of Columbia. So super smart, super interesting person.

[00:02:39] I think what’s gonna be interesting is put this in a prism if obviously if you are running a Life Sciences company and you’re about to go do a trial, this is the type of person you want to be talking to. Listen to what she talks about as the value prism and what value not only does she look for, but what value she brings to the table beyond the capital, the partnerships, the thinking, the support.

[00:03:04] That’s really straightforward. But you can also get value from listening to that even if you’re not in Life Sciences, even if you haven’t taken an investor, but you’re just thinking about it. Listen to this experienced investor talk about what that prism is that she looks at. Put your own situation through that. Look at your investors through that.

[00:03:25] Capital is really important. And if you’re gonna take on capital, it’s always a tough route. But if you are getting capital, finding the value and having that extra value along with it is going to be really important and probably gonna be one of the most defining impacts you can get.

[00:03:45] So listen to how she talks about looking for that, looking for the impact, not specifically the business model. You have to take it with a grain of salt within your own situation, but very worthwhile. Also, talk about the value she sees of the network. Both the frenemies just to kind of say of other investors that they partner with and compete with, and also then just all the other LPs, businesses, scientists, et cetera, that they bring to bear cuz that is really important.

[00:04:16] That network – people you can talk to, people who’ve seen situations, people who can give you insight of different aspects, that’s really, really, really impactful from potential investors. So please listen to that and think about that.

[00:04:30] But I think this also brings to bear one of the things that is really important as an entrepreneur as we go on our journeys, is growing our own network. Yes, it is something that is easily said and everyone says, you gotta grow your network. Your value is your network, X, Y, and Z, blah, blah, blah. But as Felice will talk about sort of what she gets from having spent the time growing, how she goes about doing it – having coffee, going to have cocktails, going to speak at conferences, going to events, being on a podcast, yay!

[00:05:06] These are things that I think are worthwhile to put into consideration as you look at generating your own entrepreneurial capabilities. So Felice is fascinating and I think this is a very important thing for us to better understand how do you work with investors and why investors are so important. So let’s go talk with Felice.

[00:05:29] Hello Felice. Thank you so much for coming on the show. It’s great to have you here today.

[00:05:34] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: Thank you, A.J. It’s a pleasure to be here.

[00:05:37] A.J. Lawrence: I was looking and I’m gonna make an assumption looking at your profile and stuff, are you in Amsterdam right now?

[00:05:42] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: I am, I am.

[00:05:44] A.J. Lawrence: I love Amsterdam. I studied in Copenhagen for my graduate degree and every weekend, cuz I had my last class Thursday afternoon, I would get on late train from Copenhagen to Amsterdam and do the sleeper. So I would get in like five in the morning and I would just spend all my weekends in it. I love Amsterdam. It’s such a beautiful city.

[00:06:06] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: Oh, good job. Yeah. No, it’s a fantastic city. I agree with you.

[00:06:11] A.J. Lawrence: Well, I was telling the audience a little bit about your background and what I find really fascinating is one, you have this amazing background in Life Sciences and everything, but I think as an entrepreneur you’re in a position that a lot of our listeners hope to get. You know, you’ve been recently acquired, or not you, your company. Sorry, rephrase.

[00:06:33] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: Well, including me.

[00:06:35] A.J. Lawrence: Yes, you’ve been recently acquired. Could you maybe share a little bit about where you see yourself as an entrepreneur these days and sort of how it is being part of a company that’s been acquired?

[00:06:46] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: Yeah. So I mean, contrary to maybe many of the listeners, of course my company was already a structure of funds so we already invest in companies. So that’s already, I think, a relatively privileged place to be. It’s a very good side of the table, so to say. But at the same time, that also means that you’re not necessarily expecting to be acquired. That’s not necessarily the goal of building that company.

[00:07:14] It’s building other companies and helping those companies get acquired, but not necessarily building a structure of funds, which is also a company that would then in turn get acquired. So it was sort of in a way, a bit of a surprise. But it turned out to be a really good surprise.

[00:07:32] And I think the reason for that, and I think this is one of the key success factors if you’re about to get acquired is that the cultural fit is amazing. So as you already pointed out, our company is based in Amsterdam. We also have an office in in Munich and a person in Boston. But culturally, we’re pretty close to the Swiss, and EQT is is a Swedish company and it has an excellent culture. On top of that, they leave the company that I work for as a relatively independent business line.

[00:08:04] So we still maintain a lot of our freedom while at the same time being able to reap the benefits of a larger and much more professionalized organization, which will allow us also to maintain a very impressive growth trajectory that we have had, especially in the last decade or so.

[00:08:22] But all in all, over the last 30+ years, which I think otherwise we’d not have been able to do. Because if you’re going as a fund beyond €1 billion in this space of Life Sciences, Venture Capital, that becomes a full-time job, and we were doing fundraising on the side. And EQT, bless them, has nearly a hundred people full-time in fundraising. So that’s gonna make a big difference.

[00:08:48] A.J. Lawrence: Well, this brings up a couple things. Let’s kind of start like how has your role, now that you are sort of this independent business unit and you kind of mentioned you don’t have to carry on as much on the fundraising aspect, how has your role as an entrepreneur sort of changed in this situation?

[00:09:07] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: Yeah, I mean, in a way you could say that our business has gained a lot more stability. It has therefore perhaps become a little bit more of a safe space, and also the stress around sort of the next fundraise will therefore slightly decrease. I think we’re, the jury is still a little bit out because like I said, we have a fund that’s a billion euros now, where I’m mainly working on. That’s a fund where I spend most time as a partner on, which is LSP 7. And that fund only has made five investments until now, and we will do maybe 15 to 20 in total. So the next cycle of that will be a few years out.

[00:09:49] We are starting to raise another one of our products, which is the Health Economic Fund, which is more focused on MedTech companies and like the name says, reducing the cost for the healthcare system. And that fund is going to start now for the first time with the help of EQT and their full fundraising team.

[00:10:07] And what you can clearly see is that a lot of things are more professional and that therefore relieve also some of the burden on the investment professionals to fundraise. So I think that will happen as well for myself. I was always spending a portion of my time dedicated to fundraising, which like you’re saying, makes us the most entrepreneurial as a fund owner, I would say. And that part is sort of disappearing.

[00:10:31] But it’s not completely disappearing because we’ll still need to do fundraising. It’s just that we’ll have a lot more help and introductions and a bigger network. So it’s gonna just mainly make it easier.

[00:10:43] A.J. Lawrence: Well, does that change the type of businesses that you can sort of invest in or back?

[00:10:51] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: No, not for the moment. So we, like I said, had already raised the fund that I’m now running. So that mandate was already set and it had completely set. So the current and existing investors are expecting us to stick to the mandates that we had raised the fund with. Might be that in the future, if for example, we would increase the fund size and then we would want to do also slightly larger ticket sizes and therefore very early stage companies might become a little bit more difficult. But at the same time, we also don’t wanna go too far from what we’re good at because that’s exactly why EQT acquired us. I doubt that that will really happen.

[00:11:33] Actually to give you some perspective, in the last 10 years we have raised LSP 5, which was €250 million at the time, the largest biotech VC fund in Europe. Then we raised LSP 6 three years later, which was €550 million and was again the largest biotech fund in Europe. And now we had raised this 1 billion and we officially closed in November last year.

[00:12:03] So actually we had doubled every time. And so it is not only us that have has grown, it is also the markets and it’s also the average round size that has grown tremendously. So I feel that we have been growing with the market and that’s what we intend to maintain. And that’s what I said before, I’m not sure if we would’ve been able to raise 2 billion if the market continues to grow in a similar path with just our team. And that’s why all this help is welcome.

[00:12:35] So I think it’s very much in line with what is happening actually in Life Sciences VC in general. And therefore, you also see that a lot more consolidation is going on. So we were the first that announced last year, we announced in November the intention of EQT to acquire us, but two other major acquisitions or at least deal structures, followed suit.

[00:12:57] And so there’s also a deal between Sofinnova, which is one of our sort of colleague or competitor investors with Apollo and also Abingworth with Carlyle. So, you see that the market is moving there.

[00:13:12] A.J. Lawrence: It is really interesting because I think as many entrepreneurs who’ve had, you know, I’ve been able to sell a couple of companies, but always in the low seven figures. So I’m an LP in a few angel funds and it is really fun talking to larger VCs, sort of where you are.

[00:13:30] It is interesting to see like where the funds that as a small accredited investor I gain access compared to the bigger ones. They’re going lower and lower and I’m seeing more people look to doing that whole we’ll help the entrepreneur get off the ground while the funds are trying to find, I guess, better opportunities, higher up.

[00:13:56] As you were saying, the rounds are getting bigger. Where do you nor- actually here, before I ask you that, where do you normally buy into? At what point within a company’s growth cycle are you looking to invest?

[00:14:10] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: Yeah. So we can be pretty open and biotech is of course, a pretty special animal so we don’t expect any revenues that is maybe a new flash. So we actually look at how much data companies already generated. So a good moment for us to get in is anywhere starting from an initial proof of concept, for example, an animal model. Because that can perhaps translate into what you see in humans, so it’s relatively close to the first clinical testing in humans.

[00:14:47] And typically the fund is divided up in three categories of stage. One third is going to this early stage, which is what I said, it’s still preclinical. So before the drug is tested on humans. One third is more development stage, so typically that’s the earlier stages of clinical development to assess safety or very initial proof of concept in humans. And then the third is what we call growth, and that’s about 40% of the fund. And that is usually when the company already has some clinical data but can raise quite a big round, typically around 50-100 million, to run a more advanced stage clinical trial or try it out in multiple different diseases.

[00:15:35] And that is typically still pre-revenue, but it’s getting closure to for example, an exit or even a listing on the store exchange.

[00:15:46] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah. Okay, cool. And those are different risk profiles obviously in each one.

[00:15:51] Now, other than obviously the amazing benefit of having additional capital to each of those steps, are there other benefits for the entrepreneurs, sort of when you bring your capital to bear at these different stages? What advantages are there also for the entrepreneurs who are running these companies or trying to grow these companies for taking your investment?

[00:16:16] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: We like to think so. So typically what we can help those company with, we take an active part on the board of the companies that we invest in, and we like to be very helpful on that board. So we typically stay in touch with the entrepreneur, definitely on occasion of course in the board meetings, but also sometimes a little bit on the site. Any entrepreneur can then benefit from our network, and I think that’s the biggest asset we have.

[00:16:48] For example, several LPs that are pharmaceutical companies who therefore just by nature of being an investor in our fund, get a very close look at our portfolio. So these portfolio companies are top of the list, with all of these pharma that have invested in our funds. And on top of that, we keep close ties with all the other pharma as well, we have regular updates with them. So it’s a sort of a stamp of approval that they are part of our portfolio and therefore they will take an extra close look at these companies. And that might help you in your exit process. That’s one thing.

[00:17:21] Then, we also have a very broad network of advisors, experts, scientists, that are always happy to help us on these companies, to advise us on the steps forward. They help us in our own due diligence of assessing the company but they can also be helpful down the line.

[00:17:39] It can be on the science side, but it can also be for example, to think through your IP strategy or to think through your business model. We have all these types of advisors. And also of course in helping build out your management team or helping build out your board of directors with independent advisors.

[00:17:57] We like to think that we have built a pretty good network of high caliber individuals that might be able to step in there as well. So I think that those are the main key advantages. And other than that, what is also unique about this business is that we typically syndicate our investments.

[00:18:15] A.J. Lawrence: Okay, yes.

[00:18:15] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: So we like to work with other VCs in the same round, and that is because this is a business that is highly capital intensive. These 100 million figures that I just named are barely enough to get you to one clinical study or more advanced as clinical study, and you need a lot more even to launch your drug down the line.

[00:18:38] And that’s why you also need access to capital markets, et cetera, and it’s only credible to do all that if you’ve built a syndicate of investors. And so the last piece of additional value-add that I would name here is that we have very strong ties with a lot of co-investors.

[00:18:56] It’s not really competition that’s why I said before that some of the other ones are also more colleagues than competition. And these VCs know how we work, sometimes like to work with us in most cases, luckily. And so if we get convinced to invest in your company, we can very often also convince other parties to come along as well. So I think that’s, that’s another piece of value add that we typically like to bring.

[00:19:20] A.J. Lawrence: And building that network, in a sense this is network effect, with them obviously the varying levels of capital, is really kind of cool. Now that your role is sort of this, you know, as an investor, but with this understanding of the entrepreneurial process, what is it that you focus on within yourself to really improve your ability to be a better investor and then a supporter of entrepreneurial efforts?

[00:19:49] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: Well, I always really enjoyed the fact that in this business, what goes together hand in hand and there’s actually almost no differentiation between them, is impact on lives of patients, with good results. And think about it, that’s pretty unique. Because it basically means that if your clinical data is good and you get a drug to a patient, you almost always also are in a position to get acquired as a biotech company.

[00:20:25] And that I think is a very nice combination because my job, when I look at what companies to invest in, is very often ‘is there indeed a major of a need here?’. Are patients feel sick despite what is currently on the market? Are patients dying basically on a daily basis because there are no treatments available?

[00:20:47] That’s basically my job. And if that’s the case, and this is a good scientifically sound solution, then you might have an edge. And so I don’t really need to think through, oh, and what are then sort of the business model challenges or what is my valuation model because that will in the end not be so relevant.

[00:21:10] It’s much more about, are we jumping into a major gap here and can we create massive impact and massive breakthroughs? And if the answer is yes, there will be value. And that’s very cool as an entrepreneur or as an investor because that’s very fulfilling to think through.

[00:21:31] A.J. Lawrence: Well, how do you improve your ability to understand that and sort of, because especially in health sciences, let alone any type of opportunity, there’s so much noise for the very limited single out there.

[00:21:46] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: No, I agree. And that’s why we need to stay extremely critical. We have a massive deal flow. Another advantage of our business is that we see about 2000 opportunities per year that we could theoretically invest in, and then we have to come through them and see what are the most promising ones and maybe make two or three investments per year. Right?

[00:22:10] That’s the ratio we’re working with here, so you need to be extremely diligent. And one of the key things to learn is to say no. But that also means that you can afford to ask the more difficult questions, but also bring in a lot of expertise from the outside, like I said, from our network of experts that will really toss and turn these investments until you’re really sure that what is there until now.

[00:22:40] The proof is always gonna be in the pudding and these clinical trials are not straightforward to run and are prone to errors in ways that you cannot imagine. But at least from what the data says now, that it’s convincing, that this is going to be a major breakthrough.

[00:22:58] And that’s what we do. We just ask a lot of our advisors for help. Going in a lot of depth with what the company has generated, and then we take the plunge.

[00:23:11] A.J. Lawrence: One of the things and it would seem, given the success and given the growth and obviously the acquisition would be an indication of your own, just like you were saying earlier, you know, someone having a drug that was ready would indicate the likelihood of being acquired.

[00:23:29] The same, you know, reverse engineering on your firm being acquired. How has your ability to then, I guess, ask these questions, bring to bear? You were saying you bring advisors, their insights to bear, you bring your network insights, et cetera. How has that changed for you?

[00:23:51] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: After being acquired, you mean?

[00:23:53] A.J. Lawrence: No, just over time. Because what I’m sort of getting at is that ability to use your network, to use the insights to bring it, is something that takes skill, takes experience, and it takes you know, you have to grow into it. It’s not something you can just say, oh yeah, go ask a bunch of people and then go do something.

[00:24:17] What will happen is what you take out of it early is going to be much different than what you’re taking out now. So I was just sort of like, how has this changed for you?

[00:24:27] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: You know obviously when I joined eight years ago, I was a newbie in the field. I didn’t know a lot of people in the sector.

[00:24:35] A.J. Lawrence: Oh as an ex McKinsey person?

[00:24:37] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: Oh, yeah. I mean, in essence yes. In the sector, totally. I mean I could obviously bring value luckily from day one because I knew how to build great slides and I had a nice network of people, but not necessarily relevant to this sector. And then obviously I had the benefit of also being a scientist, so I could also sort of add some perspective from a scientific training.

[00:25:09] But I think, exactly like you’re saying, your major value add in this sector is by building relationships and by seeing things also happen – seeing trials go completely sideways, having negative results for reasons that you didn’t predict, but also seeing things read out well, seeing companies be successful built from there, seeing the acquisition process happening live, seeing companies go public.

[00:25:45] And I think that experience you build up over time, and I have eight years of experience. I’ve seen all of the things I mentioned happen already, luckily, but it’s also about building these relationships that I just mentioned.

[00:25:57] I think I was lucky to come into a firm that had a very good reputation, people that people like to work with. And I think that’s a very important thing to look at if you go work for a fund that not everyone might realize. Who are the people making up that fund and what is their reputation? Do I want to be a part of that?

[00:26:17] And I think I was lucky. But obviously the next step you need to take yourself. It’s quite unusual that actually part of your job is to have a lot of coffee with a lot of people. To be a projections and drinks and just be out there and be known. Be someone that people wanna call, but also be prepared in meetings you go to.

[00:26:42] If I go to a board meeting, I want to make sure that what I say is relevant and what I say is constructive for example, because that also builds your reputation. And I think all of that combined will establish you at some point in the field. Be on panel discussions, in conferences, be on a podcast, you know, all of these things help.

[00:27:03] A.J. Lawrence: Strange things like that, yes.

[00:27:05] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: I’m quite comfortable now that I bring experience and expertise, but I’m also quite sure that in 10 years from now, I’ll look back at myself today and I’ll be like, you didn’t know anything back then. Right? So it’s a gradual process that you have to go through and that builds insight almost every day.

[00:27:28] A.J. Lawrence: I like that. You know, sometimes I feel like I knew more when I was younger than I do now. But it is true. It’s sort of like in hindsight, I may have felt I knew more, but I really didn’t know much. As I get older, I know I know.

[00:27:42] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: Exactly. You can’t know it all, and you have to realize that as well.

[00:27:51] A.J. Lawrence: Well, that is really cool and that type of growth in just sort of in, almost from an athletic point of view, the muscle memory of being able to know what to bring to bear in building your reputation and how to go about doing it. Do you think about sort of what success is going to be like for you as an entrepreneur?

[00:28:13] I would assume general success for you is to fund, you mentioned earlier finding these companies that are going to help save lives, or bring better impact to people’s lives. Do you look at your success and what is that going to look like?

[00:28:32] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: Yeah. One way to answer that I think is one thing that I really didn’t expect is that even if you have a portfolio of companies that you look after, at the moment I have 6 for example, you still feel so personally involved with all of these companies and you still feel almost part of the team, even though they might not think so. But the personal relationships that you develop with the CEOs and the key people in the company go very deep, and they are very important to me.

[00:29:05] And so I’m on the same mission as they are. It feels like we’re in the same boat. And so I think I maybe divvy myself up into sort of six different entrepreneurs, but it’s not very different [to] how I feel as an investor. First the entrepreneur, and I know now a lot of entrepreneurs are listening to me and they think, oh, there’s another investor thinking that they are part of the team.

[00:29:29] But I think, in a way it’s also nice that investors feel that way because that means they’re really in for it. And for me, a key factor in the investment decision is always the team. For me, that’s actually one of the most important aspects – if I can work with these people, if I like the way they think about companies, the way they think about people – because that means that I can trust them much more than if we would be misaligned on this and they would just be great scientists for example. That doesn’t serve me very well.

[00:30:06] So I think that’s one way to answer is that personal success for me is the success of all of these companies that I sort of handpicked and carefully selected and that I feel so invested in.

[00:30:18] The other thing is, I mean, of course I also think about my company as a company. And that’s of course after being acquired, that goal is changed. But it doesn’t mean that we can not think anymore about what is success in the long run for our business. And so just to give you a few examples here, we’re very focused on Europe today, which I think is a very good strategy because a lot of the valuations in Europe are a lot lower. There’s a big shortage of capital.

[00:30:49] But in the end, EQT as a business wants to be a global player. And that’s in the end what we all aspire. So for example, growing in the US, growing in Asia, growing in terms of number, growing, in terms of capital under management, that’s still something that can keep me awake at night and makes me excited.

[00:31:10] So that’s the other part of me being an entrepreneur is to think about EQT Life Sciences as a major growth business. And we’ve been very successful in that and I hope to maintain that or even accelerate that further. So yeah, it’s there for a very diverse job as an entrepreneur, but that’s also what makes it fun. And there’s a lot of strategy to think through. And of course, with my old McKinsey hats, that’s very suitable and I enjoy that very much.

[00:31:39] A.J. Lawrence: Looking into the vision, as you talk about sort of helping EQT sort of expand globally, do you see yourself going deeper into sort of the investing role, more into the management of the fund, or going into the entrepreneurial role in one of these sort of vehicles to help save lives?

[00:32:04] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: Yeah, it’s a good question. I think for me the combination is perfect. So I would like to maintain it as much as possible and grow even more into it as a leader. So I think thinking strategically how we can even further improve our impact as EQT Life Sciences is what interests me a lot. But I’m also very much aware that we cannot do that without our investment success.

[00:32:31] So I think the fact that it goes hand in hand is actually the right way to look at this. So I think I always want to continue to fund these companies and have a handful of companies that I’m fully invested in, but at the same time also grow as a leader of the firm and help grow the impact that we can have.

[00:32:53] And just to give you a few numbers, because I always think they are very telling is that, for example, we’ve already brought more than 120 products to patients. I think that’s fantastic. And at the same time, we at the moment have more than a hundred products in clinical testing that could all go to patients as well.

[00:33:14] That’s more than most of the pharmaceutical companies in the world. So, we’re in the top three with that as a small fund. Right? So I think that’s just so amazing. And if you can even double that, imagine then we would be in the top of the generating of medicine in the world, just by a fund structure.

[00:33:34] I think that’s mind blowing. And so I couldn’t live without that aspect and thinking through how we can improve our massive footprints and bring even more into the world. So I think that to me is very motivating. But if I would be completely aside from the companies, and the companies that are actually making it happen and these very, very passionate entrepreneurs, I would also miss that tremendously. So I think the duality of it is, is what makes it so appealing.

[00:34:06] A.J. Lawrence: No, I could see that. It is an exciting time and the energy entrepreneurs bring to an opportunity, and I’m doing it on a very limited basis, just talking to people like you, and I get excited. For you to invest in them, that has to be such a great, you know, it’s an intellectual challenge. It’s a wonderful experience. I’m very, very jealous of that experience you get.

[00:34:33] If someone’s interested in either reaching out to you or possibly even to talk to you about an investment if they are in the space, what’s the best place for them to find you?

[00:34:44] Yeah, I think it’s just my email address. It’s @eqtpartners.com, felice.verduyn@eqtpartners.com. I always read my email and every investment opportunity is always welcome. We literally look at everything in detail because we don’t wanna miss anything. So send it over, it’s always very welcome. And indeed if people have inspiration or other ideas to grow, also always welcome .

[00:35:10] I may not put your email so you don’t get spam. I’ve made a mistake once of putting my email up and I’m like, okay. Took me months and months, but we’ll put a link to your profile and your LinkedIn in the show notes.

[00:35:23] Yeah, that makes sense.

[00:35:25] Everyone, it’ll be there. We’ll also send it on the email because yeah, I think it would be really worthwhile for you if you are in this space to reach out and talk with Felice. They really, if you look at what they’re doing right now, they are doing some very exciting things and their investments are really pretty cool. So I think it would be wonderful to speak with Felice.

[00:35:44] I really appreciate you coming on the show, Felice. Thank you so much for being here today.

[00:35:48] Felice Verduyn-van Weegen: It was a big pleasure. Thank you very much A.J. for having me.

[00:35:56] A.J. Lawrence: This episode of Beyond 8 Figures is over, but your journey as an entrepreneur continues. So if we can help you with anything, please just let us know. And if you liked this episode, please share it with someone who might learn from it. Until next time, keep growing and find the joy in your journey. This is A.J., and I’ll be talking to you soon. Bye-bye.

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