Announcing the SOSV Climate Tech Agenda

Welcome to the agenda for the main stage of the SOSV Climate Tech Summit. The event is virtual, free and will be held on Oct. 25-26, starting at 8 a.m. PDT. Register today. 

The main stage features conversations between the world’s top climate founders and investors across all the major categories of climate tech – from energy to industry and food. The conversations will be moderated by editors and reporters from TechCrunch, Bloomberg, The Economist, MIT Technology Review and more. 

In addition to the sessions below, there will also be a track of more than 20 live breakout sessions led by the top early stage investors, including SOSV (HAX and IndieBio), Khosla Ventures, DCVC, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Lowercarbon Capital, Energy Impact Partners, Fifty Years, World Fund, Pale Blue Dot, MCJ Collective and more. Their presentations are designed to help founders understand better how these firms make investment decisions. Register today.

The SOSV Climate Tech Summit is designed to convene the emerging climate tech startup and investment ecosystem, which is relatively new and very global. More than 70 new venture climate funds launched in the past year, and hundreds of new climate-focused startups took shape. The summit aims to expand access to information within the ecosystem and deepen the person-to-person connections essential to startup ecosystems. 

Join us at the SOSV Climate Tech Summit and get to know the people, startups and investors building the this vital tech ecosystem.

The Agenda

Biotherapeutics company Prellis Bio appoints new CEO, raises $35M series C

Biotherapeutics company Prellis Biologics (IndieBio SF05 2017) has appointed Michael Nohaile, PhD as its new CEO, according to a Business Wire press release, “Prellis Biologics Appoints New CEO, Raises $35 Million in Series C Funding to Leverage Human Immune System Biology to De-Risk and Accelerate Therapeutics Drug Discovery and Development”

Prellis Biologics CEO Michael Nohaile, PhD
Prellis Biologics CEO Michael Nohaile, PhD. Source: Business Wire

The company also announced a $35 million in a series C funding round, co-led by Avidity Partners and Celesta Capital. The funding round received support from SOSVKhosla VenturesTrue Ventures, and Lucas Venture Group—bringing Prellis Biologics total funding to date to $64.5 million, Business Wire reports.

Prellis Bio’s industry-leading two-photon holographic technology supports 3D printing of large, complex tissue co-culture systems, such as LNOsTM (Lymph Node Organoids) that recapitulate human immune responses in vitro. The EXIS platform incorporates LNOs for the discovery of fully human antibodies with broad genetic diversity in as little as three to four weeks. In addition, EXIS enables assessment of immunogenicity in response to therapeutic candidates.

“The LNO technology represents a significant breakthrough in access to human immunobiology. Previously, immune cells were expected to respond without the biological context of a functional lymph node,” said Dr. Melanie Matheu, the founder of Prellis. “With 3D printed LNOs, we have the opportunity to accelerate drug discovery and development, while acquiring data on human immune responses all outside of the context of a clinical trial.”

Dr. Nohaile joins from Generate Biomedicines and succeeds Dr. Matheu, who will assume the role of Chief Technology Officer and retain a Board seat. Dr. Nohaile brings deep industry experience and expertise in leveraging innovative technologies for therapeutic discovery and development. Prior to his role as Chief Scientific Officer of Flagship company Generate Biomedicines, he was SVP of Strategy, Commercialization, and Innovation at Amgen, and Global Head of Molecular Diagnostics at Novartis.

“I am honored to join the Prellis Bio team and to partner with Melanie and the entire Prellis team to further build on their inspiring vision for the next generation of medicines,” Dr. Nohaile said in the press release. “This new chapter and investment will enable our team to bring better medicines to patients who desperately need them.”

Canaery raises $4M to make dog’s nose into neural scent interface

Image of dog head and nose

In “What does a dog’s nose know? A.I. may soon tell us”, Fortune spotlights Canaery (IndieBio SF11), a startup replicating the olfactory abilities of dogs with neurotechnology. In a seed funding round led by Breakout Ventures, Canaery recently raised $4M, according to Fortune. Dolby Family Ventures, KdT Ventures, and SOSV participated in the round. 

Canaery is developing a small electrode array to be placed on a dog’s olfactory bulb, picking up signals when neurons in the bulb fire and sending that data wirelessly to a computer attached to the dog’s collar. Fortune reports that Canaery is also training AI software to associate scents with particular firing patterns. The company, which will launch field trials of its technology using rats by the end of 2022, foresees its end product revolutionizing applications from border security to medical diagnosis. 

Canaery’s founder and CEO Gabriel Lavella told Fortune, “This does for scent what machine vision did for sight.”

Watch IndieBio NY’s Spring 2022 Class 04 Demo Day

It was definitely a night to remember! After months of hard work, many came together to celebrate the milestones and accomplishments our Class 04 companies achieved during our Spring 2022 program. The event began with opening remarks from Joan Spivak, Senior Director, Life Sciences for Empire State Development, an organization that we are proud to partner with as we work together to build and strengthen the life science and deep tech ecosystem here in New York and beyond. In addition to hearing about each company’s mission, IBNY’s Program and Partnership Coordinator, Maddy Behr detailed what our unique startup development program offers to each team and ways that industry and professional experts can collaborate with us while Alex Hall-Daniels and Lindsay Atkeson, IBNY’s Business Analysts, discussed upcoming future trends in human and planetary health. After each company shared how they were solving issues across three sectors (Therapeutics, Diagnostics, and Industrial and Agriculture Tech), there was a palpable excitement and energy to help these teams succeed in the room. Below, you can find a detailed list of each company and ways to contact them to learn more.

Interested in applying? We are currently accepting applications for our upcoming IBNY05 Fall 2022 cohort here.

Therapeutics

Diagnostics

Industrial and Agricultural Tech

Meet Pae Wu, the new general partner at SOSV’s IndieBio in San Francisco

Pae Wu photo

Pae Wu is the newest general partner at SOSV. She runs IndieBio SF with fellow SOSV general partner Po Bronson. Pae is also the CTO of the program. 

Prior to joining IndieBio in 2020, Pae served as the Scientific Director of Telefónica’s moonshot factory – Alpha (Barcelona), Science Director at the US Office of Naval Research – Global (Singapore), and technical consultant at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  She holds degrees in Electrical Engineering from Duke (PhD) and Princeton (BS).

Here are a few questions we asked Pae to mark the start of her new role.

Pae Wu photo
SOSV General Partner Pae Wu

Why IndieBio? 

Simply put, this place is an enabler of people who have great ideas and a genuine desire to bring positive change to the world. There are those in the industry who gate-keep and those who enable – I wanted to be with the enablers. 

But wait, you’re not a biologist, you’re an electrical engineer! How does that work?

I was met with a lot of resistance

Actually not true at all – I came out of academia at a time when biology was hitting its stride as something humans could engineer.  I was lucky to help the US government deploy huge sums of early R&D funding to accelerate biology’s transition into an engineering discipline.  The last decade or so, my portfolio has expanded to encompass the broad intersection between engineering and biology.  Really what I’ve learned through the years is that the most interesting new technologies emerge at the interfaces of seemingly disparate disciplines – semiconductors and molecular biology, neurobiology and phase-change materials.  So pretty much I spend my days mashing up topics that pique my curiosity.  

Engineers basically look at the world and try to figure out how to control systems to do useful things.  This is applicable whether the system in question is living or not.  What I’m saying is, if a company is trying to build a business that solves a big problem, there are inputs and outputs that matter and it’s OK to me if it’s electrons, photons, or neurons. 

What’s been the biggest surprise since you started working with biology-based startups?

What’s been exhilarating in my time here at IndieBio is how committed our team is to the mission of solving problems of human and planetary health.  That’s allowed us to really flex the definition of what is an IndieBio company.  Beyond biology, we’ve taken a more agnostic approach to solving problems like the decarbonization of heavy industries, to include physics and chemistry-based technologies.  

IndieBio is a place of great optimism.  Every day I’m inspired by our founders who have the mettle to see big existential problems as an opportunity to do an audacious thing.  Most of them leave academia or healthy careers to bring this thing to reality out of a sense of mission.  Here in the Ivory Basement, as Arvind calls it, I am constantly reminded of what a huge responsibility we have to these founders to launch sector-defining companies both from souvenirs left by the amazing alumni Arvind, Po, Jun, Alex, Parikshit, and Maya nurtured all these years and from the constant energy of the current founders pulling the long hours in the lab.  

IndieBio covers a lot of ground, from pharmaceuticals to bioreactors, CRISPR technologies and alternative proteins. How do you make sense out of all that? 

Very carefully. 

Is there such a thing as too much non-dilutive money?

There is such a thing as too much of the wrong kind of non-dilutive money.  One thing that I remind founders is that the cadence of capital from the government does not align with the cadence of execution for a venture-backed start-up.  Plus, it’s only mostly free money – trust me, I’ve read the required proposals, budgets, and reports and know the time and energy those take to generate. 

The ecosystem is growing flush with other forms of non-dilutive support for deep tech founders, which is largely great, as long as start-ups continue to move quickly.  There’s a reality behind the romantic vision of the lean and gritty start-up.   

In short: Don’t let your non-dilutive funding steer your execution.       

Can you tell us just one thing about DARPA that only DARPA people would know?

Sorry, I have to run to another meeting.

Meat the Future: Behind the Scenes of the Next Agricultural Revolution – December 7

Join SOSV and IndieBio for a panel discussion about the forthcoming “Meat the Future” documentary. This virtual event on December 7, 5:30-6:30 pm PT, is free and open to the public. Register on Hopin.

Told over the span of five years (2016 – 2021), the award-winning documentary Meat the Future chronicles the birth and acceleration of the cultivated meat revolution through the journey of Mayo Clinic-trained cardiologist Dr. Uma Valeti, the co-founder and CEO of Upside Foods (previously Memphis Meats). 

Tune in for a live conversation with Uma Valeti and Meat the Future Director Liz Marshall. Joining them will be Po Bronson, Managing Director of SOSV’s IndieBio, the startup program where Upside Foods produced the first ever cultured meatball in 2016. The panel will be moderated by journalist and author Amanda Little, who is in the film and writes about the environment, agriculture, and innovation. 

The group will discuss the significance of the film, the rapidly evolving cultured-meat industry, and a world where real meat is produced sustainably without the need to breed, raise, and slaughter animals. 

This event is a co-production of SOSV IndieBio and The Redford Center.

Deep Tech NYC Meetup with SOSV’s HAX and IndieBio on Nov. 17

Deep Tech NYC

Join Venture Capital firm SOSV’s deep-tech programs IndieBio and HAX, and tech networking app Supermomos, for drinks and networking.

Come enjoy drinks with deep-tech VC’s, founders, engineers, scientists, and ecosystem partners. If you’re interested in starting a company or already a founder, if you work at a tech company or are looking for a job at a deep tech startup, you’re encouraged to attend and connect! Register here.

Where: The Crooked Knife, 232 West 14th Street, New York, NY

SOSV Climate Tech 100 Startups value grows by 44% in 5 months

On Earth Day, April 22, 2021, SOSV published its SOSV Climate Tech 100 list, a collection of the top climate tech companies in our portfolio. The list was notable because the companies up to that point had raised $1.85 billion from investors (including $89 million from SOSV), and had a market cap in aggregate of $5.65 billion.

Techcrunch reported on those numbers and commented that SOSV’s “planetary health’ mission was “paying off.” We subsequently published detailed analyses of the list’s founders and investors, and we announced an Oct. 20–21 event called the SOSV Climate Tech Summit, aimed at helping the climate ecosystem move faster.

Now it’s nearly five months later, and the Climate Tech 100 list financials are due for an update. Thanks to the strength of the companies on the list as well as a powerful surge in climate tech venture investing, the financials for the 100 have taken a big step forward.

  • The SOSV Climate Tech 100 aggregate value has jumped from $5.7 billion to over $8.1 billion, an increase of 44%.
  • Total investment in the 100 increased $508 million to reach $2.36 billion, an increase of nearly 28%.
  • SOSV topped off its investments with $13.8M to reach $103 million, an increase of 15.5%.

Join IndieBio at the SOSV Climate Tech Summit

IndieBio will be a big part of the SOSV Climate Tech Summit on Oct. 20-21. The event is virtual and free. The summit’s purpose is to convene the founders, investors, technologists, corporates, media and anyone else keen to understand and accelerate the climate tech startup ecosystem. Read more about the event here. Register here.

Several IndieBio folks are a part in the programming, including Po Bronson, Arvind Gupta, Pae Wu and Gwen Cheni, and so are IndieBio alums like Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of UPSIDEFoods. There are also many speakers on the main stage, the majority in fact, who are not from SOSV and represent some the best minds at work across startup climate tech. You can see all the speakers announced so far here.

In order to help both founders and investors, one very special feature of the summit is a series of 18 breakout sessions dedicated to early stage investors, incubators and government agencies that have a strong track record working with pre-seed and seed climate tech startups. They range from SOSV’s IndieBio and HAX, to TechStars, The Engine, DVCV, MassChallenge, the NSF and ARPA-e, Greentown Labs, Energy Impact Partners, and more. Look for the full list to be published soon. The sessions will be led by senior partners at those outfits and focus on what they have to offer climate tech founders. The breakouts will be staged one after another so that founders can easily catch them all. The sessions will also be live with plenty of time for audience questions.

Finally, the summit will offer an Expo that features some of the top climate tech companies from all the programs that are offering breakout sessions. SOSV is offering Expo spots to all the companies that are part of the SOSV Climate Tech 100.

The SOSV team is working hard to produce a great event that really benefits everyone in the climate ecosystem who is working hard on breakthroughs that will help address climate change. Please join us at the event. It’s free and virtual. Register here.