Monday, April 10, 2023

Podcast Episode Recommendation: "Do One Better with Alberto Lidji" interview with Sean Doherty, Chairman of the JDRF T1D Fund

So, the podcast known as "Do One Better with Alberto Lidji" is certainly not one I would listen to routinely. (I can't even pronounce the guy's last name). After all, there are only so many hours in the day one has to listen to the podcasts, and if you're drowning in a sea of podcasts, then you're not going to ask for someone to bring you even more seawater.

But one of the benefits of the ability to "follow" individuals without reciprocity on platforms such as LinkedIn is that provides the ability to follow senior executives from the JDRF T1D Fund (they don't know me, and we have few mutual connections, hence they would likely would never accept my connection requests - I HAVE sent them). But having the ability to "follow" people without connecting to them makes LinkedIn unique compared to other "social" platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

That was how I discovered this particular podcast episode, because I happen to "follow" Sean Doherty, and I saw that he recently "liked" the post on LinkedIn. In some ways, that nuance proves that Microsoft was paying attention when it acquired LinkedIn back in 2016. Following someone even without a connection has proven to be a useful feature on LinkedIn in my experience (for example, it enables you to learn of job openings at competitors even if you're not actually connected to them).


I won't get into a refresher in this post about Sean Doherty, but the short story about him is that he's a multibillionaire formerly with Bain Capital who's son Finn was diagnosed with autoimmune Type 1 diabetes at age 2 (Finn Doherty is now over 20 years old). He started the JDRF T1D Fund to help his son. I recently noted the JDRF T1D Fund's impact on glucose-responsive insulin in its investment in the startup Protomer Technologies (catch my post at for more on that), which was acquired by insulin giant Eli Lilly & Company, Inc. back in 2021.

The New York Times ran a feature story on the JDRF T1D Fund effort which is worth reading if you aren't already familiar. See the article at for more.

Sean Doherty began the venture philanthropy fund he called the JDRF T1D Fund back in 2015 as an effort to advance treatments and cure-related therapies for Type 1 diabetes. An oddity was revealed in the podcast itself. The JDRF T1D Fund isn't technically affiliated with the nonprofit known as the JDRF, and yet about 20 minutes through the podcast, Mr. Doherty says "The T1D Fund is operated independently of the JDRF ... we're owned by it, but its run like a venture capital fund". That part remains a source of confusion which JDRF leadership has done nothing to clarify.

The JDRF T1D Fund requires that each of its portfolio companies "must have an investable business model so we can attract multiples of private capital and biopharma industry capital."

Because the JDRF T1D Fund remains a bit of a "black box" (whereby public disclosure of what it's doing does not really exist), we're essentially forced to infer in order what the find what it is doing behind closed doors. That's why podcast episodes interviewing the President can be informative.

The specific podcast webpage can be accessed at

To listen to the podcast you can visit

For convenience, I've embedded the Spotify version of the episode below.

No comments: