AVX February 2021 Update

Ahmet-Hamdi Cavusoglu

February 1, 2021

Welcome to February! As I find myself repeatedly typing for the past year - what a wild month it has been, even if you only showed one day a week. Looking for something else to catch up on? Well, how about this Panel for Research Institutions where the Chair for AVX, John Pyrovolakis, joined Jared Evans (AF Ventures), Col. Jason Mello (AFOSR), and Kristen Hayduk (NSIN) discuss the challenges and opportunities for research spin-offs - especially timely as DARPA recently shared their 2021 technology priorities and In-Q-Tel revealed IQT Emerge to support early-stage technologies with commercialization guidance and support. Or maybe you are more interested to look ahead. Well, have you registered for the AUTM 2021 Annual Meeting in March? You should, especially to dial in to a great panel on How to Launch More Start-Ups, Faster and Stronger. Though don't take only my word for it. Or maybe you prefer to really plan out ahead? Then be sure to set aside some time for the 2021 Yale Innovation Summit in May and Equalize 2021 in September.

Additionally, I'd like to share some space on two exciting non-profits: BLCK VC and Theia. BLCK VC is equipping Black investors with the access, education, and community they need to accelerate their careers in venture capital. BLCK VC aims to transform venture capital into an inclusive engine for change and generational wealth creation by shifting the demographics of the venture industry to mirror the diversity of this nation. Theia is dedicated to inspiring and empowering women to change healthcare through entrepreneurship. Healthcare, unlike other industries, does not have a “women in healthcare” problem, but a “women in healthcare leadership” problem. Theia is empowering more women to take ownership of their ideas and translate them into companies and more allies to support them.

Have other efforts that we should shout out? Please email me!

In this newsletter, I will 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 10,347 total connections and conversations on the AVX network - 509 more over the last month (5% month over month growth!). We are currently tracking 17 potential match negotiations and another 152 with multi-month long discussions heading toward possible matches (and a handful of matches in stealth). We have now actively connected 520 different ventures (out of 1390+ examined) with 1261 different entrepreneurs and investors (out of a pool of 3000+)

Top February Digital Events

Feb 11: Rare Diseases - Inside the Veil of BD Evaluations With investment levels in rare & ultra-rare diseases increasing, are they all attractive for biotechs & venture capital? What factors are executives & investors looking for in new opportunities? Please join a panel of industry veterans for discussion and Q&A “Inside the Veil” of rare disease business development evaluations.

Feb 25: 2021 Weill Cornell Medicine Startup Symposium Cornell Med's Startup Symposium and investor conference will bring together entrepreneurs and investors from across the NYC biotech startup ecosystem and features a morning of keynotes and panels, followed by an afternoon of presentations from Cornell's newest ventures and the opportunity for startups to meet with investors. Need more? Well, prepare for a Keynote from Dr. Robert Langer as well as details on Launching Companies Out of Academia.

Feb 25: The Orbital Lab Over the past 20 years, humans have had a continuous presence in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) where we have used the International Space Station (ISS) to study the effects of microgravity, revealing it to be a unique environment for studying biological processes that yield important insights for biotech and pharmaceutical discovery and development. Axiom and its partners are building the next generation life science research and manufacturing facility in LEO with tools and hardware comparable to modern labs on Earth. Elevating these capabilities in space helps support and drive biomedical research endeavors that benefit humanity on Earth, including the development, testing and manufacturing of new drugs and therapies.


Feb 1-7: Building for Digital Health

Feb 2: Axios Corporate America’s Climate Impact

Feb 3: GeoInnovation National Speaker Series

Feb 5: UC Launch Demo Day 2021

Feb 9: Reimagining Energy for the DOD

Feb 10: A Dialogue on the Future of Healthy Aging

Feb 10: Help Fast-Track the U.S. Army's Transition to Electric Vehicles

Feb 11: Rare Diseases - Inside the Veil of BD Evaluations

Feb 16: Emerging Technology at Lilly Gateway Labs

Feb 17: Diversity in Life Science Venture Capitalism

Feb 19: Additive Manufacturing for Defense

Feb 22-25: Startup Grind Global Conference

Feb 25: 2021 Weill Cornell Medicine Startup Symposium

Feb 25: The Orbital Lab

Mar 2-30: 2021 Human Systems Digital Experience

Mar 8: Chardan Virtual Microbiome Medicines Summit

Mar 9: 9th Annual UCLA MedTech Partnering Conference 2021

Mar 18: How to Launch More Start-Ups, Faster and Stronger

Apr 27-28: InvestMidwest 2021

May 18-21: Yale Innovation Summit 2021

Some Thought Pieces

Equal access to capital and entrepreneurship is the final civil rights movement For the start of Black History Month, I suggest that you take 20 minutes to check out this contributed article by Joseph Heller, CEO and founder of Supplied. Joseph shares a deep and personal look at the challenges still seen today for minorities in both entrepreneurship and fundraising.

Deep Dive Into Deep Tech Incubation Revisit the National Science Foundation's four-part Deep Dive Into Deep Tech Incubation webinar series which showcased talks by top thought leaders about how they are impacting the deep tech incubation ecosystem and accelerating commercialization for deep tech startups.

How to Fix the Incentives in Cancer Research From Freakonomics Radio, This podcast offers an excellent update on various efforts to cure cancer. From the days of the 1970s, when some thought curing cancer would just take a few years, to cutting-edge research taking place today, this analysis outlines what is working and what isn't. Sadly, one of the impediments is the competitive nature of modern research, which leads to important data not being shared. The hope is that the collaboration prompted by the search for a COVID-19 vaccine might inspire similar collaboration on cancer research.

Should Universities Try to Capture More Value from Their Research? The days of large corporations dominating the R&D landscape have faded a bit, with universities now playing a key role in various R&D pipelines. Setting aside the question of whether universities, many of which operate with public support, should strive to commercialize their research, Prof. David Hsu looks at what makes some schools better than others at cashing in with patents and other commercial developments across two papers. In light of the popularity of last month's Term Sheet Recommendations for Launching University Life Science Startups, I anticipate that this will be a popular read across the AVX community!

IQT Emerge will work with government agencies to identify early-stage technologies with the highest potential for commercial success. We will foster interactions and connections between the developers of that early stage technology and entrepreneurs earlier in the innovation pipeline and provide commercialization guidance and support, with a goal of increasing the likelihood for commercial success in support of U.S. national security efforts.

University Technology Licensing Program Fifteen of America’s leading research universities (Brown, Caltech, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, the University of Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern, Penn, Princeton, SUNY Binghamton, UC Berkeley, UCLA, the University of Southern California, and Yale) launched the University Technology Licensing Program LLC (UTLP). UTLP provides widespread, convenient, and efficient access to valuable inventions.

Developing Others & Giving Back Glen Tullman is the Founder and former Executive Chairman and CEO of Livongo Health, the first at-scale consumer digital health company to truly empower people with chronic conditions to live better and healthier lives using data science. Tullman led Livongo through the largest consumer digital health IPO in history and the industry’s largest merger to date between Livongo and Teladoc Health, valuing Livongo at $18.5 billion and beginning a new era of consumer centric virtual care. In this episode, Tullman talks about how helping others with their personal development has been a priority through his career.

The Real Story Behind Why Foursquare's Dennis Crowley Stepped Down as CEO Why should you dive into this? Well, check out this opening excerpt: “Gentlemen, if you have something to say to me, just say it. Just break the news,” Crowley told them. They looked confused and asked what “news” he was talking about. “You guys aren’t here to fire me right now?” he said. To which they responded, “What’s wrong with you? We just wanted to check in before the holidays.”

Innovate Next 2021 SVB's inaugural healthcare summit. Companies, investors and partners from 28 countries were treated to a one-of-a-kind event where global leaders in healthcare and technology shared their insights into shared challenges and opportunities. Now you can replay the sessions where innovators and industry thought leaders weighed in on the issues having an outsized impact on our future.

As always, thank you for reading – Hamdi