VitaDAO Investment Proposal Allocation - Initial Phase

Strategic / Objectives and Key Results (OKR) Alignment

Theme: Investments

OKR Target / Goal: See above.

Executive Summary

A number of discussions with stakeholders have allowed VitaDAO to elucidate its core investment thesis. Central to this thesis is the recognition that VitaDAO, over time, has the ability to provide funding all the way from the basic research stage through to start-up development at which point it may choose to license IP to the start-up or divest of equity positions to exit, then roll proceeds back into the treasury. This flexibility will be developed over several stages.

In the initial stage, VitaDAO is working with a relatively small fund compared to other funding vehicles. In discussions with other ecosystem players including private VCs, and University Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) it is fairly clear that the initial fund must be used strategically to establish VitaDAO within the longevity community as a credible, professionally managed, and trusted partner.

The following outlines a proposal with respect to the deployment of VitaDAO’s initial liquid (non-VITA token) funds from the treasury.

Options / Discussion:

Background

From various discussions, it has become apparent that VitaDAO’s credibility within both the investment community and the TTOs will be driven in large part by a track record of successful participation in deals, and the ability to bring IP projects to successful funding - whether as a lead or a participant; and, for that reason, it is important to establish some “quick wins” - in this regard we have the typical “chicken or the egg” causality problem.

Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) will be less receptive to IP exclusivity or outright sale of IP without some guarantee of VitaDAO’s ability to guide a research project to a commercial event such that there are ongoing benefits to the University.

Likewise, other investment partners who may expose VitaDAO to their deal-flow and some of their opportunities, do so based on the credibility of the organization. VitaDAO has the opportunity to provide value-add to such arrangements by fielding a group of competent scientists/and researchers as part of our due diligence team, combined with flexibility and maturity in negotiating deal structure - this will give VitaDAO access to deals for participation, but also set the stage for our RMS/ER (see below) deals to have access to larger funding envelopes due to our pre-existing relationships with upstream funding partners.

Discussion

VitaDAO’s initial fund (approx. $6M USD subject to market conditions) provides an opportunity for VitaDAO to achieve 3 primary goals :

  • Establish the IPNFT framework for research assets, whereby promising early-stage science can be further developed to establish its relevance and potential. This is the unique offering that VitaDAO is exploring with innovation both within the scientific research and the web3 ecosystems;
  • establish VitaDAO as a credible, well-run, and professional DAO with operational maturity and unique expertise in the assessment and acceleration of longevity related research; and,
  • establish VitaDAO as a trusted investment partner with a track record of success.

As VitaDAO wishes to keep its operational burn rate to a minimum, and preferably net neutral on capital, it is proposed that the initial funding be broken down as follows:

40% of liquid funds (non-VITA tokens) - reserved for Treasury investment (such as providing liquidity and receiving trading fees from it). Proceeds from investment strategy to fund DAO operations.

60% of liquid funds (non-VITA tokens) - deployed into 3 classes of projects as follows:

20% (⅓ of 60% liquid funds) NTI (Near-Threshold Investments) - flagship deal(s) where the team is well known, and where a threshold event (FDA - Phase 1 trials, IPO, SPAC purchase, etc.) is expected to occur in the short-term (<24 months). Visibility for VitaDAO includes participation with strong investment partners, credibility by association - the “early win” project(s). 1-2 Projects in this initial round.

20% (⅓ of 60% liquid funds) RMS (Risk Mitigated Science) - deals that are supported by a strong team with a history of successful peer-reviewed work or prior commercial success. 2-4 projects in this initial round (VDP-5 Project consumes 1 project slot in this round).

20% (⅓ of 60% liquid funds) ER (Exploratory Research) - novel scientific approaches to longevity problems. Next-generation of researchers, new concepts, etc. 4-20 projects in this initial round.

Project Scope / Tasks [ET - Elapsed Time]

  1. 2 potential NTI projects were identified. Full due diligence is required. [Deadline: August 31st; ET: 4 weeks; Team: Laurence Ion, Tim, Others- TBD]
  2. VDP-5 Scheibye-Knudsen Lab Funding Proposal [Deadline: On-Chain Voting starts July 28th, ending August 11th ]
  3. Due Diligence Evaluation Framework for Proposals [AI Longevity WG; ET: TBD]
  4. Conflict of Interest Framework / Guidelines [AI Legal WG; ET: TBD]

Questions to be answered:

  1. What is a reasonable Return-on-Treasury (ROT), and will it be sufficient to fund the DAO as a going concern operationally based on the above ratios?
  2. In identifying the NTI projects, there may be a need for members of the due diligence team to sign NDAs for access to the dataroom, do we have a legal position/guidelines with respect to the declaration of conflict of interest by individual team members?
  3. When do we seek further funding for VitaDAO to do more projects?
  4. Does VitaDAO take a position on syndicating deals from within its own membership?

Existing Policy:

None.

Audience / Notice Provisions:

  • Longevity Working Group
  • Legal Working Group

Financial / Effort Considerations:

  1. NTI due diligence will require some intensive work in the short term from Longevity and Legal Working Groups, due mostly to the fact that our internal evaluation framework for handling these projects within the DAO, including due diligence process, conflict of interest, and agent /vehicle identification is still iterative.
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Great Proposal! Makes a lot of sense to me!!

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