It can pay to take your time and keep your options open when choosing a life sciences career. Henrijette Richter, Managing Partner at French VC Sofinnova Partners, knows this from her experience of becoming a successful biotech investor. 

Richter started out as a scientist working in the industry and completed a PhD with the Danish pharma giant Novo Nordisk. After trying life as an academic researcher at MIT in the US, she decided it was not for her.

Wanting to try something new with broad future options, she first moved into VC investment at the Danish firm Vækstfonden. Going back to her roots, she spent some years building up Novo Holdings and Novo Seeds, both investment arms of Novo Nordisk and its industrial biotech sister company Novozymes, before moving to Sofinnova Partners in Paris to become Managing Partner in 2014. 

Her advice for a successful career is to take the time to make the right career decision and find a job that makes you happy.

What made you get into investing?

I was a postdoc at MIT from 2002 to 2004. One of the things I noticed while I was at MIT was that very few people came to work with a smile on their face and lots of them were still in the lab at 3 and 4 am.

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