Laura Deming (@laurademing) joins Erik in downtown San Francisco on this episode of Venture Stories. She is the creator of Longevity Fund, a venture capital firm investing in companies that will let humans live both longer and healthier.Erik starts by asking about the state of longevity science and which discoveries about aging Laura is most excited about. It turns out that certain animals don’t age the way that humans do and that there are certain animals that are similar to each other (like rats and naked mole rats) that nevertheless have wildly different life expectancies. These discoveries have Laura very excited about the possibilities for extending the human lifespan — in fact, she compares them to “finding gold in your living room” and says they don’t get enough attention.They talk about why creating a venture fund is the best way for Laura to make an impact on this problem as well as the realities of venture funding in the life sciences space. Laura explains why returns are so important.Erik asks how those of us who are not scientists can get involved in the space and which companies Laura is most excited about. She also runs through some of her requests for startups in the field.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Colin Campbell is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Laura Deming is Founding Partner @ The Longevity Fund, the first VC firm dedicated to funding high-potential longevity companies. To date, Laura has raised $26m across 2 Longevity funds and has backed the likes of Unity Biotechnology, Precision Biosciences, Metacrine, Navitor, and Alexo Therapeutics. Prior to Longevity, Laura was accepted to MIT at the age of 14 to study physics and then dropped out to join the Thiel Fellowship and start The Longevity Fund. If that wasn't enough, Laura most recently founded Age1, a four-month startup accelerator program focused on founders creating longevity companies. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn: 1.) How Laura made her way from studying physics at MIT at just 14 to founding The Longevity Fund and dropping out to join The Thiel Fellowship? 2.) As a 16-year-old, looking to raise a fund to invest in longevity, how was the fundraise process for Laura? Why does Laura believe that raising your first fund is very much like raising a seed round for a company? What was the catalytic moment when the fundraise started to come together? What were the biggest challenges of the raise? 3.) Why does Laura believe that there is a shortage of young biotech founders today? What can be done to solve this and increase pipe? How does Laura find biotech founders compare to more traditional consumer and B2B founders she engages with? How does what they look for from their investor base differ? 4.) Laura has spoken before of "the importance of going against the herd"? How does Laura assess the current landscape for biotech investing? Is Laura concerned to see the entrance of much more traditional VCs into the space? How does Laura look to try and avoid groupthink? What is crucial to this? 5.) How does one need to think about portfolio construction when investing in an inherently riskier biotech space? Does Laura agree with the conventional wisdom around the lack of follow-on funding for biotech companies? How does Laura think about reserve allocation with Longevity today? Items Mentioned In Today’s Show: Laura’s Fave Book: The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain, Laura’s Most Recent Investment: System1 As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Laura on Twitter here! Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.
Laura Deming is a partner at The Longevity Fund. They invest in companies that will allow us to live longer and healthier lives.You can learn more about them at Longevity.vc.Laura’s on Twitter @LauraDeming.The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.***Topics00:22 - Why focus on longevity now?2:12 - How did Laura get started in longevity?3:22 - Why raise a fund?5:52 - What does Laura do personally for longevity?9:07 - Worm and mouse studies10:44 - Craig's personal habits12:37 - Human studies15:22 - Mica asks - Do you think immortality is going to be achieved by: 1. Curing all disease and stop aging so we could live with our own bodies forever 2. OR is going to be something like porting our brain, "mind" to a computer/robot?17:37 - Most likely strategies to increase lifespan19:47 - Ryan Hoover asks - Ask about the ethics of longevity. Jack J. Fernandes asks - Do people actually want to live longer?21:44 - Mica asks - How would immortality change society? Wouldn't we become more complacent? Since we have "forever" to do things wouldn't that diminish our rate of innovation? And since less new individuals are being created we would have access to less new ideas. We would just stop creating new Newtons, Einsteins, Mozarts…24:52 - Cognitive enhancement25:52 - Daily habits34:12 - Tech environment changes in the past 5-10 years39:22 - What percentage of people in labs want to start companies?41:37 - Pioneer43:57 - Confidence45:52 - Podcasting49:12 - Choosing media to consume52:17 - Sam Betesh asks - The last thing that led to a step function change in average life span was germ theory. What new areas of research might provide the next step function change?55:07 - Extending fertility windows57:22 - Jason Choi asks - What % of longevity is attributable to lifestyle choices vs genetics and the progress of technology in influencing both.58:37 - Fatih asks - is blood transfusion a thing or just a hoax1:00:42 - Rapamycin1:02:27 - Testosterone1:04:37 - Chris asks - Aubrey De Grey, IIRC, mentioned a number of times that we might, in the future, replace organs and tissues with new organic ones before they fail. Is this actually a reasonable idea, or is it more likely that we'll replace them with synthetic ones, if we replace them at all?1:06:07 - Mica asks - Laura did a "cookie diet" for one month. Why did you do it? How did you feel? Doesn't it go against all the research on longevity? ;-)1:08:07 - Is Laura actually not doing anything strange in her diet?
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Laura Deming, a 24-year-old longevity investor to talk about young scientists (3:05), the goal of the Longevity Fund (4:30), her incubator Age 1 (5:55), starting out as a 11-year-old (7:00), skipping school (10:00), getting funded by Peter Thiel (11:40), raising a venture capital fund as a teenager (13:15), targeting ageing through specific diseases (15:00), her goal (16:20), trying to become superhuman (18:45), “de-ageing” beetles (21:00), whether we should actually try to defeat ageing (23:00), how a little money can go a long way (25:10), who has invested in her fund (27:25), the key scientific advancements (28:35), the effects we’ll start to see first from this revolution (32:30), turning off menopause (34:45), the next step in our evolution (38:50), and winning over the sceptics (40:45). Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/dannyinthevalley.
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