Network Updates, 27 Apr. 2017
Log into TENx for complete details and RSVP information for all KF events, unless noted.
- May 4, 8-10am: KF Women’s Group breakfast, San Francisco
- May 11, 12:30-2pm: Chicago Chapter lunch
- May 14: 7-week Venture Deals online course with Brad Feld & Jason Mendelson (free)
- June 11-16: Summer modules & graduation, Classes 20-22
- June 23: New York Regional Chapter breakfast
- September 22: New York Regional Chapter breakfast
- December 8: New York Regional Chapter breakfast
- From biopsy to beef: GreenBiz interviews Andras Forgacs (Class 14) on creating in-vitro meat and leather
- Portfolio happenings: Canaan Partners (Stephen Bloch, Class 7) leads $17.4M Series B for Onkos Surgical
- Podcasts & speakers: Ramphis Castro (Class 19) to speak at WAMVentures Forum in NY • Rob Coneybeer (Class 2) interviews Lyft Chief Strategy Officer Raj Kapoor • Jennifer Fried (Class 20) interviewd on Breaking Health podcast
- This week’s blog selections: Fredrik Cassel (Class 14) recounds Spotify’s early days • Ezra Galston (Class 18) writes on the relationships needed between midwest entrepreneurs and VCs in the major hubs • Will Prendergast (Class 14) describes Frontline Ventures’ “Value Statement” for portfolio companies
- Job opportunities: (CONTINUING) Kauffman Foundation seeks a Director of Entrepreneurial Knowledge Creation and Research
From Biopsy to Beef: GreenBiz Interviews Andras Forgacs (Class 14) on Creating In-Vitro Meat and Leather
Andras Forgacs (Class 14), co-founder and CEO of Brooklyn-based Modern Meadow, was interviewed about the firm’s efforts to create the meat of the future in the GreenBiz article, “The Chicken or the Egg—or Neither.” While the industry is still in the experimental stage, the potential benefits of the bioengineering food are clearly remarkable. Rather than using genetically engineered yeast to create milk and cheese, as industry competitor Perfect Day is doing, or creating individual muscle fibers and binding them together like Maastricht University scientists, Modern Meadow grows animal tissue the old-fashioned way—using cell culture.
Yogurt, yeast, and insulin are among the familiar products produced through the basic biological process of cell division. Andras asks, “Why grow animal products from sentient animals when you can grow them from cells?” Modern Meadow’s process allows total control of the nutritive value, and ensures that all the energy input contributes to usable product without “wasting” energy in growing all the parts of the animal that go uneaten or unused. Modern Meadow, which closed a $40M Series B in mid-2016, uses the same biofabrication process to produce leather.
Google founder Sergey Brin, an investor in the Maastricht University project, commented on the lab-grown meat industry overall, saying, “If what you’re doing is not seen by some people as science fiction, it’s probably not transformative enough.”
The article is an edited excerpt from the book The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals, by Wayne Pacelle.
Canaan Partners led the recent $17.6M Series B funding for Parsippany, NJ-based Onkos Surgical, which provides high-quality implants and instruments for surgical oncologists; the firm will expand its sales, marketing, and R&D platforms with the additional capital. Stephen Bloch (Class 7) will join the Onkos board. [Press release]
Podcasts & speakers:
- Ramphis Castro (Class 19) will speak at the WAMVentures Forum in NYC next month. WAMVentures was “founded primarily to serve women and diverse business leaders” seeking to reach higher levels of excellence. The Forum will include pitch sessions from startups in the AI, robotics, and advanced technologies sectors.
- In his weekly Launchpad podcast, Rob Coneybeer (Class 2) interviews Raj Kapoor, Chief Strategy Officer for Lyft, covering topics like how Lyft plans to grow in the next several years, and how the company fits with large-scale transit plans.
- Jennifer Fried (Class 20) was this week’s guest on the Breaking Health podcast: “ExplORer Surgical Writing the Digital Playbook to Get OR Teams on the Same Page.”
This week’s blog selections:
- In a post titled “10 Years Later: Getting to Know Spotify Before Series A,” Fredrik Cassel (Class 12), Partner at Creandum, shares his experience getting involved with the firm 18 months before its official launch and initial funding round. He highlights the revolutionary nature of its technology and its timing, coming just at the demise of Napster: its first pitch was, “This needs to be better than piracy.”
- Ezra Galston (Class 18) wrote “Why the Midwest Needs Silicon Valley’s Respect,” discussing the rise of non-coastal VC firms and the entrepreneurs they fund. While it is becoming increasingly viable for startups to raise capital outside Silicon Valley, it is vital for them to cultivate real relationships that lead to credibility and respect, as most of those entrepreneurs will need to tap into the major VC markets at least by Series B.
- Will Prendergast (Class 14) wrote “Hey VC — Show Me the Statement, Not the Brochure!”, detailing how his firm, Frontline Ventures, has embarked on a process to quantitatively measure the value it adds for each of its portfolio companies, in terms of business development, access to expert knowledge, marketing, acquiring talent, and so forth. Frontline plans to create and share an annual Value Statement with each portfolio company.
If you are a Fellow or Mentor and would like to post a job at your firm or portfolio company, please email us. Jobs are removed from this list after 4 weeks.
- The Kauffman Foundation seeks a Director of Entrepreneurial Knowledge Creation and Research who will lead the design and implementation of the Foundation’s research strategy, positioning the organization as the country’s central resource and authority on entrepreneurship research. The Foundation seeks a strategic and visionary leader, someone who can anticipate trends and identify patterns in data and evidence to shape the Foundation’s entrepreneurship strategy. This person is also charged with identifying knowledge gaps that must be closed in order to advance entrepreneurship, with a special emphasis on actionable and practical research that can inform the Foundation’s programmatic strategy in entrepreneurship. The Director will report to Victor Hwang (Class 12), VP of Entrepreneurship. Read the full job description, including application information.
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