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Our funds are always on the lookout for the best entrepreneurs leading companies leveraging science to offer innovative worldwide solutions within Health and Happiness. In our constant quest to that end, about a year ago our attention was drawn toward the Indian startup ecosystem — India has witnessed the launch of more than 55,000 startups to date with more than 3,200 startups raising $63 billion in funding in the last five and half years alone (Inc 42).

Home to 34 current unicorns and 52 companies with a potential to become unicorns by 2022, as the world’s second-largest startup ecosystem, India…

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Now, as Shakespeare said, is the winter of our discontent.

Covid keeps on coming, creating a third wave of infections that put the earlier upswells to shame. We are hunkered down, tired out, fed up, and strung out. People fret and businesses suffer.

What is an entrepreneur (last time I looked, entrepreneurs are people, too, subject to all the slings and arrows of human experience) to do during a dark moment like this? How can an emerging business move forward when everything is locked down?

Every entrepreneur is unique and every business different, but here are a few thoughts on…

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It has been a long year. It feels like several long years, actually, jam-packed into a few dreary months. Locked down, cooped up, hemmed in, beset by a profusion of woes, wary of illness and peeking between our fingers to see what fresh Hell comes next. 2020 hasn’t been a romp in the sun.

So, this seemed an ideal moment to return to my penchant for trenchant quotations and this time to focus on….hope.

Let’s hold our heads up, look to the brighter tomorrow and know this, too, shall pass.

“They say a person needs just three things to be…

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Neuroscience has always been a focus area for Social Starts and Joyance Partners and should continue to be due to the large and clear unmet need. Stress, anxiety, mental illness, and their associated impacts are at all-time highs. People seem desperate for solutions.

Science points toward many potential new approaches. We also recognize that there could be successful products in this space based on pseudoscience or no science at all. Pure placebo effect or adept marketing can generate short-term market winners in brain and mood products. But our goal will be to winnow out those products quickly and not invest…

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Scientific exploration of the microbiome represents the opening of one of the greatest new areas of science in decades, perhaps centuries. It has the potential to rival Einstein’s impact on physics or the double helix on understanding biology. While young, this area shows historic potential across a dizzying expanse of health and human experience.

The biome may be a main vector in how genetics and the body interact, explaining why similar genes can generate variable outcomes among populations. It may be the pathway by which the body influences the brain and vice versa. It could be the pathway for food…

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Water is essential for life and central to innumerable human activities. So we feel water is a uniquely strong investment opportunity that, driven by global warming and other factors, is only getting stronger.

Even before COVID, people were growing increasingly interested in preserving access, assuring purity, and reducing the environmental impact of processing water. COVID, with its new focus on the home as life’s center, is accelerating that desire among people to control their water supply. …

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Personal Robotics has historically been a small but solid focus area for our funds. We should continue this year as we did in 2019. That means looking hard at robots in medical/health, education, and vertical SaaS (outside manufacture). But we should only invest when we have a great entrepreneur, a great product, and a clear business model and path to exit. If we are doing our jobs right, these investments should be rare, but do quite well and seldom fail.

Our primary focus areas for the rest of this year should be:

  • Individual health, specifically motion and other forms of…

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Education is part of health and happiness as a means of intellectual and financial empowerment and as a vector for delight. Happiness can be enhanced by the acquisition of new skills. Where education was once the province only of formal institutions and largely as part of long-term pedagogical programs, today education is becoming a pure consumer product. It is available by the course, by the class, or by the experience, whenever and wherever desired. …

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Longevity and Aging Economy will be one of the core investment areas for Social Starts for the remainder of 2020. Longevity ties strongly into Health and Happiness:

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Our funds began with community. The “social” in Social Starts refers to social/mobile technology. One of our first investments was Pinterest. That first generation of community, the Pinterest/Facebook generation, was delineated by scale. Leaders at that point created evocative, even addictive, interactions that could touch billions and essentially created a new kind of public space for celebrating, declaiming, mourning, meeting, snooping, and generating influence (both positive and pernicious). This resulted in extraordinary success.

But the potential to create a new universal community, while possible (think Tik Tok), is exceedingly difficult. …

Social Starts

A $60M+ venture capital partnership with a uniquely data-driven approach to investing in moment-of-inception and Series A financing rounds.

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