Incept LLC and Confluent Surgical (A)

Case Solution

Bhaskar Chakravorti, Toby Stuart, James Weber
Harvard Business School ()

A venture capitalist has to decide whether to invest in a medical technology company that licenses the intellectual property of a private property of intellectual property based on platform technology. Entrepreneurs Amar Sawhney and Fred Khosravi founded Incept LLC to commercialize their multipurpose hydrogel technology. The pair then parted ways with Confluent Surgical to develop some, but not all, of Incept’s intellectual property. The details that IP Confluent would develop were described by a license agreement between Incept and Confluent. Schroder Ventures Life Sciences venture capitalist Charles Warden decided to invest in a Series A funding round at Confluent. Warden was initially very excited about the deal and concerned about Confluent’s valuation and its ability to prosper as a company when he learned of the restrictions placed on Confluent by the licensing agreement. The case describes Incept’s business model and its approach to risk management in the early stages of a company. The case also addresses issues such as diversification and preservation of options, as well as the importance of trust and long-term relationships in business decision-making.

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