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To be an effective venture capital investor in biotech, you’ve got to have a keen eye for red flags. After all, you don’t want to miss the telltale signs that a startup might be a disaster in the making and make an investment you’ll regret.

Greg Yap, a Silicon Valley venture capital investor, is in the business of looking for red flags. Yap has spent most of his career on the operating side in biotech, including a stint running Roche’s cancer diagnostics business.


These days, he’s an investor at Menlo Ventures, deciding whether to invest in companies working on therapeutics, digital health, and novel technologies. He talks in an interview with STAT about what sets off alarm bells for him when he’s evaluating a company. This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

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