Deep Science Ventures (11-50 Employees, 11% 2 Yr Employee Growth Rate)
Deep Science Ventures is creating a future in which both humans and the planet can thrive.
We use our unique venture creation process to create, spin-out and invest into science companies, combining available scientific knowledge and founder-type scientists into high-impact ventures.
We operate in 4 sectors: Pharmaceuticals, Energy, Agriculture and Computation, tackling the challenges defining those areas by taking a first principles approach and partnering with leading institutions.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The Tropical Agriculture & Bioeconomy Initiative (TABI) is a Costa Rica based DSV program designed to deliver high tech and venture-backable startup companies to realise the vision and principles of Costa Rica’s National Bioeconomy Strategy. Candidates who join this program to start new companies will work with DSV and local Costa Rican partner institutes to create technologies that can accelerate Latin American and tropical agricultural economies toward resilient, decarbonised, regenerative and value-added production systems and circular bioeconomies. Candidates will be expected to relocate to Costa Rica during the program, and base significant operations of their company in the country.
Costa Rica is a world leader in sustainability, agriculture and biodiversity conservation. With deep expertise and human resources in the life sciences, free trade agreements with two thirds of the planet’s population, and 12 microclimates that support 5% of the world’s biodiversity, Central America’s most advanced nation exports over 4000 different agricultural products whilst being largely powered off renewable electricity and having 50% of its land devoted to national parks. Costa Rica offers excellent tax advantages for investors, and free trade zones to support the development of high growth businesses, and frequently ranks as being the happiest country in the world.
In addition to entrepreneurship training from DSV, Candidates on the program will have access to TABI program partner experts and advisors from leading local institutions: EARTH University and Center of Tropical Agricultural Research and Education (CATIE), as well as the CR BioMed Cluster and Costa Rican lnvestment Promotion Agency (CINDE). The program is generously funded by Fundación CRUSA.
Whilst each Opportunity Area in the program has been inspired by the nation’s National Bioeconomy Strategy, new companies will find rich regional and global markets to tap into to support the expansion of the company’s initial operations from Costa Rica to other similar bioeconomies.
As the environmental costs of traditional materials have become more widely recognised, the demand for sustainable building materials has risen. The already $217 billion Green Building market is expected to reach $384 billion by 2025 (CAGR of 12.6%). A promising strategy that meets green building initiatives is the implementation of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) for the construction of low- and mid-rise buildings due to its high prefabrication rate (driving shortening of projects and higher profitability), convenient transportation, fast installation, and carbon negativity. Such materials have wide applications in other sectors as well, for instance the global market for wood pallets now exceeds $65 billion and demand could also be met with replacements for traditional wood.
However, current wood sources used to fabricate CLT – hardwoods and softwoods – take time to reach maturity and require trees to be cut down (generally the opposite outcome in terms of the Planetary Regeneration we are targeting). While many new wood product forests are renewable, the gold standard will be to leave as many mature trees in the ground as possible and find better alternatives to expand the use, uptake and affordability of sustainable wood materials.
OUR TAKE ON BUILDING VENTURES IN THIS SPACE
Our goal is to innovate in the materials and construction sector to reduce tree felling by developing alternative wood materials for use in wood pallets, furniture and construction materials while remediating degraded soils with fast-growing non-tree crops. We are open to a wide range of grown material concepts that align with our goal to create composite construction materials using a wide range of inputs, with the goal of developing rapidly replaceable sources that provide the material strength required for construction markets in the long term, and intermediate products and company revenue in the short-term – all while restoring production sites on abandoned agricultural lands. One proposed novel wood source, bamboo, has the desirable property of fast growth (reaching maturity within three years depending on the species), low agronomical maintenance (can grow in abandoned plantations), tensile strength higher than steel when processed appropriately, and it can be grown in soils not suitable for agroforestry or agriculture.
This opportunity area will be part of our Tropical Agriculture & Bioeconomy Initiative based in Costa Rica, a country with a breadth of climate zones supporting 4000 agricultural products and their waste streams that have already provided the foundation for a rapidly growing biomaterials science sector. Not only does Costa Rica serve as an ideal testbed to develop novel biomaterials from these diverse inputs, but it is one of the only countries to have successfully reversed deforestation despite a shortage of timber and a rising demand for construction materials and wooden pallets to support its growing agricultural export sector. Like many other nations, Costa Rica’s construction and materials sectors would benefit greatly from innovative domestically-produced materials, making the country an excellent location for both research and development, as well as early market launches before product expansion to similar larger markets and biomes, such as Mexico and Colombia. The opportunity area will receive support from the Biomaterials Hub being built at the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE).
We have spent several months developing initial concepts with our partners on the above so you can hit the ground running. However, if you have your own radical ideas on improving current technologies and addressing the goals stated above – or any other cutting-edge approach that would impress us – we strongly encourage you to apply.
WHO SHOULD APPLY
- We’re looking for a candidate with deep technical expertise in at least one of the following: biomaterials, material sciences, environmental engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, biowaste processing systems, polymer chemistry, protein chemistry, synthetic biology, plant biology or agronomy.
- We are especially interested in candidates with a good understanding of at least one of the following: biomass conversion technologies, fermentation technologies, bioreactor technologies, composite wood materials technologies, organic waste processing, synthetic biology, adhesives, construction-grade materials, timber and wood technology, forestry, bamboo or related fields.
- You’ll likely have done an M.Sc. or Ph.D. in any of (or similar): chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, synthetic biology, chemistry, or had extensive professional experience in the field.
- Professional experience in producing valuable (or value-added) compounds from biomass, developing renewable materials for replacement technologies, or optimising energy-intensive technologies to become environmentally friendly in a corporate or startup environment is desirable.
- You are passionate about finding solutions to create construction biomaterials, restore overused soils, promote native forest growth, and launch a circular bioeconomy for domestic export.
- You have a strong desire to build a company and a team that will make a huge positive impact on sustainable agriculture, and cannot wait to get started!
We are a team of operators who have founded companies and led translation of science at some of the most respected universities, charities, funds and government agencies. 2/3 of the team have founded or led a company at C-suite and 65% have a PhD. We are deeply involved in each company, helping across:
Exploration: To deconstruct the Next Generation Construction Biomaterials opportunity area and identify possible approaches for venture spin-out.
We offer mentorship and guidance through weekly deep dive work sessions, access to our opportunity insights and knowledge base, access to a global network of experts, access to a community of other science Founders working on launching their own companies, and a curated collection of resources and proprietary tools.
Building: To build a team of co-founders and advisors around the most promising approach(es).
We offer Co-Founder(s) sourcing and assessment via our proprietary tools, advisory board sourcing, advice on technical and commercial investment milestones, co-development of technical roadmap and go to market strategy, investment readiness pre-launch with further focus on technical and commercial proof, customer development support.
Accelerating: To secure capital and focus on technical proof-of-concept development with the support from our industry partners.
We offer £250k pre-seed investment, access to our industry network, advice on follow-on fundraising strategy, including introductions to seed investors and potential customers from our global network, support with term sheet negotiation, supporting grant applications to leverage further non-dilutive funding and value uplift and access to a community of seasoned science founders in our portfolio.
Additionally, we provide a monthly stipend of £2,916 so that you’ll have guaranteed income before you’re able to secure the pre-seed investment. In other words, we pay you to start your own company. We also cover pre-investment expenses that are crucial for the development of the idea/project.u to start your own company. We also cover pre-investment expenses that are crucial for the development of the idea/project.