Michael de Haan: How to turn capital into commercial success

Jun 11 2009

michiel_haan “It is the perfect blend of our proven company building experience and the capital we provide that will turn medical innovations into commercial successes within the smallest timeframe possible”.

Michiel de Haan is the founder of Atlas Venture, a venture capital company currently managing USD 2.2 billion, from offices in Boston, London, Paris and Munich. Atlas has been involved in more than 300 venture-backed companies. From 1980 to 2000 Michiel served as managing partner of Atlas Venture. His personal venture management involvement within Atlas was focused on Life Science companies in which he held numerous board seats.

As General Partner of Aescap these are their goals:

“We believe that we can accelerate the value creation of medical ventures by:
•    Providing capital and planning and arranging future investment rounds
•    Being a trusted sparring partner in all business disciplines
•    Helping to build strong management and solid teams
•    Determining the best strategic partner or first customer for the business
•    Opening up our comprehensive network in biomedics, venture capital  and other sectors
Putting the highly relevant real-life experiences that our team members have, to use for the entrepreneurs we work with. At Aescap Venture, our partners have extensive experience and proven performance to help create successful businesses. As a result of our focus and dedication in the medical market we fully understand the opportunities and threats within this challenging arena. Yet the most valuable asset is our multi-disciplinary team approach. This allows us to be a trusted, solid sparring partner on all topics of entrepreneurship.

Companies are judged on the following criteria: key personnel, uniqueness/patents, product/market combinations, time-to-market, and envisaged exit opportunity.
We invest in companies active in the most promising segments in the medical industry. Companies using technologies that are sufficiently mature to yield realistic product-opportunities as well as cashflow from licensing deals. These technologies include, but are not limited to:
•    use of existing drugs/biosimilars for ‘new’ indications
•    personalised medicine and its screening devices
•    new antibiotics
•    advanced drug supply of existing compounds
•    gene delivery for vaccines and gene therapy
•    implants for the treatment of handicapped vision, Parkinson’s, etc.

‘Right now, Europe has a strong scientific basis, however, with insufficient commercialization,’ said Michiel de Haan. ‘Europe’s promising biomedical investment climate convinces us that our next investments will be just as lucrative as our previous ones. Aescap’s investments spread their risk over multiple products / market combinations through which they can create substantial market value. We sincerely believe that we will generate the same top quartile profits for our investors as we have done in the past.’
In 1974 Michiel received an MBA from Erasmus University in Rotterdam. From 1974 until 1980 he worked at NMB (now ING). He represented the bank in the earliest Dutch Venture Capital Funds and started NMB-Participatie, which he later bought to create Atlas Venture.