Mark Levin, who has built and oper­ated biotech­nology com­pa­nies for more than 25 years, says new busi­nesses must strive to create value.

“That’s the most impor­tant thing,” said the co-​​founder and partner of the ven­ture cap­ital firm Third Rock Ven­tures, who spoke on Tuesday at Northeastern’s annual Biotech­nology Entre­pre­neur Lec­ture Series. “It’s why we’re all here on Earth, I think.”

The lec­ture series was co-​​sponsored by the Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sci­ences, the Col­lege of Sci­ence and the Health Sci­ence Entre­pre­neurs, an alumni group ded­i­cated to fos­tering entre­pre­neur­ship in the rapidly evolving world of health care.

Levin says he strives to hire employees at his firm who bring more to the com­pany than a desire to strike it rich. “We see a lot of people come in and say, ‘When am I going to be a mil­lion­aire?’” Levin said. 

“They don’t talk about sci­ence, they don’t talk about med­i­cine and they cer­tainly don’t talk about patients,” he said “When we hear that, we’re not inter­ested.”

The biotech­nology industry—which is booming in and around Boston—can serve as a model of excel­lence for its small-​​scale oper­a­tion and entre­pre­neurial spirit, Levin said.  “We don’t need 5,000 people around the world. We need 150 people who work in the same building and talk to each other about sci­ence and med­i­cine every day,” he said.

The field, he said, con­tinues to explore new chal­lenges and oppor­tu­ni­ties in novel tech­nology and diag­nostic tools. One of his com­pa­nies, Foun­da­tion Med­i­cine, is devel­oping tech­nology aimed toward exploring a patient’s genome as a way to custom-​​tailor cancer treat­ment.

“If you build a great com­pany and develop great prod­ucts, there is a way to develop share­holder value and value for the patient,” Levin said. “If you do great things, you can step away from the pack.”