Investment Criteria

Apjohn Ventures is committed to working with scientists and entrepreneurs who are interested in building life sciences companies. We review hundreds of promising business plans each year and are excited about the dealflow in this region. To align our goals with yours, we describe below our investment strategy, our investment criteria, and our investment process.


1) Life Sciences Only Focus
  • Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology (key area of focus)
  • Medical devices and diagnostics
  • Healthcare services
2) Early Stage Focus
  • Emphasis on early stage - defined as an emerging technology with proof of concept and patents, a promising market opportunity, and an entrepreneurial team or world-class innovator
  • Balanced with an opportunistic investment philosophy to invest at any stage (Series A, B, C, D, or later)
3) Midwest Geographic Focus
  • Committed to lead and co-invest in Michigan and the Midwest
  • Open to investment opportunities outside the Midwest as syndicate opportunities emerge from our relationships with larger venture capital firms
4) Investment Range
  • $500,000 to $2,000,000 per deal


Our Top Ten Criteria
  1.   Experienced, entrepreneurial team (CEO, scientific team, and advisors)
  2.   Novel product or platform technology
  3.   Solid intellectual property portfolio
  4.   Large unmet market opportunity
  5.   Strong competitive advantage
  6.   Initial proof of concept (preclinical data or prototype design)
  7.   Customer validation (customer revenues or corporate partners)
  8.   Clear milestones and commercialization plan
  9.   Attractive deal terms and valuations
  10.   Compelling exit strategy


A Four Step Process
  1. Deal Screening: From the many business plans we receive, we actively screen candidates through our investment criteria. We invite selected companies to our office to present their story.
  2. Due Diligence: After the initial meetings, we identify the best candidates and begin various phases of due diligence. Initially, we ask for management backgrounds and references, full financials and capitalization tables, scientific papers, relevant patents, and market/competitive reports. Later, we will work with our scientific advisors on in-depth technical due diligence, conduct third party calls and research, and look closer at other items such as corporate/legal matters or freedom to operate patent matters. This process may take several weeks to several months.
  3. Term Sheet/Close: For a small set of companies, we will issue a term sheet and negotiate the final terms and size of the round. In many cases, recruiting a venture capital syndicate to the deal will be necessary. This process can also take several weeks to several months.
  4. Invest/Partner: After a successful close with Apjohn as an investor, we usually participate in the board at some level and remain "on call" to assist the management on matters such as strategy, finance, recruiting, operations, and exit. We like to "roll up our sleeves" and work with our management teams to build success.

Copyright 2005 Apjohn Ventures