The question is a simple one: Can one of the world's largest multinational companies successfully operate an investment fund? The company at issue is GE and the focus of the fund is innovations in the health care area (especially through GE Healthcare). As part of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, a spirited lecture in support of the proposition was recently given by Dr. Susan Siegel, who was named in 2012 as CEO of Healthymagination, a GE initiative that was launched in 2009.
Looking for more information, I found the following description of the fund:
"The healthymagination fund is an equity investment fund focused on identifying, partnering with and growing highly promising healthcare technology companies. The fund invests in companies globally that have innovative technologies aligned with the strategic objectives of GE Healthcare and GE's global healthymagination initiative. The fund also targets healthcare companies developing innovative and unique business models and services."
The company states that the $250 million fund has an investment focus in three major areas: (i) Broad-based diagnostics; (ii) healthcare information technology: and (iii) life sciences, especially in biopharmaceuticals stem cells and vaccines. Given the sorry state of investment funding in the health and medical device fields, an initiative of the size of "Healthymagination" would seem to be a welcome one. And yet, one has to wonder what one can reasonably expect from the project. Unfortunately, a search for readily available information about how the initiative is doing did not provide much user-friendly guidance. As such, it is difficult to get a sense of just how well the funding initiative has been going (except perhaps for the statement by the company that "Healthymagination has grown to more than 50 validated products").