Seems fair @strygah. @rpill can you update the proposal to make the 3rd milestone contingent on let’s say at least 10X of VitaDAO’s 3rd milestone contribution of $155K.
Let though clarify the meaning, so we are 100% on the same page. Do you mean:
- we need to find $1.55M, and VitaDAO will then contribute $155k?
- we need to find $141k and VitaDAO will then contribute $14.1k (so it amounts to $155k in total)?
The first one. There has to be significant funds to make any project work.
Such a structure poses novel challenges, I think we need to address them.
Originally we discussed IP ownership by VitaDAO (with little co-ownership by the team trough IP-NFT), and the plan was to decide later (after this part of the project) what to do with the IP (ie license out or create a company) and what part of the team and with how much involvement will continue working on the bringing the candidate through the development pipeline.
However, the need to find additional capital would require us either accelerate NewCo formation or offer clear alternatives (IP-NFT participation or otherwise). Non-profit charity-like funding and crowdfunding will still probably work, but grants and especially investors would require very clear IP right ownership or company share ownership. We will be very lucky if we are able to raise 1.5M+ just from non-profit funding, and it seems to maximize the chances of success we would require turning to VC/angel route earlier. But going this route would require proper company, full founders and team involvement, and IP controlled by founders (would it?).
So it begs the question - how to properly structure the VitaDAO-BM team relationships and IP co-ownership given the new contingency requirement? Note also, according to the original plan, we would be able to generate the IP only after 3-rd Milestone and we won’t have any patent applications unless we find $150k in other sources.
Any additional thoughts on how to maximize the chances of other funds being involved? Any restrictions from VitaDAO we should be aware of?
Hi, Tim! As a follow-up to the question above, the applicant team inquired:
Further to our last query on structuring the project and IP arrangements in light of raising additional funding, we would kindly ask for your advice on whether we could start preliminary communication with potential third-party investors/grantors regarding additional financing of the project (with full disclosure of and attribution priority to VitaDAO’s current granting process).
If you find such communication reasonable, would you consider it possible for us to seek financing for the same scope of research activity as indicated in our experimental plan for VitaDAO (with particular focus on stages 2 and 3) or we should rather concentrate on obtaining financing for the project’s subsequent, spin-off or adjacent research activity.
This proposal is ready for a phase 3 vote.
I am voting against funding it in its current form because the plan is flawed, imo.
The $30k would be stranded if nobody else is willing to support it, and if we decide not to fund the rest, why sink $30k in it?
I’d much rather we decide to fund an amount that makes sense, but make sure there are other funders coming in for the rest, either now, or after successful milestones.
If the phase 3 vote is negative, I’d love to see a new vote with a better funding plan, perhaps iteration on the experimental plan as well, and clarity on who’d spin this out and fundraise further (if VitaDAO, I’d like to know that we can find a potential CEO before funding it).
Thanks for all the wonderful work put into this, especially @rpill and the Boston Matrix / Open Longevity team!
To put this on Snapshot, it needs to be shorter, less than half fits in the max length. @rpill, can we please make a simpler version, that maybe links to more supporting material on IPFS or a google doc in the VitaDAO drive?
I realized we’ve discussed this live but haven’t liaised back on the forum.
The NewCo can get an exclusive license from the IP owner (VitaDAO), just like most biotech companies that spin out IP funded within universities. So then the company has full rights and can raise from any VCs/angels. As discussed, my opinion is that we should rather set everything up in terms of NewCo and line up potential funders (even if we get the funds contingent on the success of some milestones) before allocating [enough] funds to get there, rather than doing a mini experiment that doesn’t really increase the chances of finding other funders.
Added clarity on dry powder:
A few days ago in an internal discussion and with input from our shepherd @rpill, we decided not to pursue VitaDAO funding for now.
There is no point in voting - we can freeze/cancel the project in its current form as it has changed from a mostly academic project with possible commercializable results to basically a commercial startup. As of today, we lack enough resources and people to start a company. I am the only team member with commercial experience, but I am working more than full-time on Gerosense and can only devote several hours a week to this project.
We also have a pressing issue of relocating the lab from Russia, so some of the team members are not in the position to take the high risk of an early-stage company which might render them jobless and penniless in a foreign country (though it is probably still better than being mobilized).
We would love to thank VitaDAO for the very important feedback. We continue working on the glycation / ECM aspect of aging (ie, Roman was among the last Longhack winners) and have already incorporated a lot of this feedback into our work.
Thanks for your valuable work and openness! My hope is that there can be an operational team to operate a spinout and fundraise further after VitaDAO funds some pure research without all the risk of working on a startup