The resources of VitaDAO and applicants are precious. Both should invest time in a proposal only if it has reasonable chances to get funded, which ultimately requires a positive vote by token holders. It is therefore important to provide clear guidelines to applicants and reviewers as to what we like to pursue.
While VDP 26.1  and its references [4, 8] already contain some indications, after almost two years of operations and an overwhelming number of applications received, it becomes necessary to provide more stringent guidelines.
A set of draft evaluation criteria are available in “Major drug project evaluation” , but these are mainly designed to thoroughly evaluate proposals that are already in the funnel, as clarified in “Implementation discussion for drug project evaluation” , rather than to quickly filter proposals before they enter the funnel, which is the scope of this document.
Preparing this document was one of the improvement actions decided at the VitaDAO offsite workshop that took place in May 2023 in Zuzalu.
The mission of VitaDAO is to fund longevity science that can improve people’s life  in a self-sustainable manner. Therefore all funded projects should accelerate R&D aimed at ultimately delivering concrete solutions to increase healthy lifespan , while providing economic returns that can be used to fund more projects and support the organization without needing to permanently raise funds from external sources, in an attempt to maximize long-term impact with limited resources.
The criteria proposed in the next section are designed to perform a quick screen of proposals by assessing the alignment with this mission.
The proposed pass/fail criteria are split into the following categories, covered in the next sub-sections:
- Longevity fit
- Team expertise
- Scientific viability
- Commercial potential
- Budget feasibility
- Application completeness
Because these criteria contain some degree of subjectivity, they should be taken as guidelines.
Some of these criteria are inspired to “Major drug project evaluation DRAFT 2. 2 March 2023” .
Some of these criteria are inspired to the evaluation grid of Capital Cell , a biotech crowd-equity.
These criteria have already been through a round of internal review with the participants of VitaDAO offsite workshop of May 2023, but further comments to these criteria are welcome and will be used to reach consensus on a final version to be voted on chain as an update of VDP 26.1 section 2.
The proposal should have the potential to:
- modulate one or more mechanisms of aging [8, 10]
- including those in  and other ones with reasonable scientific consensus
- treat or prevent multiple age-related diseases 
- extend healthspan or lifespan of healthy individuals
- this should be documented with in-vivo data in humans or model-organisms produced by the applicant’s research or other data from peer-reviewed literature.
Any intervention that does not fulfill all three criteria is not an ideal fit for VitaDAO. However, we realize that there are different opinions as to what truly qualifies as longevity, including among our reviewers.
We recognize meeting each of the three criteria is highly subjective. Nevertheless, please do your best to explain how your therapy might fit each of them.
The team should include at least one person with a background relevant for the proposal.
Ideally the team should include more than one person, except in cases of exceptional background of the solo founder.
At the time of the application, the proposed intervention shall at least be at TRL3 (technology readiness level): experimental and/or analytical proof of concept. This includes in-vitro results and/or strong bioinformatics or machine learning evidence.
The results should be encouraging.
The proposal should include one or more reasonable routes to market . To fulfill this requirement it is sufficient to:
- identify one or more candidate indications with a market potential for which the intervention could be useful
- provide a rough state of the art and competitive landscape, providing arguments in support of the novelty and competitiveness of the proposed intervention
It is OK if indication selection has not been finalized: in fact, the proposed use of the proceeds could include experiments to advance in the indication selection process.
The budget required should:
- not exceed 200 k$
- this is based on VitaDAO’s current runway, and may evolve
- be sufficient to reach an inflexion point that enables to raise further funding or exit
- if the requested budget is part of a larger round, the applicant should give us confidence that it can be closed
This requirement typically implies the need to produce defensible intellectual property (IP) at the end of the project.
Proposals that can reach an inflexion point with a budget of less than 100k will be preferred.
The application submission form on VitaDAO internet site  should be filled in most of its parts with sufficient information.
Importantly, the application should contain information on the use of the proceeds.
It should also include a short video pitch with the founder(s).
If this proposal is approved, the application submission form  and the accompanying instructions and Q&A webpage will be updated accordingly, potentially including tutorials and references.
Capital Cell evaluation grid
Note: some of these references are internal, access available upon request.
- Revisions Requested (Detail in Comments)