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Dr. Scott Rocklage Is A Venture Capital Star (UPDATED 2017)

UPDATE: August 7, 2017

Scott Rocklage: Towards Strategic Leadership in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Scott Rocklade has over three decades of professional experience working in the pharmaceutical industry. During this period, he had made a name for himself as one of the best corporate leaders in the industry. This has seen many companies bring him on board as a board member for several pharmaceutical companies including Relypsa, Achaogen, Rennovia, Pulmatrix and WaveRx among others. His extensive industry experience and deeply rooted industry knowledge make him one of the industry’s leading authorities when it comes to venture capital and organizational management. He has a built his reputation working at 5AM Ventures where he is a managing partner and in his previous career at Salutar and its subsidiary and R&D of Catalytica. He previously served on the boards of several companies in the industry too.



Scott Rocklage has a strong academic background and vast experience, which has been critical in the leading role he has played at 5AM Ventures. The company has had several of its drugs approved by the FDA with several more in the pipeline. He has been at the forefront of supporting the company’s research initiatives, which is reflective of his strong scientific research background. Over 30 patents bear his name with another 100 scientific publications accredited to him. As an effective leader, Dr. Rocklage is guided by the philosophy that focuses on the performance of the individual employees. He therefore does not believe in the effectiveness of performance appraisal as a tool to increase human resource productivity.


Education Background and Philanthropic Endeavors


Dr. Scott Rocklage is a multi-skilled company executive, investor and entrepreneur with a stellar academic background in his current area of interest: pharmaceuticals. He studied for his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at University of California-Berkeley. He later graduated from MIT with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Chemistry where he worked with Richard R. Schrock, a 2005 Nobel Peace Prize winner. He has since developed excellent leadership and corporate management skills. His grasp of the industry, drawing from his strong academic background, has been critical in his continued investment in the industry.


Dr. Scott Rocklage has continued to associate with MIT since his graduation where he has contributed towards the renovation of the university’s Chemistry Science lab. Together with his wife, he contributed thousands of dollars that helped in the cause. In honor of the family’s kind gesture that will help in improving the department’s technological research, the department honored the family with a plaque.



UPDATE: MAY 26, 2017

Ideamensch recently interviewed Scott Rocklage. This interview gives great insight into Rocklage’s day-to-day and his business process. Read the interview in its entirety below.

Startups companies in 46 states received venture capital funding in the first quarter of 2017. California-based companies took home the biggest chunk of that funding, but the East Coast was second. In all, 560 California companies received $8.3 billion, and that is 50 percent of the total venture capital invested across the United States. Scott Rocklage, the managing director of 5Am Ventures, is based in Boston, and his company is expecting to hit its projections in 2017. Rocklage is an MIT PH.D., and he is one of the pharmaceutical industry’s most illustrious investors.

The 5AM Portfolio is as an impression as Scott Rocklage’s resume. The 5AM portfolio includes pharmaceutical and healthcare companies like Biodesy, Aprea Pharmaceuticals, Alexza, Ambrx, Cidara, DVS Sciences, IKARIA Critical Care and ENVOY Therapeutics. The portfolio also includes companies like Kinestral, Arvinas, Audentes Therapeutics, and Rennovia. 5AM has more than $1 billion in assets under management. Dr. Scott Rocklage is a research and development chemist as well as an accomplished businessman. He sits on the board Cidara and Rennovia, and he is a former Board Chairman of Novira, Kinestral, and Relypsa. Scott is also a member of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council board, and he is a Whitehead Institute board member. Scott also has 30 patents, and he is working on several new projects.

Rocklage stays tuned into the VC industry. In the first quarter of 2017, venture capital companies raised almost $8 billion across 58 funds. That is 24 percent less than the funds raised in the same quarter of 2016, according to Rocklage. The main reason for the decline was the majority of the funds raised was less than $250 million. In other words, there was an absence of mega-funds. There were two VC firms that raised more than $500 in the first quarter of 2017. Spark Capital raised $612.8 million, and Mithril Capital raised $850 million.

Even though 5AM Ventures is not in that group, the firm is still optimistic about their position in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. Andrew Rocklage likes to focus on a low loss rate, and he is diligent about maximizing shareholder returns for all 5AM portfolio companies. Dr. Rocklage and his team have the ability to identify the top scientists in the healthcare sector, and the team usually works with well-established entrepreneurs. The 5AM team also co-invests with other venture capitalists and partners associated with major life science companies.


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