Tania Fernandez

As a Principal Advisor for Larta’s Commercialization Assistance Program and the National Science Foundation Program, Dr. Fernandez brings to Larta deep domain expertise in the biotech and healthcare industry both from a technology and a financing perspective. Her career spans being a scientist, a venture capitalist and an entrepreneur.

She is the Founder & Managing Partner of DreamCatcher Ventures, San Francisco, CA ( www.dreamcatcher.ventures) , which renders strategic advisory services to entrepreneurs, universities, incubators / accelerators and companies in the healthcare / life sciences sector. It empowers entrepreneurs and key management to build and scale businesses effectively. Dr. Fernandez helps companies assess the commercial relevance of technologies, evaluate business models, develop company strategy, generate both strategic and financial roadmaps and evaluate business plans. She works with companies to help them understand capital raising, types of capital that start-ups need, the financing landscape, the due diligence process of investors, valuation issues and how to build and scale businesses effectively in global markets.

Dr. Fernandez has over 25 years of in-depth experience in the life sciences and over 10 years of experience as a venture capitalist in the life sciences / healthcare and healthcare delivery space with Burrill & Company, a $1.5B life science focused fund, having invested right across therapeutics, diagnostics, medtech healthcare and healthcare IT. She also has a strong focus on developing technology and business models for global markets having more than a decade of experience in several international markets.

Dr. Fernandez is heavily focused on fostering the innovation ecosystem and works extensively with entrepreneurs. She has been/is a mentor/investor coach/judge to UCSF, UC Davis, Harvard University and Berkeley. She was co-instructor at UCSF’s “An Idea to IPO and beyond” course and mentor at Steve Blank’s “Lean Launch Pad for Start-ups”. Was also course creator and instructor for “Commercialising Technologies” in Portugal. She also serves on the Advisory Board of UCSF’s “Start-up 101”. Dr. Fernandez is also the CEO of Midissia, a young start up in the personalised medicine space developing immunotherapies for cancer patients.

She has extensive Board experience with companies (Whiteglove Health, Adlyfe, Strand, Bioimagene) and has served and continues to serve on Boards of Midissia, Modularix and Advisory Board of Start-up 101 at UCSF. She secured her doctorate at the Cancer Research Institute, India, having been awarded the prestigious Indo-US scholarship from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her research work won her the Young Scientist Award and she was also awarded the most outstanding doctoral thesis award at Bombay (Mumbai) University.

Her postdoctoral work at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, resulted in two awards for excellence in biomedical research and her research has been published in peer reviewed top tiered scientific journals including Nature Biotech, Journal of Experimental Medicine and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Tania also has a post-doctorate from Texas A&M having specialized in Protein Chemistry and Genetic Engineering.