AVX August 2020 Update

Ahmet-Hamdi Cavusoglu

August 2, 2020

August promises to be a busy month (see below for a range of suggested events), but I wanted to take this space to point out an excellent correspondence by Jackie Grant (Abingworth) in Nature Biotechnology last month. Dr. Grant provides a mirror to the disparity in the life science VC sector (not much different from the VC sector at large), concrete steps to address this gap, and closing with a moving call to action, finishing with "[h]ow we choose to respond to this moment and the actions we take will reveal the content of our character beyond the color of our skin." Do give this a read with your morning coffee - it is very much worth your time to kick off August.

In this newsletter, I will tell you about your teams we are currently hosting on our platform and highlight a few (digital) events from around the network. No think pieces or podcasts to consume this month, sorry!

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

Conversation Statistics

We are up to 7469 total connections and conversations on the AVX network - 465 more over the last month (7% month over month growth!). We are currently tracking 13 potential match negotiations and another 79 with multi-month long discussions heading toward possible matches (and a handful of matches in stealth). We have now actively connected 448 different ventures (out of 1050+ examined) with 1030 different entrepreneurs and investors (out of a pool of 2500+).

The Spinoff Prize 2020:Nature is shining a spotlight on some of the brightest entrepreneurial ventures via a new competition showcasing start-ups originating in academic labs. And we're excited to share that Sibel Health from Northwestern University has won this inaugural award. Congratulations!

Sibel Health (Northwestern) - Networked wireless sensor system to monitor neonatal vital signs (including electrocardiogram data, blood flow volume and skin temperature) in real-time with clinical-grade precision.


NewYorkBIO Talking #Vaccines with Chris Earl (August 4): On the next episode of our Virtual Breakfast Series, we will be talking about all things #Vaccines with Chris Earl. Chris has an incredible background, having been a senior advisor to The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and Merck's Global Health Innovation Fund and CEO of Bioventures for Global Health (as well as a storied career as a biotech investor).

A Digital First Approach to COVID-19 (August 4): In this fireside chat, MATTER CEO Steven Collens will moderate a conversation with Humana Chief Digital Health and Analytics Officer Heather Cox about Humana’s response to COVID-19. The conversation will focus on the risk factors associated with COVID-19, how predictive analytics will help shape the future of healthcare and how the pandemic will change healthcare delivery and health insurance in the coming years.

Summer NYC Company Showcase (August 10): Welcome to the 6th Solebury Trout Private Company Showcase featuring presentations, panels, and 1x1s with select private biotechs on Monday, August 10, 2020 now Virtual and hosted together with White & Case and Piper Sandler. The format will include 15 minute company presentations, 1x1’s and panels throughout the day.

BioPathways with Shobha Parthasarathi (August 11): Please join us for BioPathways, a monthly speaker series featuring prominent local bioentrepreneurs, biotech execs and biotech investors. As Vice President of External Innovation & New Ventures, Shobha Parthasarathi is responsible for identifying commercialization opportunities for Xontogeny. She also supports diligence, works closely with scientific founders and entrepreneurs, and develops key relationships with the external innovation ecosystem.

TMA BlueTech Global Connect on Big Data (August 20): The BlueTech Global Connect (BGC) webinar series is designed to connect exciting BlueTech companies from around the world with potential advisors, investors and partners globally. Please join us each month to hear and virtually meet 3 great BlueTech companies using big data to offer solutions for global problems.

Immunology and Genetics of Therapeutic Antibodies for SARS-CoV-2 (August 20): This April, Amgen started work on therapeutic antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2. deCODE Genetics, an Amgen subsidiary in Iceland, is providing insights from patient samples on the genomics of the virus and individual patients. In this seminar, Kári Stefánsson, Founder & CEO of deCODE, will summarize what the company has learned about COVID-19. Ray Deshaies, Senior Vice President for Global Research at Amgen, will give us a look at how human “omics” data is providing insights into Amgen’s drug development projects.

Apply to Endless Frontier Labs (August 21): Endless Frontier Labs (EFL) is now accepting applications for their 2020-2021 cohort. EFL seeks to provide early-stage scientific and technical founders from all over the world with access to individualized, hands-on mentorship. Their mentors are serial entrepreneurs, business development leaders, experienced investors, and expert scientists. EFL is completely free and does not take any equity in startups. The program is suitable for any startup raising a seed or Series A round.

SynBioBeta (September 1-3): Join us September 1-3, 2020 to see how synthetic biology is disrupting consumer products, food, agriculture, medicine, chemicals, materials, and more. The SynBioBeta Global Synthetic Biology Conference 2020 unites the leading biological engineers, investors, innovators, and entrepreneurs who make up this fast-growing industry - all during one impactful event. Come learn the latest technologies, hear the big announcements in the field, make new partnerships, meet investors, and discover new companies.

Yale Blavatnik Showcase (September 17): Join us as we kick off the 5th year of the Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale. Along with support from Demy-Colton, this webinar will explore where several past award recipients are with their projects, and you will also have the chance to meet the latest 2021 Blavatnik Awardees.

Illinois Ignite 2020 (September 24): Join us virtually for Illinois Ignite 2020, featuring technologies and start-ups from Northwestern University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Chicago, University of Illinois-Chicago, and Illinois Institute of Technology. Hear from innovators and entrepreneurs in healthcare, IT and advanced hardware.

So long for now! – Hamdi