Incept LLC and Confluent Surgical (A)
Posted: 10 Oct 2009
Date Written: March 25, 2009
A venture capitalist must decide whether to invest in a medical technology company that licenses intellectual property from a privately held IP holding company based on a platform technology. Entrepreneurs Amar Sawhney and Fred Khosravi founded Incept LLC to commercialize their multi-use hydrogel technology. The pair then spun off Confluent Surgical to develop some, but not all, of Incept's IP. The specifics of which IP Confluent would develop were described by a licensing agreement between Incept and Confluent. Venture capitalist Charles Warden of Schroder Ventures Life Sciences was deciding whether to invest in a Series A financing round in Confluent. Initially very excited about the deal, Warden becomes concerned about Confluent's valuation and its ability to succeed as a business when he learns about restrictions placed upon Confluent by the licensing agreement. The case describes Incept's business model and its approach to managing risk in early stage ventures. The case also addresses issues such as diversification and options preservation as well as the importance of trust and long-term relationships in decision-making in entrepreneurial arenas.
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