Purpose of the dealflow team

I’d like to open for comment the following structure:

1. Source deals

Source new projects. Talk to researchers, startups, TTOs, prioritize promising leads, develop relationships.
Improve the website application.

Once a new project is identified, either inbound (website application) or from outreach, shepherd(s), responsible team member(s) are assigned, typically by volunteering.

2. Shepherd deals

Advance projects through the funnel. The single source of truth should be the Dealflow funnel airtable to know the stage, details or bottlenecks of the deal.

Shepherds have the following responsibilities:

  1. Be the main point of contact for the applicant
  2. Gather information, due diligence in a Project Details doc, coordinating with the applicant to get any follow-up questions answered
  3. Get 3-5 independent reviews (2-3 Scientific Advisory Board members and 1-2 business/IP experts)
  4. Wield all things needed to advance and, if passing review, get the deal closed

2.1. Get reviews

The shepherds will send an access-controlled document to advisory board members (SAB and GAB) containing the project details and our review form with the 1-5 point system in various categories.

Reviews will be visible internally (although anonymized)
– These could be restricted to shepherds
– I’d want to know who reviewed so I can continue the conversation, and can keep it confidential

Shepherds will make a summary of the reviews (including the vote distribution of each category, and which SAB members reviewed)

2.2. Decide next action

In the weekly WG meeting we’ll decide which steps to take further.

We have 4 tiers:

A) :star_struck: Very exciting (stellar team, exciting tech etc). We keep a healthy dose of skepticism but all we need is final dd or negotiation.

B) :muscle: Potentially strong, worth following up → ask more info, set up call or give a list of questions to move it to (A)

C) :thinking: Unconvincing. Wouldn’t be worth talking unless they show us X,Y,Z → tell them what we need to move it to (A)

D) 🙅 Out of scope or surely not gonna work, not worth talking with them → tell them why, but allow re-application

2.3. Post a report for the community

If the decision is (A) from above, we post the project on the Discourse governance forum as a Phase 2 proposal, for broader community feedback. They will get a “stamp of approval” from the Longevity WG, with a quantitative score and (3-6) different brief reviews (in favor, against, or neutral).

(B) decisions are more common than (A), and should also be posted for community feedback, but might not yet be ready for Phase 2, while we’re waiting for more data to convince us to give that precious “stamp of approval”.

Public Discourse posts will be done with assistance and agreement from the applicant.

If the decision is (C) or (D) from above, we’ll send a "not now” email asking for more data or whatever we think would move it to (A) for us.

If they don’t come with convincing responses, we could still put (C) up on Discourse and allow for community feedback. This wouldn’t look like a recommendation from the Longevity WG. We don’t want to work on things we’re not excited about so we can ask the submitters to fill out a less detailed, layman report for us to put on Discourse, or ask them to do it.

We shouldn’t send a clear “NO” email to any project unless we all agree that it is out of scope or stupid. Passing on good projects is the nightmare, and VitaDAO is not (and should not be) so risk-averse. The danger is the status quo, with promising projects overlooked by regular investors not getting the funding that would advance the mission.

3. Close

Negotiate with TTOs, decide ticket sizes, close the deal.

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Perfect. Thanks for explaining dealflow teams better to the general public.

On the process and evaluation reports… my idea as commented in deal flow before with agreement from deal flow team (copying here for visibility):

think it would be great to see (3-6) different brief evaluator statements in the evaluation (could be in favour, against or neutral)

not having looked at it into depth i wouldnt know how to vote

we need to help make people an informed decision without having it diligenced by each token holder

i’m in favor of moving these mixed conviction deals on chain but with clear statements in favor and against

ultimately thats the highest value of our dao… sourcing deals and letting community and us token holders decide depending on our take informed by different evaluator statements

could also be something like: out of 8 evaluators, 5 were in favour and 3 were against funding… + small statements and anon credentials like academic/professional status (researcher, investor)…

also disclaimer for personal interest conflicts as mentioned… to mention if someone who evaluated is involved with the project for example as direct investor outside of vita, which aligns incentives and means that person is knowledgeable about the project but also potentially biased

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Thanks for summarizing the current process Laurence, I think it reflects quite well what we are doing. Shouldn’t be this post under the #working-groups:longevity tag to make it more visible? It seems that it currently lacks any tags.

I also agree with @vincentweisser above and I will try to incorporate his ideas to the next edition of VDP-16.

@longevion has also pointed out in Discord that we should communicate carefully the critical points to avoid bashing projects publicaly and I agree. Since we meet with the project leads (sometimes several times), we have the opportunity to discuss those critical points with them and add in the proposals how they are going to address them. So I think those points should be communicated as risk management without being adversarial.

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Continuing to develop the conversation here - we can comment on Tim and Todd’s awesome initiative for iterating to a consensus on this diagram about the Dealflow process:

My current worries are about the level of risk aversion and potential veto of early stage, promising, unconventional types of projects. Of course this has to be balanced with an ability to move fast and not leave things “in limbo” or evergreen discussion.

Eager to hear comments on Miro, what you’d disagree with in the main post so we can have something written that represents consensus.

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