Josh Wolfe, the founder of Lux Capital, spoke to students at Cornell earlier this year on the type of startups he looks for to invest.
Josh recognizes that we live in an age where science fiction is quickly becoming science fact, which is why his fund focuses on the hard sciences. He elaborates on this further with several examples at another podcast called Invest Like the Best by Patrick O’Shaughnessy, who is a friend of the show.
Another one, and this one is something that I’m really excited about and where I’m spending a substantive amount of my time at the moment, and again, I know it because everybody’s telling me, “Shut up already about this thing.” There’s a trend through the history of technology where something that was invented for a minority group, people with disabilities, ends up giving them the ability to go from disabled to abled, and then that same technological capability takes people from abled, in a sense, to superhuman or superpowered.
You can look at every sense that the human has and find an example. In eyesight, people that were visually impaired, it led to the technology of optics and ultimately to telescopes and microscopes. People who could not speak when you had speech-to-text, and then Stephen Hawking is a great example of this, that technology would lead to things like Speak & Spell and to voice recognition and all of the Siris and Alexas that we have today. Exoskeletons for paraplegics are being used by the military to create sort of these super soldiers. You can look at all these external peripheral devices and imagine how we’ve gone from disabled to abled and then from abled to superhuman.
Then I started looking at the biotech and genetics piece of this, and here’s the crazy thing. I always say that sci-fi and sci fact are sort of shrinking. That gap between that which was once imagined and that which is real keeps getting closer and closer, and there’s endless examples within the Lux portfolio of something where the founder or us were inspired by something we’ve read in a graphic novel or saw in sci-fi, and it was fiction, but now it’s real.
To learn more about his venture portfolio, listen to Josh Wolfe on Capital Allocators.
Post by Marcelino Pantoja