AVX March 2021 Update

Ahmet-Hamdi Cavusoglu

March 1, 2021

Conversation Statistics

We are up to 10,876 total connections and conversations on the AVX network - 529 more over the last month (over 4% month over month growth!). We are currently tracking 20 potential match negotiations and another 131 with multi-month long discussions heading toward possible matches (and a handful of matches in stealth). We have now actively connected 532 different ventures (out of 1450+ examined) with 1290 different entrepreneurs and investors (out of a pool of 3000+)

Top Digital Events

Mar 9: 9th Annual UCLA MedTech Partnering Conference 2021 UCLA Technology Development Group, in partnership with MedTech Innovator, is proud to host the 9th Annual UCLA MedTech Partnering Conference on Tuesday March 9, 2021 from 10am to 6pm. While presented virtually this year, the conference will continue to provide a unique opportunity for inventors, investors and industry executives to establish new relationships for furthering innovation in this field. The conference will feature exciting panels that highlight recent developments and cutting edge technology, there will be a demo track highlighting local innovations in medtech and partnering opportunities that will allow attendees to set up meetings with each other and UCLA faculty via the virtual conference platform.

Mar 12: Cornell Digital Health Innovations – What They Are, How to Protect Them, and Commercialization Strategies The term digital health has evolved over the years and includes various types of technologies, including telemedicine, digital therapeutics, mobile health, wearables, remote monitoring, etc. During the first session of the series, our panel of experts will provide a snapshot of the industry, will talk about strategies to protect and commercialize digital health technologies, and will address the acceleration of the digital transformation.

Mar 15-18: 2021 AUTM Annual Meeting AUTM's virtual 2021 Annual Meeting will bring you everything you love about the biggest tech transfer event of the year - including our highly anticipated, audience-driven plenary, VCs and TTOs: How to Launch More Start-Ups, Faster and Stronger. Even virtual, there is simply no other gathering like it for academic and industry professionals. The entire conference is focused on learning, networking and deal-making.

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.


Mar 2-30: 2021 Human Systems Digital Experience

Mar 3: RA Capital TV: COVID-19 Zoom Discussion

Mar 4: Biotech x Data

Mar 5: 20th Annual BPOC Private Equity Conference

Mar 8: Chardan Virtual Microbiome Medicines Summit

Mar 8-11: LAMedTechWeek

Mar 9: 9th Annual UCLA MedTech Partnering Conference 2021

Mar 10-11: theSpectrum at Scripps Research

Mar 12: Weill Digital Health Series

Mar 15-18: AUTM Annual Meeting

Mar 16-18: Bloomberg Equality Summit

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

Mar 23: Building, Funding & Growing Biotech Startups

Mar 31: Women's Health Innovation Forum - Autoimmune Health

Apr 1: Launching a Bio Startup

Apr 27-28: InvestMidwest 2021

May 18-21: Yale Innovation Summit 2021

Some Thought Pieces

Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Vaccine Approval The big piece of news this month. Wait, you don't read FDA News Releases directly? Well, to help you get up to speed (I needed it myself!), Janssen's vaccine differs from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna (both mRNA, two-shot programs) by using a specific type of virus called adenovirus type 26 (Ad26). The vaccine uses Ad26 to deliver DNA that is used to make the distinctive “spike” protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The promising upside is that this vaccine is able to travel on typical vaccine supply chains and only requires one-shot.

VC Fundraising Announcements Galore Well, it's also been a busy month for a number of VC funds announcing their closes. Sequoia announced their latest seed fund. Bessemer Venture Partners announced two more funds. Foresite Capital also announced their biggest raise to date focused on biotechs along with OrbiMed announcing today (March 1) their latest three funds. Combined with the announcement from ARCH back in late January plus the recent close for Construct Capital and Greentown Labs' 10-year, $1 Billion raise milestone (and so many others I don't have the space to update on, sorry!), it looks like it will be another active year for early-stage deep-tech/frontier-tech ventures!

A century that profoundly changed universities and their campuses The past 70+ years, universities have evolved as comprehensive research centers along with providing education and training. While many members of the AVX community may be familiar with this story in America, it is a similar, yet different, story in other English-speaking nations. It's a pleasant read. (Food for thought: the evolution of American Research Universities and US Federal Funding also lines up nicely with the evolution of the modern American VC ecosystem and deep technology venture creation.)

Superstar Cities Are in Trouble I've heard from a number of AVX members that the Zillow commercial on SNL had hit a long running fantasy of exploring real estate while going through cabin fever for the past year. The past year has offered a glimpse of the future of work, and a number of people are wondering, what does it mean for the future of big cities? Take a moment to follow Derek Thompson's (author of Hit Makers) thoughts and predictions for the future of work and connectivity.

Moving climate solutions from the lab to the real world Considering the highly variable weather we have experienced, and the tragedies due to them (looking at the recent cold snap in Texas leaving people without power, heat, or running water), the work funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) is critical for understanding and protecting our future in the face of climate change. The new Chief Commercialization Officer at the DOE, Vanessa Chan (formerly an endowed professor at UPenn), takes a moment to discuss how programs like the DOE’s Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) can help promising climate solutions reach the market.

Why did I leave Google or, why did I stay so long? While many early stage ventures dream of finding an exit, sometimes it's important to figure out the exit strategy from your exit. Here, Noam Bardin (founder of Waze) shares his thoughts on what happened with Waze and why he needed to leave. It's a great piece to read for those of you who are contemplating the next stage of your entrepreneurial journey. Money quote for me: "The problem was me - believing I can keep the start-up magic within a corporation, in spite of all the evidence showing [the] opposite."

Google is a tech giant now, but it’s been a survivalist since it started On the thought piece below, you might want to take a look on the other side - what makes the power and success of Google compelling as a tech giant? Well, take a listen of Season 3 of Land of the Giants: The Google Empire (or read the summary of Episode 2 where Alex Kantrowitz and Shirin Ghaffary recount the survivalist mentality that Google exhibits).

(And Yet) It Moves From UCSF Innovation Ventures - Why do large healthcare companies invest in academic research? What do they get when they provide resources to a university to advance scientific discoveries? Do they just walk away with the jewels of public research that become big private profits? What about the researcher whose brilliant ideas made it all possible? Are these now owned by a for-profit corporation? What about the university that has provided a scholastic environment that nurtures these brilliant minds? Who gets what? In this episode we explore the public/private alliance and discover just how it benefits both the University and the corporation.

From dorm rooms to boardrooms: How universities are promoting entrepreneurship Based of the many responses I got from last month's newsletter about the University Technology Licensing Program LLC (UTLP), I think this interview with Jennifer Dyer (Executive Director, USC Stevens Center for Innovation), Orin Herskowitz (Senior Vice President of Intellectual Property and Tech Transfer, Columbia University), an Marc De Leeuw (Partner, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP) will be of great interest! As many of us know: "The UTLP arrives as more higher education institutions are beefing up their investment in the entrepreneurial pipeline to help ... launch startups...". Dive in! Note: This is behind a paywall at TechCrunch.

As always, thank you for reading – Hamdi