Through the years, Xconomy has taken many of the stories we’ve published about innovation and entrepreneurship and brought them to life on stage at our events. In the process, we have learned that combining an entrepreneur with a venture investor for a one-on-one chat can provide some fascinating insights into the startup process.
So we’re looking forward with anticipation to the conversation we’ve arranged between Amir Nashat, a managing partner in the Boston office of Polaris Partners, and Riley Ennis, a co-founder and the chief operating officer of Freenome, at our San Diego forum on Big Data Meets Big Biology on April 26.
We just posted the agenda; you can find it here.
Headquartered in South San Francisco, Freenome is a health technology startup that says it is developing accurate, accessible, and non-invasive technologies for early detection of cancer and other diseases. The idea is to proactively treat diseases at their earliest and most manageable stages—and both the company and its technology lie at the intersection of Big Data and Big Biology.
Since it was founded in 2014, Freenome has raised more than $77 million from leading venture investors in both healthcare and technology—including Andreessen Horowitz, GV, Verily, Anne Wojcicki, Section 32, and Polaris.
Nashat, who joined Polaris in 2002, is familiar with San Diego’s life sciences scene as a frequent visitor and investor in aTyr Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: LIFE), Fate Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FATE), and Metacrine.
Ennis is a Dartmouth College grad (a double major in economics and molecular biology) who worked on cancer nanotechnology research at the Dartmouth Hitchcock-Medical Center. Before co-founding Freenome, he was a 2013 Thiel Fellow, the two-year program established by former PayPal CEO Peter Thiel that gives teenagers $100,000 to drop out of college and start a company.
We’re looking for Ennis and Nashat to talk about their respective experiences as a startup founder and venture investor—how their relationship began and how it evolved through the early funding process. We’ve asked Ennis to explain the technology innovation that Freenome developed and Nashat to explain why he invested.
You can join the discussion on April 26th, at Big Data Meets Big Biology with leaders in genomics, healthtech, academics, and other fields at the Illumina Theater at The Alexandria.