Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2009 (Revised July 2010)

iZumi

by Robert F. Higgins, Jacob Ian Broder-Fingert, Eliot Sherman and Sidhartha Palani

Abstract

Presents the issues faced while building an innovative company in an emerging space with new intellectual property from the perspective of a venture capitalist. Beth Seidenberg, a partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), had helped create iZumi Bio, a company with ambitious prospects that she believed had the potential to become "the" definitive stem cell company. iZumi sought to bring under its banner key intellectual property (IP) from the nascent field of stem cell technology. As such, iZumi would need to acquire the rights to several groundbreaking scientific developments that had recently occurred in labs around the world. Seidenberg needed to decide whether to commit to the next major tranche of the investment. Charged with finalizing her decision in less than 24 hours, Seidenberg weighed the pros and cons of the next round of financing. Was it really possible to pull together such a broad range of IP under one umbrella? Was the international mix of IP going to be too difficult to manage? Was it too early for stem cell technology to be successfully commercialized?

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Venture Capital; Globalized Markets and Industries; Innovation and Management; Intellectual Property; Rights; Genetics; Financial Services Industry; Health Industry;

Citation:

Higgins, Robert F., Jacob Ian Broder-Fingert, Eliot Sherman, and Sidhartha Palani. "iZumi." Harvard Business School Case 809-105, January 2009. (Revised July 2010.)