DiscoverDeep Tech: From Lab to Market with Benjamin Joffe
Deep Tech: From Lab to Market with Benjamin Joffe
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Deep Tech: From Lab to Market with Benjamin Joffe

Author: Benjamin Joffe

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Focus: In this podcast, founders and Investors share how science-based innovation can go to market -- from clean meat to service robots. It is hosted by Benjamin Joffe, Partner at SOSV, a global early stage fund focused on deep tech. It invests first via its vertical accelerator programs including HAX (intelligent hardware) and IndieBio (biology). SOSV has over 1,000 startups in portfolio and manages over $700M.
Keywords: #Technology #Deeptech #Venturecapital #Ventures #vc #robotics #lifesciences #biology #iot #internetofthings #hardware #startups #innovation #technology #accelerators #frontiertech #hardtech
17 Episodes
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Telemedicine and Mental health are hot topics, especially in those times of economic uncertainty and forced isolation. In this episode, Daniel Månsson, a clinical psychologist and CEO of Flow Neuroscience (a SOSV portfolio company), explains how they are bringing the first medication-free depression treatment to the home of patients. This podcast is hosted by Benjamin Joffe (@benjaminjoffe), Partner at SOSV, a global early stage fund focused on deep tech. SOSV runs multiple accelerator programs including HAX (hard tech) and IndieBio (new biotech).To hear about new episodes, sign up to the newsletter or follow us on twitter at @LabToMarket or @SOSV. For other resources covering digital health, check out SOSV’s videos on our YouTube channel. OVERVIEW Our conversation covers: The origins of Flow Neuroscience. How they created the first certified at-home device to treat depression using tDCS. The impact of Covid-19 on mental health. The technology spectrum of mental health, from wellness apps to invasive brain stimulation. The brain stimulation alphabet soup: ECS, TMS, tDCS and DBS. What Apple, Google, but also Amazon and Elon Musk’s Neuralink are doing. Other startups in mental health diagnostics or treatment for anxiety, stress, depression and more. The current push for remote patient monitoring and treatment. The role of regulators to ensure both a positive effect of treatment and the safety of patients. What’s ahead for Flow and their current expansion plans. REFERENCES MENTIONED Companies Flow Neuroscience: Medication-free at-home depression treatment. Amazon Halo: Bracelet tracking body composition, tone of voice analysis, sleep & activity tracking, and more. Apple Watch Series 6: Includes Blood Oxygen, ECG, High/low/irregular heart rate notifications. Apple also hired dozens of doctors in late 2018 (source: CNBC). Google Health and its CEO, Dr. David Feinberg. DeepMind Health, Verily (life sciences arm of Alphabet) and its Project Baseline. Neuralink: Elon Musk’s company focused on brain-machine interfaces. Calm: Meditation and sleep app. Raised $143M. Headspace: Digital health platform that provides guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training. Raised $215.9M. Ellispis Health: AI for behavioral health, starting with depression and anxiety. Raised $10M. Other References ECT: electroconvulsive therapy ('shock therapy'). ECT was invented in Italy in the late 1930s. Psychiatrists had already discovered that inducing seizures could relieve symptoms of mental illness (Source: Psychology Today). ECT remains the single most effective therapy for treatment-resistant cases of depression and some cases of bipolar affective disorder and schizophrenia. Today, it is a widely accepted treatment for serious mental disorders and is taught and practiced at hospitals throughout the world. It is estimated that one million people receive ECT annually (Leiknes, Schweder, & Høie, 2012). (Source: Psychology Today). TMS: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression. TMS is typically used when other depression treatments haven't been effective. Source: Mayo Clinic. tDCS: transCranial Direct Current Stimulation. tDCS is currently the only brain stimulation technique that doesn’t require a physician prescription, and can be used in the privacy of one’s own home. Due to the simplicity of the technology, tDCS can be incredibly affordable. While the FDA has not yet approved tDCS for medical use, tDCS devices have been publicly available as experimental kits for nearly a decade. DBS: — Deep Brain Stimulation. Deep brain stimulation involves implanting electrodes within certain areas of your brain. These electrodes produce electrical impulses that regulate abnormal impulses. Source: Mayo Clinic. DSM-5: Fifth update of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Describes all different diagnosis in the mental health field. Updated FDA regulations regarding Remote Patient Monitoring in the wake of Covid-19 RECENT EPISODES Innovation In The Fashion & Textile Industry (Alex Chan, TheMills Fabrica) The State Of Robotics (Fady Saad, MassRobotics) How Khosla Ventures Invests In Deep Tech ( Kanu Gulati and Rajesh Swaminathan) Australia's Deep Tech Ambitions (Phil Morle, Main Sequence Ventures) And many more! RESOURCES ON DEEP TECH DeepTech Investing Report by Different The Dawn of the Deep Tech Ecosystem by Hello Tomorrow and BCG Deep Tech Investors Mapping by Hello Tomorrow Deep Tech Trends Report, Hardware Trends Reports and Hardware Investment Outlook by SOSV
The fashion and textile industry is at a turning point. First, it is one of the most polluting due to its use of chemicals (polyester, dyes, etc.), large amounts of water, long-distance logistics, and waste (defective products and unsold inventory that ends up burnt or in landfills. The Covid-19 pandemic put pressure on both retail and supply chains. In this episode, we talk with Alex Chan, Co-Director of The Mills Fabrica about the industry’s growing appetite for innovation. This podcast is hosted by Benjamin Joffe (@benjaminjoffe), Partner at SOSV, a global early stage fund focused on deep tech. SOSV runs multiple accelerator programs including HAX (intelligent hardware) and IndieBio (life sciences). To hear about new episodes, sign up to the newsletter or follow us on twitter at @LabToMarket or @SOSV. OVERVIEW In this conversation, we talk about: The growing interest of the fashion and textile industry for deep tech to improve productivity, reduce its environmental impact, and build more resilient supply chains. Examples of solutions for digital fabrication, on-demand and local production (including 3D printing). New and sustainable biomaterials, Technologies for defect prevention or waste recycling. Finally, we discuss strategies and resources for startups to successfully engage with the apparel industry. REFERENCES MENTIONED Startups Disclosure: SOSV, TheMills and Nan Fung portfolio companies are marked. The Mills Fabrica is an LP in SOSV IV. Algalife (The Mills): Textile pigments and fibers from algae — TheMills. AlgniKnit: algae-derived, biodegradable yarns and textiles — SOSV. Bolt Threads: Sustainable Fashion Biomaterials and Fabrics — Nan Fung. Evrnu: Novel engineered fiber made from discarded clothing — TheMills Huue (fka Tinctorium): Sustainable, petroleum-free indigo dyes — SOSV, TheMills. Kniterate: digital desktop knitting machine — SOSV. Mango Materials: Biopolymers from methane — TheMills MycoWorks: Mushroom-based leather — SOSV. Presso: Dry-cleaning and disinfection robot — SOSV. Renewcell: Technology for fabric recycling — TheMills SmarTex: Real-time defect detection for textile production — SOSV. Unspun: On-demand, custom jeans from 3D body scans — SOSV, TheMills. Other References Fashion for Good (Amsterdam): Platform for sustainable fashion innovation Global Change Award: Back by the non-profit H&M Foundation to make the entire fashion industry circular. Shima Seiki: A global leader in knitting machines. Techstyle Innovations: Report by TheMills Fabrica. Covid-19: Reconstructing the Apparel Value Chain: Report by TheMills Fabrica. RECENT EPISODES 15. The State Of Robotics (Fady Saad, MassRobotics) 14. How Khosla Ventures Invests In Deep Tech ( Kanu Gulati and Rajesh Swaminathan) 13. Australia's Deep Tech Ambitions (Phil Morle, Main Sequence Ventures) 12. Funding Science Fiction That Works (Habib Haddad & Calvin Chin, E14 Fund of MIT Media Lab) 11. How to Select Industrial Partners (Robert Gallenberger, btov Partners) RESOURCES ON DEEP TECH DeepTech Investing Report by Different The Dawn of the Deep Tech Ecosystem by Hello Tomorrow and BCG Deep Tech Investors Mapping by Hello Tomorrow Deep Tech Trends Report, Hardware Trends Reports and Hardware Investment Outlook by SOSV
MassRobotics helps startups commercialize innovations in robotics. Its ecosystem includes 350 startups, 40 corporates and over 100 VCs, PEs and LPs they advise. In this episode, Fady Saad talks about trends, acquisitions, failures and what has changed over the past decade in robotics. It is a little crash course on the robotics market. This podcast is hosted by Benjamin Joffe (@benjaminjoffe), Partner at SOSV, a global early stage fund focused on deep tech. SOSV runs multiple accelerator programs including HAX (intelligent hardware) and IndieBio (life sciences). To hear about new episodes, sign up to the newsletter or follow us on twitter at @LabToMarket or @SOSV. OVERVIEW Robotics often conjures images of giant factories or sci-fi dystopias. But what is the reality beyond the hype and fear? Fady Saad is a former engineer who got exposed to cutting edge technologies of DARPA, NASA, the NSF and the AirForce. He grew a passion for robotics and founded MassRobotics in Boston as a robotics ‘escalator’ to help companies commercialize their innovations. It is now a cluster of 350 robotics companies, 50 resident startups and 40 strategic partners. They advise 150 VC firms, as well as investment banks, PE funds and corporates like GM and Lockheed Martin. In this conversation, the most important takeaway is that robotics today is vastly different from 10 years ago. We also discuss: The nature of robots, The power of complex systems and emerging properties, The difficulty of finding viable business applications, Why we have a Roomba instead of a two-armed Rosey, Trends, Acquisitions (over $8 billion in 2019), Failures, The legacy of Willow Garage, How to apply lean startup to robotics, What successful companies do beyond tech skills and raising capital. For other episodes covering robotics, listen to our podcasts with Robert Gallenberger (btov Partners), Kelly Chen (DCVC) and John Ho (Anzu Partners). RECENT EPISODES 14. How Khosla Ventures Invests In Deep Tech — Kanu Gulati and Rajesh Swaminathan 13. Phil Morle (Main Sequence Ventures) on Australia's Deep Tech Ambitions 12. Habib Haddad and Calvin Chin (E14 Fund of MIT Media Lab) on Funding Science Fiction That Works 11. Robert Gallenberger (btov Partners) on How to Select Industrial Partners RESOURCES ON DEEP TECH DeepTech Investing Report by Different The Dawn of the Deep Tech Ecosystem by Hello Tomorrow and BCG Deep Tech Investors Mapping by Hello Tomorrow Deep Tech Trends Report, Hardware Trends Reports and Hardware Investment Outlook by SOSV
Khosla Ventures (KV) has been an active investor in deep tech for 15 years. In this episode they share ideas on how they select sectors to invest in and prioritize and retire risk, how to best support startups, and what investors need to enter the deep tech field (hint: it's not a PhD). This podcast is hosted by Benjamin Joffe, Partner at SOSV, a global early stage fund focused on deep tech. SOSV runs multiple accelerator programs including HAX (intelligent hardware) and IndieBio (life sciences). To hear about new episodes, sign up to the newsletter or follow us on twitter at @LabToMarket. OVERVIEW Kanu Gulati and Rajesh Swaminathan are Investment Partners focused on deep tech at Khosla Ventures. The firm was founded by Vinod Khosla -- co-founder of Sun Microsystems (acquired by Oracle for US$7.4 billion in 2009) and former General Partner at Kleiner Perkins -- with the goal of ‘Reinventing Social Infrastructure with Technology’, to elevate the entire planet’s quality of life without destroying it. Over the past 15 years, KV has raised over $5B across 6 funds and invested in about 400 startups including Impossible Foods, Rocket Lab, DoorDash, OpenAI and many more.  They invest mostly at early stage — signing checks ranging from a few hundred $k, up to $50 million — and without shying away from the high technical risk of deep tech. After an introduction and examples from KV’s portfolio, the conversation goes into: Why it is crucial to prioritize risks and retire them in the right order. The 12 different technologies that can move the needle for the climate crisis. Their approach to detecting startups from centers of excellence. What sectors KV focuses on, including climate tech, hyperlocal and bio-manufacturing, hardware acceleration for AI, and more. What investment and operating partners do. How they support their portfolio in particular with recruiting (white paper). Vinod Khosla even calls himself a ‘glorified recruiter’! How conviction, immersion, patience and staying power matter more than a PhD to start investing in deep tech. How more engagement between financial and corporate VCs, building more forums and reducing inefficiencies in the deep tech ecosystem could help. PREVIOUS EPISODES Phil Morle (Main Sequence Ventures) on Australia's Deep Tech Ambitions Habib Haddad and Calvin Chin (E14 Fund of MIT Media Lab) on Funding Science Fiction That Works Robert Gallenberger (btov Partners) on How to Select Industrial Partners Xavier Duportet (Eligo Bioscience & Hello Tomorrow) on Science Entrepreneurship Deep Tech Startups vs. Covid-19, with IndieBio, Khosla Ventures and 50 Years Eric Rosenblum (Tsingyuan Ventures) on Chinese Founders in the US Overview of Deep Tech Investment, Based on the Report by Different Sota Nagano (Abies Ventures) on Japan’s Deep Tech Scene Seth Bannon (Fifty Years) on Solving Global Problems Kelly Chen (DCVC) on Investing in Old School Industries Manish Singhal (pi Ventures) on India’s Deep Tech Scene John Ho (Anzu Partners) on Breakthrough Industrial Tech Matt Clifford (EF / Entrepreneur First) on Investing in Talent and Pre-Product RESOURCES ON DEEP TECH DeepTech Investing Report by Different The Dawn of the Deep Tech Ecosystem by Hello Tomorrow and BCG Deep Tech Investors Mapping by Hello Tomorrow Deep Tech Trends Report, Hardware Trends Reports and Hardware Investment Outlook by SOSV SUBSCRIBE Podcast: Apple Podcast, Spotify, other platforms Twitter: @LabToMarket Lab to Market Newsletter
Getting innovation from lab to market is not an easy feat, and few countries do it well. Australia’s research output, for instance, punches way above its commercial applications (e.g. #10 in the SJR ranking and Nature Index). Are there ways to accelerate that transformation? Australia set up Main Sequence Ventures (@mseqvc) as a AU$240M (about US$170M) deep tech fund backed by the CSIRO and private investors, to target that opportunity notably in domains such as ag-tech, synthetic biology, quantum and space (the CSIRO is the Australia’s federal government agency responsible for scientific research). This podcast is hosted by Benjamin Joffe, Partner at SOSV, a global early stage fund focused on deep tech. SOSV runs multiple accelerator programs including HAX (intelligent hardware) and IndieBio (life sciences). To hear about new episodes, sign up to the newsletter or follow us on twitter at @LabToMarket. For other episodes on foreign deep tech ecosystems, check out India and Japan. OVERVIEW In this episode, Phil Morle (@philmorle), partner and long-time pioneer of the country’s startup scene (wikipedia), explains the commonalities he found between entrepreneurs and scientists, how the fund extended its investment domains and helps compress development timelines. He closes with thoughts on the tough year it has been with fires, drought and Covid, and how returns and impact now go hand in hand, from responding to new threats, feeding the planet, to delivering healthcare at scale. Before Main Sequence Ventures, Phil had three lives: He spent a decade as a theatre director, learning how to create things from scratch. Another decade with startups including as CTO of Kazaa — the then-dominant P2P file-sharing service, And another as the founder of Australia’s first Silicon Valley-style startup incubator, called Pollenizer, where he also advised numerous organizations including the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) on setting up their own incubators. He was then tapped by the CSIRO to set up a fund to support the translation of Australian research into commercial applications, including the output of CSIRO’s 3,500 scientists. Among the lessons learned: How he got scientists to grow an entrepreneurial mindset. How to look for early proof points for the whole company. How spending too long in the science exclusively sends weak signals into the market. How deal creation is more valuable than mere deal assessment and de-risking. How they designed a plant-based meat company, assembled a team, and got a product to market in 9 months only. How bridge-building between scientific domains, business expertise and geographies is crucial to startup success. How Covid-19 has lit a fire in the innovation ecosystem. PREVIOUS EPISODES Habib Haddad and Calvin Chin (E14 Fund of MIT Media Lab) on Funding Science Fiction That Works Robert Gallenberger (btov Partners) on How to Select Industrial Partners Xavier Duportet (Eligo Bioscience & Hello Tomorrow) on Science Entrepreneurship Deep Tech Startups vs. Covid-19, with IndieBio, Khosla Ventures and 50 Years Eric Rosenblum (Tsingyuan Ventures) on Chinese Founders in the US Overview of Deep Tech Investment, Based on the Report by Different Sota Nagano (Abies Ventures) on Japan’s Deep Tech Scene Seth Bannon (Fifty Years) on Solving Global Problems Kelly Chen (DCVC) on Investing in Old School Industries Manish Singhal (pi Ventures) on India’s Deep Tech Scene John Ho (Anzu Partners) on Breakthrough Industrial Tech Matt Clifford (EF / Entrepreneur First) on Investing in Talent and Pre-Product RESOURCES ON DEEP TECH DeepTech Investing Report by Different The Dawn of the Deep Tech Ecosystem by Hello Tomorrow and BCG Deep Tech Investors Mapping by Hello Tomorrow Deep Tech Trends Report, Hardware Trends Reports and Hardware Investment Outlook by SOSV SUBSCRIBE Podcast: Apple Podcast, Spotify, other platforms Twitter: @LabToMarket Lab to Market Newsletter
Habib Haddad and Calvin Chin are the Managing Partners of the E14 Fund, an early stage deep tech fund that invests exclusively in startups from the prolifically inventive MIT Media Lab community. This podcast is hosted by Benjamin Joffe, Partner at SOSV, a global early stage fund focused on deep tech. SOSV runs multiple accelerator programs including HAX (intelligent hardware) and IndieBio (life sciences). To hear about new episodes, sign up to the newsletter or follow us on twitter at @LabToMarket. For another episode covering Boston & Cambridge’s deep tech ecosystem, check out John Ho (Anzu Partners) on Breakthrough Industrial Tech. INTRODUCTION There is a bit of mystery shrouding the MIT Media Lab. If you’ve watched the movies Minority Report or Disney’s Big Hero 6, if you’ve used a touch screen, an e-reader, AR/VR devices, or played the game Guitar Hero, you’ve been touched by innovations from the Media Lab and its alumni. The Media Lab is especially renowned for its interdisciplinary research. Its departments have names such as molecular machines, synthetic neurobiology or tangible media (if you stick until the end of the podcast, you will hear about a very curious project mixing wearable computing, emotions sensors and video). In this episode, Habib and Calvin describe: The journey that brought them to create the E14 Fund in 2013 (and why it’s named this way). The importance of the community built around the Media Lab and the fund. How they work with founders, supporting them sometimes years before it’s a startup ready for investment, What differentiates the best founders from others, What simple question you can ask founders to determine their ability to navigate both the short and long term, How deep tech startups can be both less capital intensive, and more capital efficient than many think, Why attracting, training and keeping foreign scientific talent in the US matters, We end with some ideas on how to grow the investment in deep tech, and why this sector inevitably matter a great deal. REFERENCES MENTIONED E14 Fund MIT Media Lab Figur8: musculoskeletal health analysis. Founder: Nan-Wei Gong OPT Industries: Computational manufacturing platform for functional materials. Founder: Jifei Ou ThurWave: 3d imaging with mm waves. Founder: Matt Reynolds. Whiplash: a movie about drums, and much more. PREVIOUS EPISODES Robert Gallenberger (btov Partners) on How to Select Industrial Partners Deep Tech Startups vs. Covid-19, with IndieBio, Khosla Ventures and 50 Years Eric Rosenblum (Tsingyuan Ventures) on Chinese Founders in the US Overview of Deep Tech Investment, Based on the Report by Different Sota Nagano (Abies Ventures) on Japan’s Deep Tech Scene Seth Bannon (Fifty Years) on Solving Global Problems Kelly Chen (DCVC) on Investing in Old School Industries Manish Singhal (pi Ventures) on India’s Deep Tech Scene John Ho (Anzu Partners) on Breakthrough Industrial Tech Matt Clifford (EF / Entrepreneur First) on Investing in Talent and Pre-Product RESOURCES ON DEEP TECH DeepTech Investing Report by Different The Dawn of the Deep Tech Ecosystem by Hello Tomorrow and BCG Deep Tech Investors Mapping by Hello Tomorrow Deep Tech Trends Report, Hardware Trends Reports and hardware investment outlook by SOSV SUBSCRIBE Podcast: Apple Podcast, Spotify, etc. Twitter: LabToMarket Newsletter: LabToMarket
Few VC funds focus on deep tech in industry, and few investors have a strong industrial background. Robert Gallenberger at btov Partners is one of those rare people. He invests across Europe where he sees an industrial renaissance based on the combination of fresh tech talent with industry veterans, and making use of the strong industrial base particularly in Germany, Switzerland and more. This podcast is hosted by Benjamin Joffe, Partner at SOSV, a global early stage fund focused on deep tech. SOSV runs multiple accelerator programs including HAX (intelligent hardware) and IndieBio (life sciences). To hear about new episodes, sign up to the newsletter or follow us on twitter at @LabToMarket. For other episodes covering industrial investments, check out Kelly Chen (DCVC) on Investing in Old School Industries and John Ho (Anzu Partners) on Breakthrough Industrial Tech. ABOUT ROBERT AND BTOV Robert Gallenberger loves industrial technologies. A former BMW engineer, MBA from London Business School and BCG consultant, he became a VC over a decade ago, and has mostly focused on industry startups ever since. He is now a Partner in charge of the €100M Industrial Technologies Fund at btov  (Twitter: btovPartners), an early stage European VC firm managing over €500M. Founded 20 years ago as 'brains to ventures', and early investors in deep tech companies such as Volocopter (raised €118.2M) and OrCam (raised $86.4M), btov also built a network of 250 Private Investors to support their portfolio. In this episode, Robert talks about: His transition from industry to investment, His vision on the opportunities in the sector (including 3D printing and the reinvention of supply chains in a post-covid world). He also shares: His approach to investment in industry 4.0, Practical insights on how startups can avoid wasting time with the wrong industrial partners, What could be done to grow the ecosystem. PREVIOUS EPISODES Deep Tech Startups vs. Covid-19, with IndieBio, Khosla Ventures and 50 Years Eric Rosenblum (Tsingyuan Ventures) on Chinese Founders in the US Overview of Deep Tech Investment, Based on the Report by Different Sota Nagano (Abies Ventures) on Japan’s Deep Tech Scene Seth Bannon (Fifty Years) on Solving Global Problems Kelly Chen (DCVC) on Investing in Old School Industries Manish Singhal (pi Ventures) on India’s Deep Tech Scene John Ho (Anzu Partners) on Breakthrough Industrial Tech Matt Clifford (EF / Entrepreneur First) on Investing in Talent and Pre-Product RESOURCES ON DEEP TECH DeepTech Investing Report by Different The Dawn of the Deep Tech Ecosystem by Hello Tomorrow and BCG Deep Tech Investors Mapping by Hello Tomorrow Deep Tech Trends Report, Hardware Trends Reports and hardware investment outlook by SOSV SUBSCRIBE Podcast: Apple Podcast, Spotify, etc. Twitter: LabToMarket Newsletter: LabToMarket
First, let’s state that I have been a fan of Xavier since I was first invited to speak about hardware startups at his Hello Tomorrow Global Summit in 2016. Hello Tomorrow is a #deeptech community, and its Summit is the largest deep tech event in the world, featuring yearly 500 global startups. I was impressed by the production quality and general vibe; I’ve attended every year since then, and it only got better (trivia: on that day, I also remember meeting another man who talked about embracing tech entrepreneurship. He shook everyone’s hand on his way to the stage, where he was speaking right before me. Can you guess who that was?). ABOUT XAVIER AND HELLO TOMORROW Now, Xavier Duportet turned out to be more than the founder of what is probably the world’s largest deep tech event. He’s also a synthetic biology PhD with an unusual path: He was born in France, grew a passion for insects (especially ants — he hosts a colony of leaf-cutter ants from Trinidad in his office) that lead him to an internship in a genetics lab at age 12, which ignited his passion for science. Fast forward a few years, after a first startup attempt, he earned his PhD across multiple labs including a stay at MIT which had a profound effect on his mindset and understanding of ecosystems. He came back to France and became a catalyst in the emerging deep tech community by founding in 2011 a non-profit called Hello Tomorrow to bring together scientists, investors and corporates. Today, the event is — afaik — the largest deep tech conference in the world and highlights every year 500 of the top early stage startups. The next summit will take place in Paris and online in October 2020. In 2018, he co-founded Deeptech Founders, a 6-months program that already helped hundreds of global scientists and engineers to accelerate their startup projects. Today, he is the founder of Eligo Bioscience, a biotech startup using CRISPR to create a new class of biotherapeutic agents to selectively intervene on the microbiome. Eligo raised $27.4M from French and US investors including Khosla Ventures and Seventure Partners. Finally, Xavier has been selected as a World Economic Forum Pioneer and Young Global Leader, as well as one of the top innovators under 35 by MIT. OVERVIEW In this episode, Xavier shares ideas about science entrepreneurship and the importance of a product-driven mindset. We also discuss how co-founders need be complementary, and combine technology with storytelling and networks to succeed. Finally, he shares his hopes about deep tech’s ability to solve critical problems that digital alone can’t solve, and the importance of accessible role models to support this mission (his historical role model could be called ‘the Edison of biology’ — here is one of his key patents). REFERENCES MENTIONED Eligo Bioscience, Xavier’s startup developing new therapies for the microbiome. Deeptech Founders, a training program for global founders. Hello Tomorrow, organizers of the largest deep tech event in the world. Tim Lu, Associate Professor of Biological Engineering and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT The Story of Louis Pasteur. A documentary from 1936 on this unique science entrepreneur. A brief history of Genentech, the first publicly-owned biotech company (IPO in 1980 thanks notably to its groundbreaking synthetic insulin). PREVIOUS EPISODES Deep Tech Startups vs. Covid-19, with IndieBio, Khosla Ventures and 50 Years Eric Rosenblum (Tsingyuan Ventures) on Chinese Founders in the US Overview of Deep Tech Investment, Based on the Report by Different Sota Nagano (Abies Ventures) on Japan’s Deep Tech Scene Seth Bannon (Fifty Years) on Solving Global Problems Kelly Chen (DCVC) on Investing in Old School Industries Manish Singhal (pi Ventures) on India’s Deep Tech Scene John Ho (Anzu Partners) on Breakthrough Industrial Tech Matt Clifford (EF / Entrepreneur First) on Investing in Talent and Pre-Product RESOURCES ON DEEP TECH DeepTech Investing Report by Different The Dawn of the Deep Tech Ecosystem by Hello Tomorrow and BCG Deep Tech Investors Mapping by Hello Tomorrow Deep Tech Trends Report, Hardware Trends Reports and hardware investment outlook by SOSV SUBSCRIBE Podcast: Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, etc. Twitter: LabToMarket
This is a a live panel ran by SOSV to introduce and discuss solutions funded by some of the most active investors in deep tech startups fighting Covid-19. Each of the three funds (Fifty Years, Khosla Ventures, SOSV) published an impressive list of their relevant portfolio startups. IndieBio even made a call to fund Covid-fighting startups as part of its newly launched NYC program. Here are the full video and slides. If you’d like to know about future events, follow us on Twitter at @SOSV or sign up to our newsletter.   This podcast is hosted by Benjamin Joffe, Partner at SOSV, a global early stage fund focused on deep tech with over $700m under management. SOSV runs multiple accelerator programs, including HAX (intelligent hardware) and IndieBio (life sciences). Episode Overview This recording has 3 parts: Part 1: Some non-biotech solutions, from 3D printing to robotics, Part 2, VCs present solutions from their portfolio (mostly biotech), Part 3: Q&A.   The speakers are: Seth Bannon, Founding Partner at Fifty Years, Alex Morgan, MD PhD, Partner at Khosla Ventures, Jun Axup, PhD, Partner at IndieBio (SOSV).   Introduction & Moderation: Benjamin Joffe, Partner at SOSV Julie Wolf, PhD, Communications Director at IndieBio NYC (SOSV)   Part 1 Introduction by Benjamin Joffe, Partner at SOSV a. What has changed since SARS? SARS was in 2003. In the span of 17 years, several important developments happened: Low-cost genetic tests Sensors & robots Cloud solutions   The challenge of current solutions remain costs, timing and scalability. b. Prevention A hundred years ago, prevention was mostly... masks. Today, we have a much better understanding of the modes of infection of viruses, and many new tools to prevent it. c. 3D Printing While we’re still far from the ‘3D printing revolution’ that was announced 10 years ago, some high-resolution 3D printing technology is able to supply useful parts quickly, at low cost, and on-site. Clips and buckles for masks or door handles but also test swabs. d. Protecting our face We need to protect our face from others, but also from ourselves: Many masks don’t effectively protect against infection as the virus is too small (about 120nm). Verdex (a SOSV portfolio company) has developed a nanofiber material that filters out particles above 100nm — effectively blocking the virus — and is also more breathable. HabitAware, a HAX portfolio company, had created a machine-learning-powered bracelet to prevent body-focused repetitive behaviors (e.g. nail biting) by recognizing and alerting of specific gestures. The pandemic provided a new direct application of their technology.   e. Disinfecting everything The ‘new normal’ is making frequent and thorough disinfection of our living and working environment necessary, to protect us and helps us get back to work. HAX has invested in various solutions for this, from floor cleaning (Avidbots) to toilet cleaning (Somatic). The dry cleaning robot startup Presso announced its solution initially intended for business travels was now in high-demand with movie and TV studios who are resuming operations. Youibot, an autonomous logistics startup, managed to repurpose their technology to provide disinfection with UV-C lights, and temperature detection.   f. Testing with devices On the testing front, several countries have introduced testing stations that look like phone booths. Some are also using helmets with IR sensors to detect potential infections. Some wearable device companies like Oura and Strados Labs are applying their technology to pre-symptom detection or monitoring. g. Treatment Treating the virus is complicated, as it might also involve treating the immune response, and support the recovery of patients. Various large and small companies are working on vaccine candidates, Some companies are trying to develop new drugs, or repurpose existing ones for a faster time-to-market   The lack of equipment — particularly respirators — is being addressed partly by repurposing other devices. Among them are snorkeling masks and BIPAP/CPAP machines. Finally, alongside this pandemic comes tremendous emotional harm due to stress, economic uncertainty and unemployment. Some companies such as Feel are working on low-cost solutions to help people improve their mental health. Part 2 Seth Bannon, Founding Partner at Fifty Years The Covid-19 threat is reminiscent of WWII, with potential deaths in the tens of millions. WWII gave us many tech innovations such as: mass production of antibiotics, blood plasma as a therapeutic solution, skin grafts, flu vaccine, radar, microwave ovens, pressurized plane cabins, nuclear power and the first programmable digital computer. It laid the foundation of technical progress for many years to come. A similar rally today could build solutions for the future. Everyone who can help should help, and 17 of our portfolio companies did. HelixNano (from the George Church lab at Harvard). Working on a vaccine to counteract SARS-Cov-2 evolutions and antigenic drift. BillionToOne found a way to run a test on Sanger sequencers at low cost and high volume. Opentrons (a co-investment with Khosla and SOSV) built a low-cost lab robot to automate liquid handling, already deployed in multiple labs around the world to test covid. Voodoo Manufacturing directed their cloud farm of 3D printers to focus on combating Covid-19 by producing PPE and more at cost. Solugen, that makes hydrogen peroxide, realized they had the capacity to make hand sanitizer and now do so pro-bono.   Alex Morgan, Partner at Khosla Ventures Khosla has over $1B under management, including a main and seed fund. The goal is to ‘reinvent social infrastructure with technology’, looking for investments combining financial returns with societal impact (e.g. Impossible Foods, Color, etc.). We also have a list of companies responding to Covid-19. Genalyte has a FDA-approved testing solution that takes 15min. Current capacity is about~250k patients / month. Luminostics designed an optical test that cane be run with a small device attached to a phone. Pardes Bio is a recent investment working on a therapeutic using a protease inhibitor. Prellis Biologics (IndieBio/SOSV co-investment) is a tissue engineering company that can 3d print lymph nodes ex vivo to produce therapeutic antibodies (here are a recent video interview and media coverage). Some other investments also focus on the distribution of care, and particularly mental health, such as Ginger (remote service for mental health) and Flow Neuroscience (a SOSV/HAX co-investment offering a drug-free treatment for depression using an at-home brain stimulation device, already on sale in EU/UK).   Jun Axup, Chief Science Officer & Partner at IndieBio IndieBio is the life sciences accelerator program of SOSV, based in SF and NYC and investing globally. It invested in 136 companies including Memphis Meats, Clara Food and Perfect Day in the cellAg space. CASPR Biotech uses CRISPR for low-cost testing (covered by NYT). Renegade.Bio was founded as a lab to test at high speed and large volume. ANA Therapeutics is repurposing an anti-worm treatment toward Zika, SARS and now Covid. Halomine found a way to keep surfaces free of viruses by stabilizing chlorine, making the protective film last up to 30 days instead mere hours. SmartSteward can track outbreaks within nursing homes, using algorithms to scan metadata from electronic health records and lab reports in real time, identifying critical changing patterns.   The biotech renaissance is strong, but still has many unknowns: Are pandemics a new investable thesis? How do we get back to work, protect everyone? We need to stay nimble, and keep evolving.   Part 3 Q&A moderated by Julie Wolf, Communications Director at IndieBio Q: How did IndieBio decide to invest in Covid solutions? Jun Axup (IndieBio/SOSV): Several are alumni who pivoted (e.g. Prellis), some simply needed more funding (e.g. Caspr.bio), some were opportunistic investments and some more philanthropic. The key was to fund companies who could have impact now rather than in a year. Q: For Khosla's startups, are pivots to Covid risky? Alex Morgan (Khosla Ventures): It varies a lot. Ideally we want to see long-term opportunities. Prellis, for example, are seizing an opportunity within a long-term plan. One challenge for diagnostic technologies is how you get paid, which is exposed to regulatory or policy risks. The landscape is changing and susceptible even to the election cycle. The current situation that delayed many procedures and treatments might push for a ‘pay for outcome’ model, which is more aligned with our investment model and the interests of patients. Q: How is 50Y looking at investing into Covid-related tech? Seth Bannon (Fifty Years): First, we offered a $25,000 uncapped note no questions asked to support any of our portfolio company who felt they had some kind of solution. For those needed more capital we had longer conversations. For new investments we don’t want to fund ‘covid-only’ solutions because it might be too difficult to build a business around, but most likely have applications beyond this pandemic, or beyond pandemics in general. For instance companies building infrastructure solutions, or take vaccine development from years to months, or found better ways to repurpose drugs. We’d love to see a great solution for at-home testing, maybe something CRISPR-based. Q: What is your biggest challenge in finding companies to invest in? Jun Axup (IndieBio/SOSV): Deployment and scaling is the hardest. We fund super early companies and getting through both regulations and manufacturing is a challenge, so we prefer teams that have some understanding of how to do that. Alex Morgan (Khosla Ventures): There is a lack of backchannel conversations that are not happening because [because of SIP/WFH], which could help find out about new companies or research. We’re trying with other media. Seth Bannon (Fifty Years): Because of the many solutions being developed, it is a challenge to find solutions that are uniquely suited to the pandemic, and whose solution and business would outlast it. Thanks to our speakers for their insights and to our audience for great questions! Speakers can be contacted at Twitter: Jun Axup (@junaxup, @indbio, @SOSV), Alex Morgan (@genomicsdoc or @khoslaventures) Seth Bannon (@sethbannon or @fiftyyears). Some of the remaining questions are on Twitter for further discussion. Resources Video and slides of the event. 50Y companies tackling the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2  Khosla Ventures’ entrepreneurs are responding with amazing diversity to COVID-19 solutions for society’s needs Top SOSV Startups Combatting COVID-19 IndieBio Coronavirus Initiative Previous Episodes Eric Rosenblum (Tsingyuan Ventures) on the Chinese Tech Diaspora Opportunity  Overview of Deep Tech Investment, Based on the Report by Different Sota Nagano (Abies Ventures) on Japan’s Deep Tech Scene Seth Bannon (Fifty Years) on Solving Global Problems Kelly Chen (DCVC) on Investing in Old School Industries Manish Singhal (pi Ventures) on India’s Deep Tech Scene John Ho (Anzu Partners) on Breakthrough Industrial Tech Matt Clifford (EF / Entrepreneur First) on Investing in Talent and Pre-Product Subscribe Podcast: Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, etc. Twitter: @LabToMarket
Eric Rosenblum is a Managing Partner at Tsingyuan Ventures, an early stage US fund with over $100m under management. They believe in the opportunity of cross-border and cross-discipline investments and focus primarily on US-based science startups founded by the Chinese tech diaspora. Prior to co-founding Tsingyuan Ventures, Eric graduated from Harvard, worked at BCG then got an MBA at MIT and worked as a management consultant and serial entrepreneur in China for 14 years. Eric was one of the rare foreign co-founders of multiple tech startups during China’s early Internet wave, and his ventures led to 2 exits (M&As for ChinaNOW and SmartPay). Coming back to the states, he then worked at Google and Palantir before co-founding Tsingyuan Ventures with former members of the TEEC Angel Fund. TEEC started as a network of Tsinghua University alumni (Tsinghua Entrepreneur & Executive Club  (Tsinghua is like the MIT + Harvard of China) and wrote the first checks in 5 unicorns: Ginkgo Bioworks, Carta, Quanergy, Plus.ai, Zoom, and about 160 tech startups. While it is a US fund, the Tsingyuan name reflects its focus and strategy by combining part of the Tsinghua (清) name and ‘source/origin’ (源). Some context This episode is particularly timely following the recent ‘Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Students and Researchers from the People’s Republic of China’ by the White House. According to the Department of Homeland Security, in the 2018–19 academic year, there were enrolled at U.S. universities: 272,470 undergraduate and graduate students from China. 84,480 were in a graduate-level STEM program. These restrictions are focused on students coming from mainland universities associated with the army, but might impact the ‘intellectual balance of trade’ that had been so favorable to the US so far. Episode Overview In this episode, we discuss: The early days of China’s tech scene and the waves of Chinese PhDs in the US, to highlight the upcoming surge in opportunities, particularly with the many applications of AI at scale. The intellectual balance of trade, and the value of this asset for the US. The role of non-state actors like Google, Baidu or Alibaba as talent factories. The 10-year lag between the moment a foreign student comes for a few years and starts a company, and why he believes we’re still just seeing the upswing of the wave. China’s advances with regulation, local support and public acceptance of technology for the new wave of data-driven startups. Analogies with basketball and pingpong to compare the impact and legacy of drafting outstanding talent into a system, and the risks of making the talent trade balance less favorable to America. How cross-border talent will be key to create more truly global champions from the US. References Mentioned Eric mentions successful companies founded by the Chinese diaspora (including Guitar Hero, Nvidia, Zoom, etc.) More here. In addition to cross-border, Eric makes the case for cross-disciplinary investments here. Last, here are Eric's all-time favorites, that also happen to be very timely: Taylor Branch’s series on MLK Jr. Starting with “Parting the Waters”. Robert Caro’s series on Lyndon Johnson. Starting with “The Path to Power”. (his most recent read): The Fire is Upon Us (about the epic debate between William F Buckley Jr and James Baldwin). Also in video. Previous Episodes Overview of Deep Tech Investment, Based on the Report by Different Sota Nagano (Abies Ventures) on Japan’s Deep Tech Scene Seth Bannon (Fifty Years) on Solving Global Problems Kelly Chen (DCVC) on Investing in Old School Industries Manish Singhal (pi Ventures) on India’s Deep Tech Scene John Ho (Anzu Partners) on Breakthrough Industrial Tech Matt Clifford (EF / Entrepreneur First) on Investing in Talent and Pre-Product Subscribe Podcast: Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, etc. Twitter: @LabToMarket
Leslie Jump is the CEO and Mack Kolarich the CPO of Different, an organization that helps institutions and family offices discover, analyze, diligence, and select venture capital funds. They recently completed a remarkable DeepTech Investing Report based on more than 150 interviews with VCs, LPs and other stakeholders. The report was funded by Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic vehicle created by former Google & Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt and his wife Wendy to “advance society through technology, inspire breakthroughs in scientific knowledge, and promote shared prosperity”. Prior to Different, Leslie and Mack had diverse experiences including founding and investing in tech companies, and running investment workshops around the world. This podcast is hosted by Benjamin Joffe, Partner at SOSV, a global early stage fund focused on deep tech. SOSV runs multiple accelerator programs including HAX (intelligent hardware) and IndieBio (life sciences). Episode Overview In a recent podcast with Joe Rogan, Elon Musk said: "There’s an over allocation of talent in finance and law. We should have fewer people doing law and fewer people doing finance and more people making stuff. […] If you don’t make stuff, there’s no stuff." This seems especially true in deep tech. In this episode, we discuss: How scientific entrepreneurs are under-capitalized relative to the market and relative to their own potential. What are the causes of this capital gap. How media and others have trained VCs and LPs to look for, and expect unicorns, outliers and outsized multiples. The optics problem of science vs. software startups with LPs and banks. How most deep tech funds partners don’t have PhDs, but rely on networks on experts. How — since when asked about a startup potential, 3 PhDs will give you 3 different answers — the job of investors is to figure out which one to  believe. How talent is spread out geographically more than we might expect, and how deep tech startups do not only come from universities. The challenge of training or complementing scientists with business skills, particularly in ecosystems without a critical mass of business talent. How LPs suffer from network bias when picking VC funds, and why only a minority is able to vest new deep tech funds, thinking ‘I don’t know how to know if they know what they’re doing’. Why, within the ‘alternative assets’ class, deep tech funds combine the highest risk, highest fees, longest terms, but also how delivering superior returns require new approaches, and how Covid-19 demonstrates that we need deep tech more than ever. How deep tech startups differ from FMCG or SaaS companies, and why investors might have to custom-design KPIs for each company. How looking outside of tech helps think differently about tech. References Mentioned Different and their DeepTech Investing Report Abstract: The Art of Design (Netflix) The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes (Netflix) The Colors of History: How Colors Shaped the World (book) Pepper: A History of the World’s Most Influential Spice (book) The Mote in God’s Eye (sci-fi book) Ubongo: a leading edutainment company based in Tanzania. Subscribe Podcast: Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, etc. Twitter: @LabToMarket
Sota Nagano is a Partner at Abies Ventures, a $40m early stage deep tech fund based in Tokyo backed by Taizo Son, a billionare active tech investor, and younger brother of Masa, creator of the famous Vision Fund. Abies Ventures invests in Japan and abroad in industrial tech, But also opportunistically in multiple sectors including advanced sensors, space tech and life sciences. Prior to Abies, Sota studied in the US and Italy, worked on Wall Street. He then co-founded an automotive engineering startup named GLM, which Financial Times called Japan’s Tesla, and which he took public for $1.5B in 2017. This podcast is hosted by Benjamin Joffe, Partner at SOSV, a global early stage fund focused on deep tech with over $700m under management. SOSV runs multiple accelerator programs, including HAX (intelligent hardware) and IndieBio (life sciences). SOSV is also investing in Japan, via our hardware accelerator program HAX. We opened an office in Tokyo in 2019 with the support of Sumitomo, one of our key Japanese LPs. Episode Overview In this episode, we discuss:  Sota’s journey to deep tech investment, The competitive advantages of Abies thanks to their broad industry network. The most promising deep tech sectors in Japan and the opportunities for exits, notably with fast IPOs. Finally, Sota shares his thought about the cost of failure in Japan, and the parallels he sees between Japan’s tech sector and the situation described in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. References Mentioned Mistletoe: Taizo Son’s global investment vehicle for the startup ecosystem. Euglena (Japan): $600m public company using ‘euglena’ (single cell flagellate eukaryotes) for food supplements, beauty care, biofuel and more. The stock peaked around $2 bln in 2013. Cyberdyne (Japan): the ominous-sounding $500m public company makes futuristic exoskeletons. The stock peaked over $3 bln in 2016. JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency): Japan’s NASA. Ultrasense Systems (USA): small ultrasound 3D sensors for next-generation UI. Algal Bio (Japan): a biotech startup that uses thousands of strains of algae to produce functional nutrients, fatty acid, and carotenoids that have applications in food products, cosmetics, medicine, and fuel. Pixie Dust (Japan): ultrasound array technology for control and interfaces, founded by Dr. Yoichi Ochiai (@ochyai on Twitter, with over 400k followers, on YouTube and video program on Newspicks, in Japanese). Raised $55.1 million. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand Layer Cake, starring pre-007 Daniel Craig as a cool-headed drug lord. Subscribe Podcast: Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, etc. Twitter: LabToMarket
Seth Bannon is the Founding Partner of Fifty Years, a $50m early stage deep tech fund. Seth is a long-time advocate and campaigner, who turned to technology and investment to solve the world’s biggest problems around sustainability, food, and the digital divide. A graduate of Y Combinator, Seth was named twice to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Social Entrepreneurship. Seth believes business will be about more than just profit (more here), and Fifty Years has supported a range of startups shaping the world for the better — from microbe engineering for sustainable chemistry, to small satellites for low-cost global internet coverage, to clean meat. This podcast is hosted by Benjamin Joffe, Partner at SOSV, a global early stage fund focused on deep tech. SOSV runs multiple accelerator programs including HAX (intelligent hardware) and IndieBio (life sciences). SOSV and Fifty Years have co-invested in several companies mentioned in this podcast such as Memphis Meats (clean meat pioneer, raised $181m), Geltor (synthetic human collagen) and Catalog DNA. Episode Overview In this episode, Seth talks about: What prompted him to create a fund focused on the world’s biggest problems, and how its name relates to Winston Churchill’s prophetic 1931 essay titled Fifty Years Hence. How Silicon Valley needs to go back to its roots: focusing on technology to lift all sectors — including food, industry and healthcare — to the digital age. Why biology is having its ‘Internet time’. The challenges PhDs face when they become founders to translate their research. How magnetic, resourceful, resilient doers are founders with high potential. His approach to opportunistic investments in deep tech. Using publication research for initial technical due diligence in new domains. The benefits of portfolio network effects. Finally, we discuss the affects of the Covid-19 pandemic on venture, and the silver lining of how such an intense global events might give rise to major scientific advances in a compressed timeframe. References Mentioned Fifty Years Hence, a 1931 essay by Winston Churchill The Fifty Years portfolio companies tackling Covid-19 Memphis Meats: clean meat pioneer, raised $181m. Geltor: synthetic human collagen. Catalog DNA: DNA-based data storage. Astranis: smaller & low-cost satellites for global internet coverage. Star Trek: The Next Generation (7 Seasons on Netflix) Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter Subscribe Podcast: Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, etc. Twitter: LabToMarket
Kelly Chen is a Partner at DCVC — a US-based venture fund founded in 2011 that raised $725 million in November 2019 to invest mostly in deep tech. Kelly is a China-born New Yorker now based in SF, who graduated from Columbia Engineering and Wharton with a focus on finance algorithms and manufacturing operations. She worked as a fixed income trader who started angel investing actively and eventually dived into venture capital.  DCVC has invested in Agtech, Advanced manufacturing, biology and even space tech. Kelly focuses on the transformation of manufacturing, logistics and apply chain with automation and AI. This podcast is hosted by Benjamin Joffe, Partner at SOSV, a global early stage fund focused on deep tech. SOSV runs multiple accelerator programs including HAX (intelligent hardware) and IndieBio (life sciences). Episode Overview In this episode, Kelly talks about: The opportunities offered by major demographic and labor shifts, with examples examples in the textile industry (SmarTex,  also a SOSV/HAX investment) and senior care. The appeal of 'old school' industries, where opportunities abound. Vertical vs Horizontal companies. In deep tech, vertical expertise is often part of the 'defensibility stack' alongside AI / deep learning algorithms and data sets. DCVC's unique network of 'equity partners', who support the firm with deal flow, expertise and business networks. How DCVC mixes thesis-driven and opportunistic investments. DCVC's approach for the due diligence of deep tech startups on both the technology and business sides. Finally, we close with some remarks on the Covid-19 situation for DCVC's portfolio and investment activity, as well as recommendations on how to deal with confinement and ramp up knowledge in deep tech. References Mentioned Blue River Technology: ‘see and spray’ agtech robotics for weeding, acquired by John Deere for $305m SmarTex: AI-based computer vision to detect faults in fabric and improve yield  (note: also a SOSV / HAX portfolio company) SafelyYou: AI-based video detection for falls among elderly and dementia patients. Curative: an oral test for Covid-19, just received FDA’s emergency use authorization. Space tech investments: Rocket Lab (launchers for small sats), Planet (daily satellite imaging & insights using cubesats), Capella Space (Earth imagery using satellites equipped with radars). DCVC’s portfolio response to Covid-19 Night on Earth: a Netflix series filming wildlife at night (note: the eponymous movie by Jim Jarmush is also a good pick!) Subscribe Podcast: Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, etc. Twitter: LabToMarket
Manish Singhal is the founding partner of pi Ventures, a $30 million early stage deep tech fund based in Bangalore. Before founding Pi Ventures in 2016 as one of the very first AI-focused funds, he has worked for over 2 decades in R&D, product and general management roles in global companies creating video technologies and consumer electronics, including Motorola and Sling Media. This podcast is hosted by Benjamin Joffe, Partner at SOSV, a global early stage fund focused on deep tech. SOSV runs multiple accelerator programs including HAX (intelligent hardware) and IndieBio (life sciences). In this episode, Manish talks about: The growing local deep tech scene How pi Ventures met over 1,100 companies over 3 years to make 11 investments The attractive opportunities in the market His approach to deep tech investment and 'bottom-up investing' The problem with asking experts who are naturally skeptical Why India is a great place to build healthcare startups The left shift of the flatter S-curve in deep tech The cultural shift in the acceptance of startups The emergence of global players Made in India. Resources & Companies Mentioned: Manish's article on the Indian Deep Tech startup ecosystem (Medium) Pandorum Technologies: artificial cornea Niramai: non-invasive detection of breast cancer (coverage in Entrepreneur) Agnikul: low-cost space launchers (coverage in Inc42) Locus: supply chain decision-making engine Wysa: AI Chat for mental health that makes you feel heard Raybaby: advanced non-contact baby monitor that detects breathing Cradlewise: smart crib that detects wake-up and soothes the baby to sleep Unbox Robotics: robots for package sorting
John Ho is a Partner at Anzu Partners, a US-based $190 million venture capital and private equity fund focused on breakthrough industrial technologies. John is a Computer Science and Electrical Engineering PhD from MIT, and long-time Bostonian, who worked in industry and management consulting. This podcast is hosted by Benjamin Joffe, Partner at SOSV, a global early stage fund focused on deep tech. SOSV runs multiple accelerator programs including HAX (intelligent hardware) and IndieBio (life sciences). In this episode, John talks about: The reasons for their focus on industrial tech, Their approach to technical due diligence and market evaluation, His views on the Boston deep tech ecosystem and their belief in the value of geographic diversity. He also dives into how Anzu supports its portfolio toward value creation milestones and capital efficiency to provide both runway and optionality. Finally, he shares his thoughts on how the coronavirus epidemic is affecting deep tech, with examples from their portfolio such as . To know more about Anzu Partners, check out their website, twitter and the coverage of the closing of their latest fund in January 2020 (Techcrunch).
Matt Clifford is the co-founder and CEO of Entrepreneur First. EF helps create deep tech startups by attracting exceptional talent, and having them go through a unique program to create teams, identify real problems, and fund the most promising ones. SOSV has funded several EF graduates (and likely more to come). This podcast is hosted by Benjamin Joffe, Partner at SOSV, a global early stage fund focused on deep tech. SOSV runs multiple accelerator programs including HAX (intelligent hardware) and IndieBio (life sciences). In this episode, you will learn about: 1. The Origins of Entrepreneur First The Role of Talent Networks How EF Helps Talent Create Companies Deep Tech is a Competitive Advantage Creating A Silicon Valley Bubble 2. Why Invest In Deep Tech Why Deep Tech Impact Today’s World How Entrepreneur First Can Invest Pre-Traction The Key To Building Winning Teams 3. The Lean Startup Way To Create Teams And Invest Community-Driven Due Diligence Investing In Early Stage Deep Tech Building New Capital Playbooks Ambitious Projects Have Better Chances 4. What’s Next for EF Other Resources: Matt's newsletter 'Thoughts in Between'
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