Co-founder of Blue Goose Capital: Talent is everywhere. Put funding and strategy in the United States

As co-founder and managing partner of Blue Goose Capital, Doug Zingale, SB ’72, seeks talent who creates life-changing biopharmaceutical and medical device ideas. His investments include Mythical Therapya biopharmaceutical company founded by graduates of MIT and Harvard University, and POWER, an exoskeleton company that includes robotic elements that enable people with severe disabilities to walk again. Another company in his portfolio is Leukodeveloped through MIT’s delta v accelerator to manufacture a non-invasive white blood cell detection device that can monitor and control the effects of chemotherapy. He is also a member of Boston MIT Alumni Angels.

We asked Zingale to answer our series of questions about healthy routines, helpful books and skills, and what makes Blue Goose Capital’s strategy unique.

What routine makes you happy, healthy or productive? Why?

The routines that keep me going are frequent exercise, weekly massages, and time with my family. These things take me away from my internal dialogue about problems and solutions. You can’t stay fully engaged in business all the time without your creativity and productivity suffering.

What are your most useful sources of news and information?

CNBC and the New York Times. Together they cover business, finance and politics with depth and objectivity. These topics provide an important backdrop for everything we do at Blue Goose and keep me connected and interested in the world beyond entrepreneurship.

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What is one thing you have read, watched or listened to that influences your work today? How?

The books of Malcolm Gladwellnotably The tipping point, as it provides a framework for thinking about ways to disrupt current market leaders and accelerate and scale your small business. Also, the book Blue Ocean Strategy, because it teaches you that reconfiguring your value proposition to deliver something new can create a new market segment where you can quickly become the leader. Both provide good examples of ways to look at the world differently and redefine the characteristics that make the market successful.

How do you (or your team) track new ideas?

I keep track of new ideas by engaging with as many startups as possible. I achieve this by saying “yes” as often as possible when incubators, universities and research institutes ask me to mentor, teach or judge participants in their innovation programs. The flow of new ideas is staggering, and it allows me to see new ideas and business models early on that will disrupt the way business is done today.

What skill or ability has served you well in your job?

My most developed skill is negotiation – and it’s a horizontal skill, not a vertical one. It does not depend on deep industry expertise. The ability to ask the right questions and listen carefully to the answers gives me the level of knowledge I need to develop and execute a trading strategy. When you combine this with the ability to think objectively about how the world is presenting to the other parties, you can anticipate their priorities and figure out how to maximize your goals within a deal the other party can accept.

What is the hardest lesson you have learned in your professional life? How did you unexpectedly grow out of it?

The hardest lesson I’ve learned is that some people are interested in personal success at the expense of others. People who operate in this way reduce the productivity of the team as a whole and weaken the camaraderie that is so essential for entrepreneurial businesses. I grew out of it learning to be aware of this trend and to keep these people away from my teams, projects and businesses as much as possible.

At MIT Sloan, we talk about ideas made to matter – ideas that are carefully developed and have a meaningful impact in the world. In this context, what makes your idea count?

My idea that matters is that talent is everywhere, but venture capital and strategic partners are much more concentrated in the United States. That’s why my fund, Blue Goose Capital, has a strategy to find interesting companies overseas that can be brought to the United States as capital requirements increase and strategic partners become more important.

In our case, we focus on early-stage healthcare companies in the US and Spain and get a commitment from each offshore holding company that they will move most of their senior executives to the US as they raise their Series A funding. Most of the team remains offshore to take advantage of lower compensation costs and offshore government subsidies, but the company’s financial and strategic focus is shifted here.

This approach provides an advantage that helps generate superior fund returns. At the same time, we invest half of our funds in domestic companies and maintain close ties here with investors and strategic partners. This commitment supports our ability to successfully bring offshore companies to the United States to take full advantage of what makes the US innovation ecosystem the best in the world.

Read: Don’t hide your ideas. Test them with someone who will listen

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