Forget the science. These investors think they can pick biotech winners by algorithm

Investing in biotech is risky. So Correlation Ventures developed an algorithm it claims can pick winners and losers quickly. Traditional VCs aren't so sure.

Investing in biotech startups is a laborious business.

Venture capitalists spend months poring over data before deciding whether to back a fledgling company. They’ll scour the scientific literature for signs that the core ideas are valid. They’ll call in the founding team for interminable grillings. They may even hire outside researchers to try to replicate key experiments.

Then there’s Correlation Ventures. Based in San Diego, the firm has a simple — and audacious — approach: The partners assign a numerical value to every element of a company, from its CEO’s résumé to the track records of its backers.

Those data get punched into an algorithm, and the computer spits out an answer: Invest. Or don’t. The whole process takes less than two weeks, guaranteed.

“It’s kind of like

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