Humba Ventures: Investing in Deep Tech Startups with Engineering Focus
Lab to Startup
by Naresh Sunkara PhD
19h ago
Leo Polovets is the Co-founder and General Partner at Susa Ventures. Leo focuses on enterprise software and technical products at Susa. About two years ago, He also started Humba Ventures, a fund that invests in deep tech and critical national sectors like energy and defense at Humba.   Leo led Susa's investments in Mashgin, People Data Labs, Scalyr, and Treasury Prime. Having been a software engineer for 10+ years, Leo approaches challenges with an engineering mindset and supports portfolio companies in vetting and hiring technical talent. Prior to Susa, Leo was the second engineering hi ..read more
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Berkeley Skydeck- Catalyzing the growth of deep tech startups at the world’s number one ranked public university.
Lab to Startup
by Naresh Sunkara PhD
2w ago
Caroline Winnett is the Executive Director of Berkeley Skydeck, a startup accelerator at the University of California, Berkeley. Skydeck started as a mentoring space in 2012 and soon translated into one of the leading startup accelerators in the world. SkyDeck was Formed as a partnership between UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. While it offers all the benefits of a traditional accelerator, what makes Skydeck special is the vast resources of the world’s number one ranked public university. The robust and vibra ..read more
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Medtech Innovator and Biotools Innovator: accelerator for medical device, digital health and diagnostic companies
Lab to Startup
by Naresh Sunkara PhD
1M ago
Paul Grand is the founder and CEO; Ayelet Marom is the Program Director for BioTools Innovator, which focuses specifically on biotools; and Jim West is the Associate Director, BioTools Innovator, who was previously the Co-Founder and CEO of, Clara Biotech, which was founded in 2018 and was acquired by Innovaprep in the summer of 2023. Jim was the first founder to go through the biotools program. In this episode of lab to startup, we first discuss some of the challenges that affect medtech and biotool technology startups, and then go into ways that medtech innovator, an accelerator program is h ..read more
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Metcela - Treating chronic organ diseases using a novel fibroblast-based technology
Lab to Startup
by Naresh Sunkara PhD
2M ago
Kenichi Nogami is the co-founder and CEO of Metcela, a clinical-stage biotechnology startup pioneering the research and development of fibroblast and stem cell-based therapy for chronic heart diseases that currently have limited therapeutic options. We talk about the current treatments for heart failure and how the fibroblast technology could help this space. We explore the founding story; setting smaller milestones and fundraising to meet those goals; the role of recruiting firms in hiring in japan; building a flat structure at the startup, as opposed to a hierarchical system that Japan is ge ..read more
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Lessons learned from a scientist entrepreneur turned investor
Lab to Startup
by Naresh Sunkara PhD
3M ago
Caleb Bell III, Ph.D., is a venture partner at Corundum Systems Biology and also the President of Corundum convergence institute. We talk about the founding story of Bell biosystems; how they were able to work at various labs around the country with very little money; building teams, culture; raising money, interacting with investors, leadership transitions; and also how the company filed for bankruptcy, although after he left the startup;. Kalub agreed to dip into his experiences both as a founder and investor, and share some of the lessons learned around all these topics, which I believe wil ..read more
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Nucleate Bio- A collaborative student-led organization that facilitates the formation of pioneering life sciences companies
Lab to Startup
by Naresh Sunkara PhD
4M ago
Anjali Ramaswami, Tobias Schmid and Miroslov Gasparek, are leaders at Nucleate Bio, a nonprofit educational organization that empowers the next generation of bio-entrepreneurs to launch successful life sciences ventures. Their program connects early-career scientists with business students and provides a structured educational framework with one-on-one mentorship that leverages their world-class network & resources. In this episode of lab to startup, we talk about the pain points this group is addressing; understand how they match co-founders, their application process; guidelines and chal ..read more
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Revolutionizing organ preservation and transplantation by mimicking antifreeze proteins of Arctic fish
Lab to Startup
by Naresh Sunkara PhD
4M ago
Xiaoxi Wei, Ph.D (CEO) and Mark Kline, Ph.D. (CTO) are the cofounders of X-Therma, a biotechnology startup developing a breakthrough technology for regenerative medicine and organ preservation. In this episode of lab to startup, we talk about the challenges around  organ preservation and transplantation; and how a technology they developed at Lawrence Berkeley National laboratory is being used to increase the life of organs to up to a week.We will talk about the inspiration to launch the startup, unique success around raising non-dilutive funding; creating a culture, and the importance of ..read more
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RH Capital (a Rhia Venture Fund): Investing in reproductive and maternal health
Lab to Startup
by Naresh Sunkara PhD
4M ago
Alice Zheng is a Principal at RH Capital, a venture fund investing in early-stage high-impact companies across the reproductive and maternal health landscape. Alice holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and MD and MPH from the University of Michigan. Alice was previously a women’s health practice leader at McKinsey & company. In this episode of lab to startup, we talk about femtech and women’s health which is gathering some momentum of late; investment thesis of RH Capital and ways they work with founders; opportunities and challenges in this space; and also try to cover some topics th ..read more
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Raydiant Oximetry- Preventing unnecessary C-Sections and making childbirth safer
Lab to Startup
by Naresh Sunkara PhD
4M ago
Dr. Neil Ray is the Founder and CEO of Raydiant Oximetry, a medical device company that has developed a safe and non-invasive technology that directly monitors babies’ oxygenation during childbirth. This prevents unnecessary C-sections for women during childbirth, while keeping the newborn safe. Neil is a clinical anaesthesiologist by training, who gave up his medical practice to build this startup. We talk about the underlying technology, the challenges Nail had to face while transitioning to the role of a founder; naive assumptions he made; innovation in women’s health; Interactions with inv ..read more
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UbiQD- Leveraging quantum dots to improve crop yield & harvesting sunlight to generate electricity
Lab to Startup
by Naresh Sunkara PhD
4M ago
My guest today is Hunter McDaniel, the founder and CEO of UbiQD, a startup exploiting quantum dots to improve agricultural yield in greenhouses and generating electricity by embedding them into windows. In this episode of Lab to startup, we talk about how non-toxic quantum dots were developed at Los Alamos; the evolution of the use cases; fundraising trials and tribulations; the complications of convincing multiple stakeholders in the solar space; and how Hunter’s grit and persistence helped in building this startup. Show Notes: - UbiQD: https://ubiqd.com - Using quantum dots to modify su ..read more
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