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Angel Invest Boston

Through the Angel Invest Boston Podcast we seek to learn more about the creation of world-changing startups. Boston’s unique concentration of academic talent and entrepreneurial culture offer bountiful opportunities for conversations with people who have funded and built innovative companies. By recounting engaging stories, angels and founders convey lessons they have learned. These narratives illustrate the rewards of helping founders commercialize transformative technologies. We hope you too will find our dialogues entertaining and instructive. I’m Sal Daher, host of the Angel Invest Boston Podcast. After immigrating to Boston as a child and attending Belmont High School, I studied engineering at MIT and Stanford. Decades of work in international finance followed. During that time, I invested in a handful of ventures founded by friends and acquaintances. Now, I’m a member of Walnut Ventures and MIT Angels and spend most of my time as an angel investor taking stakes in about a dozen startups per year.
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Feb 1, 2017

Family considerations drove several of Patrick Rivelli’s career choices but did not prevent him from having brilliant triumphs. Success as a consultant was followed by success as an executive. This led him to found his first company and to fund another startup. The most eloquent evidence of his achievements was exiting two biotech startups in eleven years. If you are a seasoned biotech investor, I’m sure that grabbed your attention. Patrick was also instrumental in founding MIT Angels of the Bay Area and now leads the life science track at MIT Angels in Boston.

I learned a lot from this fun chat with Patrick. I hope it will be entertaining and instructive for you as well.

Note: When Sal talked about biotech booming circa 1996 he actually meant to say the internet. Biotech was still a backwater then.

Topics discussed include:

  • Patrick Rivelli’s Bio
  • Love Drives the Choice of Patrick’s First Job
  • Family & Luck Steer One’s Career
  • Consulting at Bain Leads to Private Equity
  • Bain Paid for Sloan MBA
  • Work at Bain Was Different After Patrick Graduated from Sloan
  • Patrick Gets Involved in the Life Sciences – Pharma Companies Had Medical Device Businesses Then
  • Biology Was a Backwater in the 1990s – Then Human Genome Was Sequenced by 2003
  • Consulting Was Taking a Toll on Patrick’s Family Life So He Took a Corporate Position
  • Patrick Goes to Work at a Medical Device Company in 1996 – First Internet Wave Just Starting Then
  • Netscape IPO & “The Nudist on the Late Shift”
  • Target Therapeutics Is Sold – Mass Firings Ensue
  • Patrick Has a Tough Period in His Career – Growth & More Self-knowledge
  • Patrick Gets Involved with a Startup for the First Time
  • Patrick Founds Smart Therapeutics
  • “…Nobody Wanted Medical Devices. Everybody Wanted Pets.com and Whatever.com”
  • “You Went from Nerd to Cool Dude”
  • Markets Always Overshoot
  • Boston vs. Bay Area
  • How Boston Has Changed Since the 1960s
  • Patrick Gets Into Angel Investing
  • Chestnut Medical Technologies Is Acquired in 2007
  • Patrick Gets MIT Angels Moving in the Bay Area
  • Boston Angel Ecosystem Is Highly Collaborative Despite Some Friction
  • Pivots
  • Investing in Biotech vs. Non-biotech Companies – Patrick’s Crucial Calculation – Very Instructive
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