An Africa Venture Fund & Malleable Lifespans
Happy Thanksgiving weekend from The Deep End team. Two awesome episodes this week for you to listen to while you snack on turkey leftovers.
The Deep End is a podcast where visionary builders, creators, and experts discuss world-changing ideas. We skip the surface level and go in-depth into ideas that matter.
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🎧 Episode #38 | Launching an Africa-Focused Venture Fund with Abe Choi
Abe Choi is a prolific angel investor and CEO of Simple Dealer.
Abe has partnered with another high-profile angel investor named Olumide Soyombo to create Voltron Capital - a Pan African venture capital firm.
This is our first pure VC episode in awhile and it was refreshing to hear about some of the dynamics on the venture side as opposed to the founder side.
Africa is massive. One of our first questions that we ask Abe was about how his firm expects to develop a consistent thesis for the continent, given that Africa is so large, diverse, and spread out. He helps us learn how to think about the industries primed for growth and the regions that have developed innovative hubs throughout the region. We discuss different private & public sector partnership models that are emerging and why fin-tech startups are especially booming.
Abe also contrasts investment from his firm with investment from Chinese firms or firms from Europe.
This was a live episode recording and we had other angel investors in our live audience that were supplying questions in the chat.
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🎧 Episode #39 | Making Lifespan Malleable with Dr. Kristen Fortney
Dr. Kristen Fortney is cofounder and CEO of BIOAGE - a company working on slowing aging and treating chronic disease.
Figuring out how to live longer is an age-old problem.
For as long as humans have studied medicine, we have tried to learn which remedies, habits, and environments best position us to have a chance of long life.
Recent developments in the last few decades have, for the first time in human history, opened up the door for serious progress into understanding how humans and animals age. Last season, we had Celine on the show to talk about the work that her team is doing to improve the healthspan of dogs. Those lessons might one day be applied to humans.
Now, Dr. Fortney joins us to give us an overview of the aging field. She also shares how BIOAGE is using machine learning to develop a pipeline of therapeutic assets that increase healthspan & lifespan. Aging may be the core cause of many of the cancers and chronic diseases that wind up killing us. If we can leverage AI to help identify flawed genes, we can make lifespan truly malleable.
Plenty of exciting discussions ensue - including what the differences are between healthspan and lifespan, what it would take for the healthcare industry & regulatory bodies to approve anti aging drugs, and how we might otherwise learn how to live as long as 200 year old whales or 1000 year old trees.
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That’s all for now! If you haven’t yet, subscribe to get future issues in your inbox every Thursday.
See you next week!
- Jackson (Producer of The Deep End)