How a passion for business and finance drove Anne to join the Baxter Ventures team that looks for new technologies with the potential to advance healthcare for years to come.
What is your role at Baxter?
Anne: I lead Baxter Ventures, where we invest in early-stage MedTech companies that are developing products to serve the patient populations within our six Global Business Units (GBUs). Because Baxter is a highly innovative company, we're always looking for new and inventive ideas that have the potential to advance patient care and serve our mission of saving and sustaining lives.
How do you describe Baxter Ventures to someone who is not familiar with our corporate venture strategy?
Anne: We recognize that there are a lot of unmet clinical needs right now and draw upon entrepreneurs and clinicians developing product solutions and business model innovations to address those needs. Where other people have great concepts, we bring deep expertise in bringing those ideas to market. Working with small, early-stage companies allows us to learn and share a lot with each other.
How is Baxter Ventures accelerating innovation for our company?
Anne: Creative and innovative ideas can be found in many places external to our efforts at Baxter. It’s really exciting to see companies identify a clinical need and a true commercial opportunity for a product, and partner with us on execution. These entrepreneurs come to Baxter with products and therapies in development and benefit from our expertise and broad reach. Collaborating with these companies and watching their products progress is incredibly powerful, especially when you hear of patients that have benefited from the products.
What was your first “win” that made you confident that you were in the right profession?
Anne: For me, it has been about the series of wins that continually remind me I’m on the right path. Early in my career, those wins were about seeing a new hospital being built that we helped to finance. Then, it became about bringing great companies together through M&A and now it’s in building companies whose technologies are directly improving patient care. I think that the continued wins and growth remind you of your path and help set new goals.
How did your career path lead you to your current role?
Anne: Being a venture capital investor had not been in my aspirations. What I knew was that I always loved finance, and I wanted to find growth opportunities to challenge myself and learn. Before Baxter, I had the opportunity to lead the finance function and work with a great team in building a successful startup. Now, I use that experience to help other leadership teams build great companies.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Anne: It has been great to see our culture grow, to embrace innovation and use the opportunity we have to expand our impact. Advancing patient care can take many different forms within the MedTech space, and it’s not always easy. It takes a lot of discipline and perseverance to succeed in reaching the ultimate goal—to improve patient care.
What career mistake has given you the biggest lesson?
Anne: There was one point in my career where I took a leap into a new job where everything in my gut was telling me not to. I very quickly recognized that this wasn’t the right opportunity for me and needed to re-evaluate. What I learned from this experience is that it’s important to be open to possibilities, but trust your gut.
How does it feel to be a female leader in a field that is predominantly male?
Anne: I focus on the work itself and what I need to do to accomplish my goals. As professionals, we each bring a unique set of perspectives and experiences to the table and should leverage that uniqueness. I focus on what I bring and keep working on where I can do better. When you allow distractions into your mind, it is easy to take your eye off the ball.
What does success mean to you?
Anne: Success means that I have the opportunity to use my skill set and experiences meaningfully. At Baxter Ventures, I enjoy the accomplishments we have had in identifying and working with the companies that are coming up with the new products and innovations that are aligned with Baxter’s innovation goals—which is to find new, better solutions that weren’t around five years ago—to benefit patients.
What advice do you have for women just starting out in their career?
Anne: I believe that big aspirations are possible by doing the little things well over a period of time. Early in my career, I was worried that I wouldn’t get where I wanted to be professionally if I didn’t do everything all at once. Even today, I remind myself to prioritize my to-do list and do what I can every day—no matter how large or small that is. It all adds up.