David has raised an estimated $100 million in institutional financing over his 22 year biotech career. More impressive is the mission that he has set for Hawaii Biotech to create vaccines against the world’s deadliest diseases, Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus and Ebola.
David has a very interesting perspective in how he views his community involvement and how it helps the company to grow. He is involved with 14 community organizations either through Hawaii Biotech or personally and is commited to developing the youth of Hawaii. His company is also focused on creating high quality jobs for the community.
David talks in depth on obtaining institutional financing and the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make. He gives his expertise on doing a proper elevator pitch and presentation to venture capitalists that you don’t want to miss in the aftershow.
Some questions asked:
What is Hawaii Biotech and why is it important?
How many employees does Hawaii Biotech have?
What’s your opinion on the potential for the biotech industry in Hawaii?
What is your opinion on Act 221/215 and it’s impact on Hawaii business?
How did you end up at Hawaii Biotech?
How does Hawaii Biotech stay ahead of the competition?
You co-invented 19 patents. Are you a scientist or a businessman?
What is the product cycle from research to market? E.g. research, clinical trials, etc
How did you get your business start?
How did your experience as an investment banker prepare you for being a CEO of a biotech company?
What is the social mission for Hawaii Biotech?
Hawaii Biotech has been mentioned as having a ‘triple bottom line’. Can you explain what that means?
What community organizations or non profits are you involved with?
How has that helped your business?
Any advice for today’s young business person?
What is your elevator pitch?
What’s your strategy when fund raising?
How much venture capital money have you raised in your career?
How do you identify the correct investors?
How did you meet the venture capitalists?
How did you engage them or get them interested?
What’s the most important things that entrepreneurs need to know when pitching venture capitalists?
What do entrepreneurs need to do to raise venture capital?
Hawaii Biotech has received numerous grants. Can you talk about the pro’s and con’s of receiving grants vs. private investment?
Did you do a powerpoint? If so, how long was it?
How long was your executive summary and business plan?
What’s the secret to writing a good executive summary?
What are the biggest and most common mistakes you see entrepreneurs or business owners make when starting a new venture?
What was your biggest business challenge and how did you overcome it?
Mr. Watumull is a twenty-two year veteran of the biotechnology industry and joined Hawaii Biotech as President in February 2001 and assumed the role of CEO as well in December 2001. He is co-inventor on 19 Hawaii Biotech patent applications and has raised nearly $50 million, through a combination of investor financing and grant funding, for the Company. In addition, he has led both scientific and managerial recruitment efforts at the Company, resulting in a growth of staff from twelve to seventy-five globally competitive professionals. His responsibilities at Hawaii Biotech also include strategic planning and overseeing the Company’s numerous collaborations, including Harvard University, the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, Australia’s largest pharmaceutical company – CSL, Ltd., University of Texas Medical Branch, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute (USAMRIID), the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Pacific Telehealth Hui, and the University of Hawaii.
Previously, Mr. Watumull served as a biotechnology industry executive, analyst, and investment banker, with stints at Paine Webber, First Honolulu Securities, and Aquasearch. His clients during his analyst career included the Wisconsin Investment Board, the world’s largest biotech investor at that time. While at Paine Webber, Mr. Watumull obtained financing for Amgen, Genentech, and Centocor. As EVP of Aquasearch, a Hawaii-based, publicly held marine biotechnology company, Mr. Watumull was primarily responsible for the financing and strategic direction of the Company, securing more than $20 million in financing for the Company and growing the market cap from $9 million to more than $200 million.
Mr. Watumull is also the Chairman of the Biotech Council of the Hawaii Technology Trade Association (HTTA), the state affiliate of the Biotech Industry Organization (BIO). He was named one of Hawaii’s “Ten Who Made a Difference” by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin for 2004.
Mr. Watumull graduated from Punahou School where he graduated in the top 10% of his class and was a National Merit Scholar semi-finalist. He attended Claremont Men’s College, now Claremont McKenna, majoring in Mathematics, and has lectured at the University of Hawaii Business School.
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