On May 31st, 2017 Pangaea Ventures hosted its third Advanced Materials Commercialization Summit. The summit was attended by entrepreneurs representing some of the world’s most innovative, leading edge start-ups along with senior thought leaders from dozens of the world’s largest chemical and materials companies. Discussions focused on mission critical topics around advanced materials commercialization.
In December 2015, Dow and DuPont set off the greatest wave of consolidation ever seen in the agricultural chemistry and agricultural biology sector. Two years later, the two have become DowDuPont: the largest chemical company in the world. But in-between, the entire ag-chem-bio industry has been mired in uncertainty with a focus on demonstrating synergy, at the expense of innovation.
What has been the fastest growing category within the asset management market over the last few years? Quantitative or AI-driven strategies would be a good guess but you can feel warm and cozy that, in fact, impact investing has actually led the way. Impact investments are made with the intention of generating social and environmental returns alongside financial returns. Compared to global debt and equity markets in the range of $200 trillion (BNY Mellon, 2016), the size of impact -related assets is probably three orders of magnitude smaller, depending on how and who is counting. Nevertheless, in the 2017 Annual Impact Investor Survey prepared by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), surveyed managers expected to increase dollars invested by 17% in 2017 versus 2016.
A new process uses bacteria that eat methane gas to make food.
According to Fundable1, fewer than 1 in 100 startups are funded by angel investors. Funding from venture capitalists is even rarer at about 1 in 2,000 (0.05%) companies. For a firm that prides itself in proactively finding advanced materials investment opportunities (as described here by Pangaea GP Keith Gillard), that means we’re screening a lot of companies that we don’t end up investing in. By the numbers, many of these companies often don’t end up raising outside investment from other VCs or angels either...
There are few career paths I can think of that are more challenging than trying to launch a new venture whose success is centered around the development and subsequent roll-out of a new technology. We have countless success stories to point to, and entrepreneurs who are revered, almost worshipped, … but what is often left out is truly how long it took, and how much money (including academic research dollars, grants, and private capital) was required to get there.