ArticleSam Lessin’s recent article The End of Venture Capital as We Know It has received a lot of attention in the startup community. Lessin argues that a monumental shift in startup investing is coming to fruition as software has already eaten the world, and larger institutions continue to jump into the software venture capital market at an unprecedented rate. I think he is largely correct. I believe that today, the future of venture capital is breakthrough science transforming billions of lives in sectors like energy, transportation, infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture and human augmentation.
Thought PaperSome high-value areas in orbit around Earth are getting crowded. The number of spacecraft launched per year has increased ten-fold compared to a decade ago. Statistics vary as references are quickly obsolete with each new launch (which alone reinforces that orbital content is increasing rapidly). Regardless, the trend does not appear to be slowing. The latest Euroconsult Analysis predicts a four-fold increase in satellite launches in the next decade – or approximately 17,000 new satellites.
Thought PaperCommunication, the sharing of information, is an integral part of modern life. Access to communications at high data rates and low latencies is not yet globally assured. Several companies are hoping to service that gap by leveraging the current trends in space. This thought paper focuses on the rise of commercial low Earth orbit (LEO) communications satellites (SATCOM) – their enabling technologies and the markets they hope to service, expand, and create.
Thought PaperOver the last decade, I have been delighted to see the end of the ‘Great Stagnation’ in the aerospace industry. The upswing in aerospace technology development has been driven by a combination of advancements in materials and computers, the public’s increased appetite for technical risk, and the rise of a new Great Power Competition. This thought paper will review the fundamental physics, history, enabling technologies and current market landscape underpinning today’s high-speed flight renaissance.
Thought PaperAdditive manufacturing (AM) is on it’s third wave of adoption. Like many other technologies, the latest advances in AM reflect the lessons learned from previous attempts. Those insights have helped AM adapt to a few key deployments that will make it’s adoption successful. Overall, a key part of the adoption of AM now is using AM as part of a full stack solution that includes other robotic and automation deployments.
Thought PaperEvery kid has thought about having the ability to be invisible at least once in their life. Who doesn’t want to be Harry Potter? What if I told you that the invisibility cloak is within reach? This is only one of the multiple applications of a new class of materials called Metamaterials. Although this sounds more related to the world of wizardry, the science behind using metamaterials to build an invisibility device is real.
Thought PapersIn modern translation, Renaissance means rebirth, revival, and recovery. And if you have been watching, even a little bit, the popular press coverage around the medicinal use of psychedelics, it is easy to see why that descriptor has been attached. After a long winter of being relegated to illegal, Schedule I drugs, nature’s pharmacy of psychedelic compounds is going through a rebirth of exploration and acceptance for the treatment of an increasingly wide range of mental health issues. It has been a long time coming.
Thought PaperIn this thought paper, we’ll cover nuclear fission, which is what we typically mean by nuclear power. Today’s nuclear power plants make electricity from uranium fissioning into smaller atoms at commercial scale all over the world. Nuclear fission and nuclear fusion (which I’ve written about elsewhere) are two VERY DIFFERENT sources of energy!
WebinarLearn about the top trends and technologies in automated warehousing. Hosted by Prime Movers Lab partners Suzanne Fletcher and Dan Slomski and features panelists Matt Rendall, CEO and Co-founder of Clearpath Robotics and Otto Motors, Justin Young, Investment Manager at Prologis Ventures, and Sam Lurye, CEO and Co-founder of Kargo.
WebinarLearn about the top trends and technologies in psychedelics. Panelists include Cosmo Feilding-Mellen, CEO at Beckley Psytech, Rob Berman, MD, Adjunct Prof. of Psychiatry at Yale Medicine, CMO at Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals, and Jonathan Sporn, MD, CEO at Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals. Asst. Prof. of Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University.
Thought PaperCurrently there is a fairly sharp line between the worlds of electric power and the hydrocarbon fuels (oil and gas) we use for transportation and industrial heat. Hydrogen doesn’t play a big role in providing electricity or as a transportation fuel at the moment, but its role is set to expand, especially in Europe. Looking ahead, hydrogen could provide a solution for both sides of our energy needs: as a flexible form of energy storage to support the electric grid, and as a transportation fuel.
Thought PapersWhile nuclear fission (what we refer to as nuclear power today) is a carbon-free source of baseload power that is well established, there are several reasons that fusion would be even better. The fuel used by nuclear fission plants, Uranium-235, can be enriched to make bombs, leading to nuclear weapons proliferation concerns. Traditional nuclear plants also generate some radioactive waste, and there is the low probability of an accident leading to release.
WebinarSpeakers: Shaun Maguire | Partner at Sequoia Capital, Maryanna Saenko | Co-founder & Partner at Future Ventures, Eric Migicovsky | Partner at Y Combinator, Founder at Pebble Technology, and Ian Rountree | Founder & General Partner at Cantos Ventures
WebinarLearn about the top trends and technologies in cell-based meat. Hosted by Prime Movers Lab partners Anton Brevde and Caleb Bell, and features Brian Spears, CEO and founder of New Age Meats, Niya Gupta, CEO and founder of Fork & Goode, and Ryan Bethencourt, CEO and founder at Wild Earth.
WebinarLearn about the top trends and technologies in large-scale energy storage. Hosted by Prime Movers Lab partners Anton Brevde and Dan Slomski, and features Stephen Harper, economist and the 22nd prime minister of Canada, Ramez Naam, award winning author and professor and co-chair for Energy and Environment at Singularity University, and Rob Piconi, co-founder and CEO of Energy Vault.
Thought PaperIn this overview, we discussed why we need more fully automated systems to make our supply chains more robust in the face of labor disruptions; and we outlined some of the concepts that will be helpful for exploring automation across various sectors; the present and future role of automation in our labs and hospitals, along with some insights I have gained from working in this field as a systems engineer and hardware designer.
WebinarLearn about the top trends and technologies in precision agriculture. Hosted by Prime Movers Lab partners Suzanne Fletcher and Dan Slomski, and features the following founders and industry experts: Michael Norcia, CEO and co-founder of Pyka, Shely Aronov, CEO and co-founder of InnerPlant, and Kyle Cobb, CFO and co-founder of advanced.farm.
Thought PaperThe advent of agriculture in ancient times may have been the fundamental enabler for all known civilizations to flourish. And ready access to food remains a cornerstone to society even today. We all need to eat, and there are more of us every day. Advances in farming technology have been enabling increased crop yields since time immemorial; and nowhere is this more visible than in the last hundred years with the widespread adoption and expansion of agricultural automation.
WebinarLearn about the top trends and technologies in the portable battery industry. Hosted by Prime Movers Lab partners Anton Brevde and Dan Slomski. Panelists include Richard Wang, Founder and CEO of Cuberg, James Kaschmitter, Founder and CEO of SpectraPower, and Christine Ho, Founder and CEO of Imprint Energy.
WebinarLearn about the top trends and technologies in nuclear fusion. Hosted by Prime Movers Lab partners Dakin Sloss and Carly Anderson. Panelists include Michael Delage, CTO at General Fusion, Malcolm Handley, Former Managing Partner at Strong Atomics, Mary Woollen, Energy and Risk Management Consultant, and Bob Mumgaard, CEO at Commonwealth Fusion Systems.
WebinarLearn about the top trends and technologies in the space industry. Hosted by Prime Movers Lab partners Anton Brevde and Dan Slomski. Panelists include Col. Chris Hadfield, Former Astronaut & Commander of the ISS, Mikhail Kokorich, CEO of Momentus, and Bulent Altan, CEO of Mynaric and Former VP of Avionics at SpaceX.
Thought PaperIn this overview, we introduce graphene and other advanced forms of carbon, describing what is amazing about this material and also what is holding it back in the marketplace. We also discuss how graphene is made today, and the companies that are incorporating it into the products of tomorrow.
BlogAlthough most investors tout a founder-friendly approach, few follow through on this lofty ambition. This post explains how we at Prime Movers Lab partner with Prime Movers, the creators of breakthrough scientific inventions, to commercialize their technologies and transform billions of lives. Most importantly, we view and treat the founders of our current and potential portfolio companies as customers.
Thought PaperIn this overview, we discuss the conditions that would make carbon capture economically attractive, the status and cost of carbon capture technologies today, and how they are likely to progress. Irrespective of one’s political views, there is likely a substantial investment opportunity in the area of carbon capture.
WebinarLearn about the top trends and technologies in the microbiome industry. Hosted by Prime Movers Lab partners Carly Anderson and Gabrielle Sloss. The webinar features the following founders and industry experts: Jason Green, CEO and co-founder of Upward Farms, Dan Tomso, Chief Business Officer at AgBiome, and Stephane Culler, CEO and co-founder of Persephone Biosciences.
WebinarLearn about the top trends and technologies in the carbon capture industry. Hosted by Prime Movers Lab partners Suzanne Fletcher and Carly Anderson. Panelists include: Bill Gross, Founder of Idealab and portfolio companies Heliogen, Carbon Capture, and Flowing Energy, Professor Volker Sick: Director at Global CO2 Initiative, and Matt Lucas, Managing Director of BD at New Energy Risk.
Thought PaperThere is an ever-growing need for portable energy storage solutions ranging from cell-phone batteries to electric vehicle batteries, and from microbatteries for tiny disposable sensors to lightweight powerpacks for flying cars. This is an overview of the current state of the lithium battery industry. We explore the future of portable battery technology, and how to evaluate new battery technologies for applications ranging from electric aviation, autonomous vehicles, medical implants, to portable electronics.