Anil Narasimha, the CEO of our portfolio company Mekonos, has done an interview with Dan Gonzales and Earl Valencia on the Startup Mindsets podcast, discussing entrepreneurship in the biology space – click here to listen: https://anchor.fm/startupmindsets/episodes/Biology-and-Entrepreneurship-with-Anil–CEO-of-Mekonos-enmh1c
Dr Laura Domigan, Professor Warren McNabb, and Glenda Lewis have penned a piece in Stuff about the growth of cellular agriculture and artificial meats in New Zealand. It’s not just chicken or beef, but also the potential to grow shellfish, eggs, and milk products with a wider variety of nutritional profiles. New Zealand is well placed to be a world-leader in this area of research and move towards commercialisation of these technologies.
Read more here: https://www.stuff.co.nz/science/300150953/synthetic-meat-highly-possible-in-the-next-decade
The most recent Startup Investment New Zealand report, prepared by PwC and the Angel Association of New Zealand, highlights the growth of local deep tech investment. While the total investment activity has dipped slightly due to COVID-19, deep tech investment has been strong with a lot of interest and deal flow in this space.
Read more here (NZ Herald Premium paywall): https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/startup-investment-pwc-sees-deep-tech-impact/3M5RUNHYUZOMT7XORWTJSCBB5E/
Coherent Solutions, a early-stage high-tech start-up focusing on optical communication and photonics test and measurement equipment has rebranded to reflect the company’s broadening portfolio of products. Applications include the test of fibre-optic cables, data centres, LIDAR-enabled autonomous vehicles, and more. The company was founded in 2012, and is soon considering a Series B raise, demonstrating how long deep tech companies can take to get to success, but that success can be very large when they get there!
Read more here: https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU2009/S00311/coherent-solutions-rebrands-to-quantifi-photonics-and-sets-sights-on-us24-trillion-global-market.htm
Congratulations to the team at PowerON for establishing the MEiTNER (Mulitfunctional Dielectric Electronics for Next Generation Soft Robotics) research group at TU Dresden as part of a 2 million Euro research grant over six years.
“Flexible robot systems will open up completely new applications that seem unimaginable to engineers today. We draw inspiration from the natural world around us – the end result of millions of years of evolution.” says Dr. Markus Henke, MEiTNER group leader at TU Dresden and PowerON’s CEO.
Read more here: https://www.poweron.one/new-robots-step-forward-meitner-begins/
Andy Shenk from UniServices has written a piece celebrating the launch of the fifth Momentum Investment Committee in the Manawatū.
The team at Matū are proud to support Momentum, both through our sponsorship of the Momentum Student Entrepreneur of the Year award, and through our participation on most of the Momentum committees. Through our engagement with Momentum, we can share our experience and expertise with both student entrepreneurs and student investment committee members, and help build capability within the next generation of the investment ecosystem.
Laura Faulconer from WNT Ventures has written a great blog post detailing some key lessons around negotiating terms for seed-stage deals. It’s natural for founders to be wary of investors and their terms, but it’s important to develop trust and to find investors that you know are looking out for the collective interest of the company and its future. Trust is pretty critical, because once it’s gone it can be very difficult to rebuild – and investors talk to each other.
Vijay Pande and Andy Tran from Andressen Horowitz have penned a piece about the top 16 open problems that they can see in engineering biology, particularly in the pharma space. There are a number of “traditional” methods waiting to be disrupted, from animal testing to computational modelling. Our portfolio company Mekonos is targeting problem #6 – engineering delivery systems.
Read the full article here: https://a16z.com/2020/07/22/16-open-problems-engineering-biology/
Congratulations to the team at Aroa Biosurgery, which is listing today on the ASX with a valuation of AUD$225mil. Originally known as Mesynthes, Aroa has been developing wound dressings and soft tissue regeneration products since 2008. Getting the company all the way through to exit is a huge milestone for everyone involved, with congratulations in particular to Movac for putting a lot of time and effort into guiding and shepherding the company through to this stage.
and the Aroa Biosurgery press release here: https://aroabio.com/blog/news_article/aroa-biosurgery-to-list-on-the-asx-in-225m-ipo
TechCrunch has an interesting interview with Ashmeet Sidana, founder of Engineering Capital, a VC fund in the US that focuses on interesting engineering and technology. There are a lot of similarities with our approach, working closely with research institutions to find interesting science and technology. We do also look at markets and customers though, because sometimes cool technology doesn’t just “sell itself”.