Alan Mendelson is a venture capitalist in Hartford, Connecticut, where he was the founder, in 1999, and managing general partner of Axiom Venture Partners. Axiom had over $200 million under management and invested in both information technology and the life sciences. Mr. Mendelson headed the life science practice, where he invested in a number of successful biotechnology companies, including Aspreva Pharmaceuticals of Victoria, British Columbia, and BioMimetic Therapeutics of Nashville, Tennessee. In its 21-year history, Axiom generated a net internal rate of return to its investors of 16 percent. Mr. Mendelson was responsible for investing $70 million of the $200 million total, which generated $180 million of proceeds for a 2.6X return.
Prior to founding Axiom, Mr. Mendelson spent almost 25 years at Aetna Life and Casualty, where he worked in the investment area and was a vice president. Among his responsibilities, he ran Aetna’s $135 million venture program, generating over $300 million of proceeds; helped create MBIA, the country’s largest municipal bond insurance company; worked directly on over $3.0 billion of corporate loans; and worked with the CIO to formulate strategy and policy issues with regard to Aetna’s $22.5 billion commercial mortgage loan portfolio. During this time, he also initiated the concept for and served as president and CEO of Aetna, Jacobs and Ramo, a venture capital deal-sharing arrangement among Aetna, Eli Jacobs Company of New York, and Dr. Simon Ramo (founder of TRW) of California. Among his successful life science investments at Aetna, Jacobs and Ramo were Exilixis, GMIS, Systemix and Human Genome Sciences. In addition, he was the cofounder of Thermoscan Inc., which became a $100 million subsidiary of Gillette.
Mr. Mendelson has been involved in technology policy and development in Connecticut for over 20 years. He was the vice chairman for the Finance Committee of the state’s first High Technology Task Force in 1984, where he created Connecticut Seed Ventures and two Centers of Excellence. He is on the advising boards of both Cl (since 1989) and the Connecticut Bioscience Fund (since its inception in 2014). In addition, he is an Executive Committee board member and treasurer of the Connecticut Technology Council, as well as on the board of the MIT Enterprise Forum. In his industry roles for the state, he has received the Distinguished Service Award from Connecticut Innovations and the Leadership Award from the Connecticut Venture Group, of which he was a past president. Mr. Mendelson also serves on the Advisory Council and was a past chairman of the Keck Graduate institute, the Claremont College that offers a master’s degree in bioscience, and he is a board member of the National Center for Health Research in Washington, DC. In addition, he serves on the investment committees of two endowment funds, which have combined assets of $700 million. He is also actively involved in the local Jewish Community Foundation, a director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, and chairman of the board of Trinity College Hillel. He has a BS in economics from Trinity College (Phi Beta Kappa) and an LLD (Honors) from the University of Connecticut.