Why Joining Joyance Partners was the Easiest Decision I Ever Made

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Here is the official part: Joyance Partners is a venture capital partnership that invests in companies with the capacity to deliver, or contribute to the delivery of, Delightful Moments. By investing in the emerging science and technology of health and happiness, Joyance Partners is the first venture fund focused on the individual health experience, not health processes.

Here is the personal part: That formal description, essentially, is an amalgamation of my professional and personal passions, ambition and drive.

When I began my career as a medical doctor, my dedication to serve people was always deeply rooted in me; back then I felt medicine was the best way to do that. Seeing disease and death upfront I kept thinking there must be a way to prevent the majority of these cases. What if we caught them earlier? What if we could educate the population to pick up early warning signs? I spent weeks explaining to patients the importance of good nutrition and fitness, and educating patients and their families on how to pick up signs before it became too late. Often, all I had to offer to support this message were paper leaflets and print-outs from the internet; I had to just hope that they would be read. It was a daily struggle and my big question was: How can I help bring healthcare into the 21st century? In an age of smartphones, immediate connectivity, and information at our fingertips, why was healthcare left so far behind?

Another observation I made was that wherever one went, the quality of medical care delivered by the professionals was of high quality; what differed was the ‘experience’ patients had. The connection and patient-doctor relationship stays with patients wherever they go, and for years beyond the initial encounter. This validated my deep belief in the importance of people, relationships, experiences, and their interactions, no matter how technologically advanced we become as a species. The connection and interaction of humans with technology was what could change our fundamental health and happiness.

I had a restlessness within me then that wouldn’t go, and still hasn’t. What could I do to serve the population as a whole and have a larger impact than I was currently having? Around the same time, my father passed away, and through adversity came a lesson that has stuck with me ever since. My father was in advertising and had done well for himself through setting up and growing multiple companies. A family man, humble, fit, and a tennis player: he exhibited not a single ailment. When he passed from a bone marrow disorder, at much too young an age, what happened next was to be his biggest lesson for me yet.

Over one thousand people came to his funeral. I had no idea who many of these people were or where they came from. My family and I made a point of greeting each and every person as a thank you for coming and paying their respects. Each person I met had the same message: ‘I came because your father changed my life, and gave me the opportunity to change my family’s life;’ or ‘He took a chance on me when no one else did and he changed mine and my family’s life forever.’ We received multiple letters of the same vein for months after he passed. I had no idea, how, or when – he never uttered a word about any of this and all I could think at that time was, if I can achieve even a quarter of what he did, I will consider myself to have lived well.

That is when my journey to contribute to the larger population and those in healthcare at large began. I was lucky enough to land a role at MSD, a large pharmaceutical company, and worked through multiple roles, including helping to launch one of the most ground-breaking drugs that has been discovered in Oncology to date. After that, I realised I wanted to work with ideas and founders at the concept stage to truly impact the direction of travel and development of products in healthcare, to empower patients to take charge of their health. I joined a med-tech startup, where I learnt through multiple challenges what it really takes to be successful in this space and create a lasting impact. I completed my MBA at London Business School, where I was exposed even further to the startup eco-system through working with incubators, accelerators and venture capital firms, as well as doing some of my own angel investing.

It became clear to me that by investing in entrepreneurs at an early stage I could help spur creation of the best products and companies that would transform the way healthcare is perceived and delivered. So, when I met the incredible team at Joyance, it really was the easiest decision I have ever made. Investing in the emerging science and technology of health and happiness and delightful moments, and in entrepreneurs at such an early stage — giving them the chance to work on their passions — is what I believe in whole-heartedly. It is the perfect fit for me, not only because of the thesis, but because the team is so driven to have the same impact, and they’re incredibly honest and full of integrity. I couldn’t be more excited to join the European Joyance team at such an early stage and be provided with the opportunity to fulfill my passion with remarkable people.

I know the real work of my career starts now! If you are an investor or founder working in this space, join us on this incredible journey of changing how health and happiness is addressed in the future.

By Neha Tanna, Principal
@tannaneha