As an investor in biotech, Ron Bauer is proud of the work that biotech companies are doing during the current COVID-19 pandemic. As the Founder of Theseus Capital, a principal investor and family office investment vehicle focused on the Life Sciences and Technology sectors, Ron Bauer has more than 20 years of experience working closely with entrepreneurs and leading scientists. Ron Bauer has always been interested in business development and graduated from the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School with a Master of Business Administration.
Ron co-founded Turkana Energy, an Africa-focused Oil and Gas exploration company that merged with Africa Oil in July 2009 and subsequently grew to become one of Canada’s most successful Oil and Gas exploration companies. Ron Bauer’s focus in recent years has shifted to Life Sciences, where he has worked with some of the world’s leading scientists to develop successful early-stage Life Science companies. As a passionate entrepreneur investing in the success of other entrepreneurs, Ron Bauer is working his dream job.
How did you become an entrepreneur?
I have always been entrepreneurial since my childhood, wanting to enact my plans, visions, and dreams for the future without the constraints of others, and with Theseus Capital, I am able to do exactly that. I have always enjoyed the freedom, fluidity, and flexibility of working for myself, as well as being able to pick a strong team of colleagues that I believe in. I have a strong belief in the important role that biotech plays in the health of our communities, and I am able to focus specifically on that area now as an entrepreneur.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to become an entrepreneur?
Find a mentor. As an entrepreneur myself, I have benefited greatly from mentorship. Working directly with someone who has ‘been there done that’ is fundamental to avoiding the missteps that most entrepreneurs make. Of course, this doesn’t mean you create a ‘fail-free’ environment, because you will make mistakes, but it lessens your opportunity for failure. When picking a mentor, make sure you take your time. You want someone who will encourage you, support you, and provide you with unbiased, well-thought-out advice.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your profession?
Being able to help small companies realize what they are capable of. Theseus Capital allows me to not only be an entrepreneur, but also to support fellow entrepreneurs who are building, growing, and developing technologies that I believe will shape the future of Life Sciences. I am able to be actively involved in the whole life cycle of investment, from early-stage seed capital right up to the investment companies’ exit strategy. Every day is different, and that is a dream come true for me.
Why is biotech so important?
If people knew more about biotech, they would think it is as important as I do. In short, biotechnology is technology based on biology. Its goal is to produce drugs by using living organisms such as bacterial cells, yeast, mammalian cells, etc., that are placed in culture to produce substances with pharmacological activity. This includes everything from monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of tumors to the reduction of infectious disease rates. While most of their work is done behind closed doors, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought their work to light. On the frontlines of testing, treatment, and vaccines, biotech has likely had an impact on your life in ways you may not even realize.
What makes Theseus Capital different from other investment firms?
At Theseus Capital, every type of transaction is possible, and every type of financial instrument is available from equity to debt. We offer a turnkey solution that allows us to guide, mentor, and consult our portfolio companies. We have close standing relationships with leading law, accounting, institutional brokerage, and investment banking firms. We put thought and care into every partnership, project, or relationship we cultivate. Every single one of us is passionate about what we do, and that makes a huge difference in this industry.
What criteria do you use to evaluate what you invest in?
We have a solid set of criteria that we use to select the Life Sciences companies we invest in. We look for ventures led by world-class scientists from leading academic institutions, individuals that have taken drugs to market or have completed successful exits, people that have served in senior-level management in Big Pharma or successful Biotech companies, and lastly, and possibly most importantly, visionary entrepreneurs of all ages and experiences looking to change the world. We use these criteria to ensure we are working with individuals committed to their field of study, and in bringing lasting change to the world.
Do you ever use intuition at Theseus Capital?
All the time. Of course, we start with the aforementioned criteria to ensure that we are working with the best of the best, but intuition has a lot to do with it. After years of working in finance, from Life Sciences to Technology, Gaming, and Natural Resources, I have learned to trust my intuition and gut instinct. A major part of investing in an idea is also investing in people. This means trusting that someone has the ability to execute on a plan, and that is something intuitive that I’ve developed through trial and error.
What impact do you hope to have on the world?
I want to support the growth, development, and creation of life-changing technologies and drugs for the betterment of humanity. I don’t think that this falls on any one person, but collectively, I believe we can play a part. I have always wanted to help people through my work, and believe that this is one of many ways to do that. Whether it impacts one or one million people, I will keep doing the work I am doing as long as it impacts someone.
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