Posted in Philantrophy

Making the Jump with Entrepreneur Scott Rocklage

Dr. Scott Rocklage is one of the few scientists that have found passion in both the pharmaceutical world and the business world. He has vast experience in strategic leadership, which played a key role in becoming a managing partner for 5AM Ventures in just under a year after joining the firm. Dr. Rocklage was also 2005’s Noble Prize winner on chemistry-related contributions to the pharmaceutical industry. He has since helped countless inventors to pass their work through FDA approvals and assisted authors publish more than 100 peer-reviewed science articles.


Besides being the head of research and development centers at Salutar and Catalytica, he has also served as a board’s chairperson and CEO. Dr. Rocklage was the chairperson for Cubist Pharmaceuticals and president of Salutar Nycomed. Other companies that he has held executive positions include Kinestral, Pulmatrix, Rennovia, Epirus and Cidara.


Unlike many established individuals, Dr. Rocklage’s day starts in different ways each day. For instance, there are days that he would be expected to chair board meetings, but on other days, he goes on to study new applications and keep up with trends in the pharmaceutical industry. There are days that he is free from all the busyness, and for some, he just has to touch base with business executives and work on investment portfolios for 5AM Ventures’ clients.


In his experience, Dr. Rocklage highlights that high returns come as a result of solid plans and good strategies. These are roadmaps that he considers critical in ensuring his investments are only made when the market is responsive. As such, it becomes easier for him to maximize on his portfolios. In addition, Dr. Rocklage is a fun of staying true to what he considers his strengths and weaknesses. His understanding of how businesses run is that an entrepreneur ought to maximize on what he is good at and not really deviate from the goal of the company.


Being quite the reader, he reiterates that most of his business failures are mostly related to his poor decisions on hiring. He says that despite being in leadership for quite some time, he often focused on performance reviews instead of the performance characteristics of the people he interviewed. As a result, there are a number of times that he failed getting his investment targets right and even lost some of the investments. Nonetheless, he has learned from this experience and urges new entrepreneurs to always weigh their risks carefully before making the jump.


Connect with Dr. Scott Rocklage on LinkedIn.

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