Our investment in Halycon is a good reminder that we’re in the people business. What does that mean to us? It means backing founders who inspire us and others, who have the experience and skillset to change something that they know could work better, and who can have a real impact, if by some chance they succeed, even against unlikely odds. It’s difficult to think of two better examples than Josh and Andrew.
You can read their post Introducing Halcyon Health from a couple of weeks ago. It’s a good glimpse into what they’re taking on and how they plan to tackle it. Substance abuse disorders are no easy challenge — Drug overdose is the leading cause of death in America for people under the age of 50, but it’s about damn time we give it a go.
A personal note — I first met Josh years ago when he was starting as a new VC at Compound. The quality of his intellect was immediately striking, at times intimidatingly so. But what I grew to really admire in the years since is his kindness, patience, openness, integrity, and drive to build something impactful — I learned this as a frequent collaborator to Josh, at times competitor, and more recently as a friend. I suspect he’ll be a terrifyingly capable founder and CEO. Andrew we’ve gotten to know in recent months, but he struck us as Josh’s perfect counterpart, with deep product and healthcare experience, as a PM at Quartet Health and more recently as an MPH at John Hopkins University.
In a hyper-competitive VC market and at risk of furthering all of the typical stereotypes and hyperbole, I’m grateful that Josh and Andrew invited us to work with them, alongside Version One Ventures and of course Compound. In the people business, relationships still matter, and I’m glad that’s the business we’re in.