Life Science Washington Institute’s Lunch & Learn webinar series is focused on answering the burning questions researchers and entrepreneurs have as they grow their idea from concept to commercialization. Each session, we will cover a different topic with a discussion led by a subject matter expert or experienced entrepreneur. These events are free and open to any one interested in learning more about startups and entrepreneurship!

2023 Fall Series Dates:

  • September 13 (completed)
  • September 26 (completed)
  • October 19
  • November 28th


October 19 Event Details:

Title: 2023 Funding Landscape: Finding Warmth in a Biotech Winter

When: 12:30 -2 pm, in person/hybrid, Seattle, WA


Join Madrona Venture Group Investor Joe Horsman and WRF Capital Managing Director, Will Canestaro, for an in-person Lunch and Learn session hosted by Life Science Washington Institute on the current state of the healthcare and biotech funding environment.


Drilling down from the macroeconomic climate into individual markets, we’ll show where deals are happening and at what prices. We’ll also cover who is still investing in this tough funding environment and what investors are currently looking for at different company stages. In addition to venture funding, we’ll also discuss how to leverage alternatives sources of capital.


This series is for anyone interested in healthcare and biotech commercialization, from students and researchers to seasoned entrepreneurs. There is no cost to attend/participate thanks to our generous sponsor Moss Adams.


About the Speakers:

Joe Horsman:

Joe joined Madrona in 2022. He focuses on sourcing and evaluating new investment opportunities across Madrona’s investment themes with a focus on the intersection of life and computer sciences. He also supports the growth and strategy of current portfolio companies. Joe is a scientist at heart and is particularly interested in working with founders combining AI/ML and high-plex multi-omics to uncover unique biology.

Journey to Madrona

Before joining Madrona, Joe worked in business development at Roche, focusing on accelerating DNA sequencing. Joe came to Roche through the acquisition of Stratos Genomics, where he led business development, wearing many hats to advance Stratos’s single molecule, nanopore sequencing technology. Earlier in his career, Joe worked at NanoString commercializing multi-omic technologies and was an associate at the W Fund, investing in early-stage startups in Washington.

Lessons learned

Do hard things. Learn something new every day. Embrace being wrong.

When you’re building, don’t fall in love with hypotheses. Run the killer experiment without being afraid of what the result may be. These values are why I became a scientist, but the same philosophy applies to building great early-stage companies.


Will Canestaro PhD: 

Dr. Will Canestaro is a venture capitalist, health economist and meta-epidemiologist with a demonstrated history of working in the biotechnology industry. He manages the Foundation’s biotech and engineering VC investment portfolio. Through WRF, Dr. Canestaro has made 25 investments in 19 Washington-based companies.

Dr. Canestaro also teaches courses at the UW School of Business and School of Pharmacy on Health Innovation and Meta-Analytic methods, respectively.

Dr. Canestaro earned his doctorate from the University of Washington’s School of Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy Program. He received an M.Sc. in medical anthropology from Oxford University and an A.B. in medical sociology from Dartmouth College.




November 28th Details Coming Soon!



2023 Sponsors: 




Contact Aylin Kim, Manager of Entrepreneurship, with any questions or for more information!

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