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.
The world grows 95% of its food in the uppermost layer of soil, making topsoil one of the essential components of our food system. Unfortunately, due to conventional farming practices, nearly half of the world’s topsoil has disappeared in the last 150 years, threatening crop yields and food security, and contributing to nutrient pollution, oceanic dead zones, and erosion. Historically, degraded soils are “remediated” by applying harsh agrochemical regimes to increase profits, or degraded lands are abandoned, leading to expansion into new areas and driving deforestation. Recently, there have been initiatives to restore topsoils, including cover cropping, polyculture, environmentally friendly fertilisers, pesticides, and biostimulants, and, in some instances, alternating animal grazing. Still, wide adoption of these techniques can be met with resistance since the process to regenerate topsoil takes time, and farm profit projections may even decrease in the short-term. If we could find strategies to accelerate the formation of good quality topsoil and avoid erosion, it would facilitate the easy adoption of regenerative practices in current agriculture and it may serve as a venue to contribute to ecosystem restoration efforts.
OUR TAKE ON BUILDING VENTURES IN THIS SPACE
Our goal is to accelerate the building of quality topsoil, reduce erosion rate, enhance nutrient uptake, and eliminate pollutants faster than conventional methods in farmland and degraded soils. We’re interested in developing soil inputs or related products, processes, and services that can achieve these outcomes in a variety of environments. 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 to use biological systems (i.e., organisms), biologically-derived compounds, inorganic compounds (i.e., macro and micronutrients), and/or physical approaches (i.e., particle sizes) to help achieve this goal – or any other cutting edge approach that would impress us – we strongly encourage you to apply.
- We’re looking for a candidate with deep technical expertise in at least one of the following: soil restoration, soil health, soil biome (microbes and invertebrates), biogeochemistry, soil ecology or agronomy.
- We are especially interested in candidates that have a good understanding of at least one of the following: humic substance production, soil metabolic processes, soil organic compound accumulation, inorganic nutrients availability and cycling), habilitation and remediation strategies for contaminated soils (i.e. mine tailings), or similar.
- You’ll likely have done an M.Sc. or Ph.D. in any of (or similar): soil science, microbiology, ecology, agronomy, plant sciences, and biological engineering or had extensive professional experience in the field.
- Professional experience in crop nutrients, agronomy, and soil health/carbon in a corporate or startup environment is desirable.
- You are passionate about restoring contaminated or degraded soils for agricultural production, ecosystem restoration and improving environmental and food security.
- 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!
You’ll join DSV as the first Founder in the Deconstruct the Soil and Land Regeneration opportunity area and work with us to develop concepts for, and spin-out a new agriculture company as the CEO or CTO.
Taking up a Founder role at DSV differs quite significantly from the entrepreneur in residence (EIR) role in other funds or venture studios. Instead of scouting for existing technologies which might overcome a specific challenge, you will start with identifying the areas where there is neglect or repeated failure yet potential solutions exist if considered from a different perspective, mapping the limitations to existing approaches at the specific and macro-level and considering the constraints of the broader ecosystem (capital, expertise, IP, knowledge, competition). You will start to build a company, iteratively determining the optimal solution for the problem, and DSV will guide you through every step of the process.
Exploration: Deconstruct the Soil and Land Regeneration 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: 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: 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.