Collection of candid advice from women VCs
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Sharon Stevenson is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Okapi Venture Capital and focuses on Okapi Ventures’ life science investments.
Sharon was responsible for Okapi’s investment in Helixis (acq: ILMN), and serves as a Director on the boards of Okapi portfolio companies Obalon Therapeutics, WiserCare, BioTrace and Focal Therapeutics. She is also a Board Observer at WellTok and OrthAlign. Prior to founding Okapi, Sharon was the Senior Vice President of Technology and Planning for SkinMedica – a private, venture-backed, commercial stage specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the dermatology and human appearance markets. Prior to SkinMedica, Sharon was a Principal with Domain Associates, LLC – a venture capital fund specializing in life science investments. In addition to performing due diligence and working closely with portfolio companies while at Domain, she also served as President and CFO of Volcano Therapeutics (Nasdaq: VOLC) and lead the company’s growth from 1 to 14 employees and from the initial design of the first product to the first clinical trials using the device. In addition to her responsibilities at Volcano, Sharon’s past and present board affiliations on behalf of Domain include MicroVention (acquired by Terumo Corporation, OTC: TRUMF.PK), Neuropace, NuVasive (Nasdaq: NUVA), Santarus (Nasdaq: SNTS), SkinMedica, and GenVault. Prior to launching her entrepreneurial / venture capital career several years ago, Sharon was a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopedics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She is author of over 132 publications, including 2 guest editorships and has made more than 57 presentations to professional audiences. Her clinical training was in veterinary surgery and she is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS). She has served on the governing boards of the ACVS and the Orthopedic Research Society and currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Pardee RAND Graduate School of Public Policy. Sharon has been awarded a MBA from the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management; a PhD in Comparative Pathology from UC Davis; and a Master of Science in Veterinary Pathology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University.
When Sharon is not at work she enjoys designing and making her own clothes and hanging around with her husband, Dr. Jerry Finerman. When not on a horseback riding expedition to a far away place, she spends as much time as possible on a yoga mat.