The Alan S. Michaels Distinguished Lectureship in Medical and Biological Engineering – 2016

Venture Capital – Riding the Winds of Change

Terry McGuire
Co-founder and General Partner
Polaris Venture Partners, Inc.

Friday, May 6, 2016
3:00 p.m., Room 34-101
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA


As a Founding Partner of Polaris Partners, Terry McGuire brings more than 30 years of successful early stage investing experience in medical and information technology companies.

Prior to starting Polaris in 1996, Terry spent seven years at Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co. investing in early stage medical and information technology companies. Terry began his career in venture capital at Golder, Thoma and Cressey in Chicago.

As a venture capitalist, Terry has invested in over 50 companies, many which were borne in the labs at MIT.  He also co-founded three companies: Inspire Pharmaceuticals (public, then sold to Merck), AIR (sold to Alkermes) and MicroCHIPS (private). Companies Terry has supported have touched more than 80 million patients and directly saved over 400,000 lives. These companies have raised over $6 billion in equity and corporate capital. As a group, they have achieved a combined peak enterprise value of over $50 billion.

In 2015, Terry was listed as one of Scientific American’s Worldview 100, visionaries who continue to reshape biotechnology and the world.   Three times Terry has been named as one of Forbes’ Top Life Sciences Investors including twice being listed on the Midas 100 List of Top Tech Investors. Terry was also a recipient of the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research Award, and the Albert Einstein Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Life Sciences, awarded by Harvard and the City of Jerusalem. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from Ohio Wesleyan University for his work in translational science.

Terry has dedicated himself to the advancement of the venture capital industry as a whole.  He is emeritus Chairman of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), which represents ninety percent of the venture capitalists in the United States. During his tenure as NVCA Chairman, Terry testified before Congress for Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. He is also Chairman of the Global Venture Capital Congress.

Terry sits on the boards of MIT’s The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. He also chairs the board of the Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, and is a board member of the Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School (HBS), and The Healthcare Initiative Advisory Board (HBS).  He also sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Brigham & Women’s Hospital.

Terry holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MS in engineering from The Thayer School at Dartmouth College, and a BS in physics and economics from Hobart College.

Terry is committed to making a positive human impact in all that he does, whether it is investing in life saving science, mentoring the next generation of leaders or nurturing long term relationships with entrepreneurs who seek to change the world.  Terry’s approach to business and to life is “doing well by doing good” and he continues to strive to meet this philosophy in all that he does.