Global Health Overview
We see global health as both a socially-responsible endeavor and an enormous, untapped market opportunity. Commons Capital is aware of a vast and growing market for health technologies to serve developing world populations. We are contributing to bridging the gap between the worlds of venture capital and global health by pursuing investments in innovations that will reach the developing world. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation and the John M. Lloyd Foundation we held a workshop, Financing Global Health Ventures in September of 2005 (Discussion Paper) to bring together philanthropic institutions, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to assess the ability of the venture capital model to yield technologies for global health. The consensus from this gathering was that venture capital could be harnessed effectively for global health (Financing Global Health Ventures workshop summary).
Out of our current fund we are pioneering work in this area with investments in three companies with the potential to develop global health applications, Claros Diagnostics, Combinent Biomedical Systems and TelaDoc. We are working with RTI International, a non-profit organization that will provide global health technical assistance to venture funded companies.
Our goals in venturing into the global health space include the following:
To attract new capital to the global health product development landscape;
To mitigate the risks of developing and launching new products for global health by providing targeted technical assistance to companies;
To accelerate innovation and distribution of key health products to the developing world;
To create sustainable companies that generate both financial and social returns to investors, providing new products addressing global health needs.
Our work in this field is being supported by a new grant to RTI International from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
[read press release].