AVX April 2021 Update

Ahmet-Hamdi Cavusoglu

April 1, 2021

And a busy March leads into an even busier April (Look at our calendar!). And what a March it has been, with Stefanie Tompkins returning as Director of DARPA, IndieBio and Y Combinator having busy class days, publishing of the proposed IDEA Act of 2021, Walter Isaacson's latest book following the story of Prof. Jennifer Doudna, NFTs and the climate intersecting, IonQ preparing to go public, and so much more!

StartUpBreakDown.com is proud to announce the launch of the Ignition Plan, a free, bi-monthly newsletter and interactive forum for entrepreneurs and innovators. The Ignition Plan combines words of wisdom from experienced entrepreneurs, answers to your most burning startup questions and access to a network of your peers and is 100% focused on helping you to execute on your plans for world domination! The Ignition Plan was created for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs.

University of Toronto’s Innovations & Partnerships Office and the UTEST Accelerator have just launched Deep Tech Download: a new newsletter showcasing companies based on U of T Research. In the last 5 years, companies emerging from U of T Research have secured more than $1.5 billion in investment and capital. Deep Tech Download features active investment opportunities and the latest company news, tailored for investors and industry around the world.

In this newsletter, I will remind you about your teams we are currently hosting on AVX, highlight a few events from around the network, as well as share some useful think-pieces.

With our updated interface, you can see all ventures here: AVX Feed

Conversation Statistics

We are up to 11,441 total connections and conversations on the AVX network - 565 more over the last month (over 5% month over month growth!). We are currently tracking 23 potential match negotiations and another 128 with multi-month long discussions heading toward possible matches (and a handful of matches in stealth). We have now actively connected 544 different ventures (out of 1520+ examined) with 1306 different entrepreneurs and investors (out of a pool of 3000+).

Top Digital Events

Apr 8: Deep Tech Prototyping: Doing Business with MIT Lincoln Laboratory Join us for an overview of MIT Lincoln Laboratory, as we celebrate our 70th year as a Federally Funded Research and Development Center developing advanced technology for national security. MIT Lincoln Laboratory builds unique operational prototypes – many in deep tech domains requiring specialized resources, laboratories, and expertise. Our success in solving challenging problems relies on an extensive network of collaborators, including academic partners, small businesses, and traditional and nontraditional contractors.

May 18-21: Yale Innovation Summit The Yale Innovation Summit is the largest entrepreneurship event on campus, and the largest gathering of venture capital investors in Connecticut. Over 100 startups founded by Yale biotech and tech innovators are joined by top ventures from around the state to pitch their ideas in a Shark Tank format to prospective industry partners and investors.

May 25: LA Bioscience Ecosystem Summit 2021 The UCLA Los Angeles Bioscience Ecosystem Summit 2021 (LABEST) is the premiere showcase for bioscience innovation in Los Angeles County. Formerly known as UCLA Bioscience Innovation Day, this event is a collaboration with colleagues from across the LA who will present promising academic research, entrepreneurial faculty investigators, as well as local start- up companies.


Apr 2: Women Innovators Initiative (WI2): Running a Startup
Apr 6: Accelerating the Energy Transition
Apr 6: 2021 +Dx Diagnostics Forum
Apr 6-8: FLC National Meeting
Apr 7: Starting a University Spinout
Apr 7: How geospatial technology is helping health care
Apr 7: Venture Philanthropy Investing Through the Eyes of an Entrepreneur
Apr 8: Founder’s Equity: Formation, Dilution, Industry Averages
Apr 8: Deep Tech Prototyping: Doing Business with MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Apr 8: Making Your Exit
Apr 8: Inclusion: The Key to Building Strong Startups
Apr 8: Get on the Production Line: Selecting the Best Contract Manufacturer
Apr 12: In Conversation with Barbara Liskov
Apr 13: VC Funding During a Pandemic
Apr 14: Trends in Digital Health
Apr 14: The Biotech SPAC-tacular: Reshaping the way healthcare thinks about funding
Apr 15: Reimagining the Energy Equation with 5G
Apr 15: Tales from the Trenches: Eric Lefkofsky
Apr 20-22: Polsky DeepTechU Conference
Apr 20-22: NREL Industry Growth Forum 2021
Apr 22: Gene Therapy Thrives: Five Years of Growth in NC
Apr 26-27: Bloomberg Green Summit
Apr 26-27: Chardan Genetic Medicines Manufacturing Summit
Apr 27-28: InvestMidwest 2021
Apr 29: Healthcare’s AI Future: A Conversation with Fei-Fei Li & Andrew Ng
Apr 29: How Effective Communications Can Help Scale to a Successful Company
Apr 30: Deep Dive Into Deep Tech Incubation: Diversity & Inclusion
May 3: In Conversation with Rebecca Oppenheimer
May 6: Applying Your Platform
May 18-21: Yale Innovation Summit 2021
May 19: University Startups: Tips from Early Stage Investors
May 25: LA Bioscience Ecosystem Summit 2021
May 26: SynBioBeta Biopharma Conference 2021
Jun 3: Navigating Transitions
Jun 17: The Science of Saving the Planet (John York, Impossible Foods)
Jun 22: In Conversation with Padmanee Sharma

Some Thought Pieces

Announcing the 2021 AI Index Report The 2021 AI Index report is one of the most comprehensive reports about artificial intelligence to date. This latest edition significantly expands the amount of data available in the report, which was drawn from a broader set of academic, private, and non-profit organizations for calibration. The report also shows the effect of COVID-19 on AI development from multiple perspectives, including how AI helps with COVID-related drug discovery and the effect of the pandemic on hiring and private investment.

What the enthusiasm for funding startups means for the VC world Cutting to the chase: "The trouble with abundant capital instead is more straightforward. More money chasing scarce ideas and talent means that the prices paid for startups rise, which all else equal means returns fall. And the absence of cash constraints can spoil a promising startup. If it blows a lot of money on marketing, the resulting growth can distract the founders from underlying faults with the product. Telling a good story is vital in the startup business. But there is a danger in believing your own fairy tales."

Clean tech 2.0: Silicon Valley’s new bet on start-ups fighting climate change Recent updates like Noya's recent fundraise and QuantumScape going public are exciting and uplifting, but what has changed in the past decade to get us here? "Developing a technology from the lab into a low-cost, mass-market product with the potential to reduce global emissions is notoriously hard and can take years, as many investors discovered painfully over the past decade." Well, take a look at why this time is different.

Q&A: Jenny Rooke, Lena Wu on Crunchbase News Jenny Rooke, founder of early-stage life sciences venture firm Genoa Ventures, and Lena Wu, CEO of Intabio, got to know each other in 2017 when Genoa Ventures led the company’s $2 million seed financing. Four years later, Intabio has been recently acquired and Jenny and Lena take a moment to look ahead, what makes their relationship so special, and how they moved on up in biotech.

Deep Tech and the Great Wave of Innovation Deep tech is being heralded as the 4th wave of innovation. Picture the early 90s, when the Internet was starting to get traction. That’s how we need to think of this 4th wave. BCG and Hello Tomorrow have been working together looking at what makes our ecosystem so special.

As always, thank you for reading – Hamdi