Investment Director Raf Roelands believes in healthcare 2.0

Sep 16, 2022 | Katleen Vandersmissen

We're able. We're willing. Let’s do it together”


“The healthcare system is in transition. By making the right choices now, we can fundamentally improve its effectiveness.” As such, a significant amount of responsibility is borne by those making these choices. Undeterred by this fact, Investment Director Raf Roelands started his new position at HERAN Partners with passion and conviction. In this role, he screens companies for their ability to accelerate the pace of innovation in the medical world.

HERAN Partners fuels the growth of MedTech and life sciences ventures with disruptive potential. But when is a company disruptive? Where do you draw the line? And how do you identify these opportunities? Raf Roelands explores the answers to these questions.

“The amount of scientific information is peaking and innovative applications follow each other in rapid succession. This means that it comes down to helping the most promising innovations come to fruition and getting medical data flow in the right direction,” explains the newly appointed Investment Director.

“Unearthing disruptive potential”

In his new position, Raf’s personal ambitions and competencies merge.

“I am convinced that technological innovations can shift boundaries,” says the Investment Director, elucidating with an example: “These days intelligent software platforms link a plethora of results from clinical studies together. This expands our knowledge by creating additional insights, which is beneficial to patients as it ultimately enables optimized diagnosis and treatment. At the same time, such insights boost the medical system as a whole. Healthcare will become more predictable, effective and affordable than we can imagine today. All HERAN Partners team members put more than a 100% effort into unlocking that disruptive potential in our portfolio companies.”


It is precisely this complementarity that makes all the difference, as the Investment Director points out: “HERAN Partners has a razor-sharp focus that is instilled in all the team members. They know the life sciences and investment world inside out. From that expertise, we strive to guide our portfolio companies as efficiently as possible to a successful, lucrative future. In doing so, we do not shy away from challenges. For any problem that comes up, we have several concrete solutions up our sleeve. This speed and hands-on approach sets us apart in today’s competitive investment climate.”


“Connection is key to progress”

Together with the rest of the team, Raf will be looking for investment opportunities.

“I actively follow the latest trends and technological developments. Insights derived from these help set the direction for the future, and serve as a guiding principle for the management of our current portfolio. For instance, when a new genetic manipulation technique could be instrumental for treating genetic disorders, we actively look for start-ups that can scale this technology globally on all aspects, adds the Investment Director, who builds relationships with co-investors and other partners for this purpose.
“There are plenty of opportunities. At the same time, the participation amounts are increasing year by year. In such circumstances, it makes more sense to build a network and establish collaborations”, Raf continues. “Together with HERAN Partners, I am convinced that the key to progress lies in connection. Or as Darwin once said: ‘It is in the long history of human kind (and animal kind,too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed’.”


“Not another new kid on the block”

For all the above reasons, Raf wants to delve deeper into growth opportunities. “By learning together, we can move forward together,” the Investment Director concludes. “HERAN Partners is a relatively young and new investment fund. At the same time, we are ‘not just another new kid on the block’. Our connective approach and forward-thinking optimism combined with our thorough scientific and entrepreneurial knowledge is what makes our story powerful. We are on the cusp of fundamentally improving the health care system.  We’re able. We’re willing. Let’s do it together.”


Quick scan of Raf Roelands

·  Education:  M.Sc. of Biochemistry & Biotechnology  (KU    Leuven), Master of Business Administration (Vlerick Business    School)

·  Track record: Raf knows the life science and investment sector    inside out and has  been active both nationally and internationally

·  Personal passion: Raf is happiest when immersing himself in    nature’s splendour and loves  to explore new places

·  Raf is inspired by: All entrepreneurs who have an unstoppable    drive to change the world with technology, and managers who lift    up their teams with a humancentric approach

·  Who is Raf in 5 words? “Scientist, curious, open-minded,         results-oriented and empathic


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