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  • Leon Apel 2:28 am on July 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    What Do Investors Want to Know? 

    The following are some things that would be useful to outline in a presentation to a prospective investor:


    1. Explain the problem and how it will be solved
      1. Expert opinion, peer review, explaining the validity of your business
      2. Proof/demonstrations
    2. Explain the timing to have your minimum viable product/service available
    3. What are the company’s top paths to profitability, ranked in order?
    4. Top priorities must be outlined
    5. Growth plan

    Use of Funds

    1. Outline the timing and the amounts (in ranges)
    2. It’s preferred that an equity holder’s compensation should be delayed until breakeven/profitable event takes place
    3. Incentives need to be tied to performance


    1. Existing income statement and balance sheet if applicable
    2. Budget forecast


    • Traction/progress to date?
    • Milestone based funding: Capital is released as milestones are met/proven
      • For example, third party verification of a a test/study

    Management Team

    1. Explanation: why your team is the best fit for this project
      1. Strong references may help
    2. Full time focus
    3. History of both success and failures
    4. Incentives are aligned
    5. Skin in the game (Key managers have contributed their own capital and will delay compensation until the company is profitable)
    6. Compensation for founding members aren’t made until a “proof of concept” or “minimum viable product” is achieved
    7. Negligible conflicts of interests with disclosure
    8. Able to pivot/adjust/not stubborn
    9. Honest
    10. Healthy


    Investment Vehicle

    1. Based in the US, UK, or CA ideally (ideally, the founder will be based out of one of these countries). These countries tend to have reasonable banking and legal systems
    2. Legal: JAMS arbitration in LA county, California with the prevailing party entitled to costs


    • At least quarterly reports (sufficient) by email


    1. Please explain your track record: Why/how have your past projects succeeded/not succeeded?
    2. Please analyze:
      1. Strengths
      2. Weaknesses (eg. Knowledge, Capital, Human resources)
      3. Opportunities (ie. What markets can be entered?)
      4. Threats (eg. Competitors/Substitutes)
    1. Regulatory/compliance issues?


    • $X Cash in exchange for Y equity
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  • Leon Apel 4:42 pm on June 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Potential CRISPR Healthspan applications 

    Potential CRISPR Healthspan applications:

    • TFAM (Transcription Factor A, Mitochondrial) – gene engineering allows cells to manufacture a nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) precursor on their own
      • Allows “overall rejuvenation, including reversal of signs of muscle atrophy, inflammation, and insulin resistance”
    • GDF11 (growth differentiation factor 11) – GDF11 has been reported to rejuvenate the heart, muscles, and brain: “GDF11 has been reported to rejuvenate the heart,8 muscles,9 and brain.10 It restores strength, muscle regeneration, memory, the formation of new brain cells, blood vessel formation in the brain, the ability to smell, and mitochondrial function. All of this is done by just one molecule. Infusing young plasma, which contains GDF11, into older animals also provides benefits in other tissues, such as the liver and spinal cord, and improves the ability of old brain cells to form connections with one another.”
    • Targeting genes related to muscles and bones

    “We’ve shifted from trying to make a young animal live longer to rejuvenating an old animal to a younger state. This is a complete shift in perspective. When people originally thought about aging, they assumed it had a lot to do with accumulation of mutations, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Genetically, your genome is intact. There are no mutations that are causing the aging process. What’s going on when you age is that you get this drift in the regulation of these gene networks so that you have a cell that’s supposed to be, say, a skin cell, but then it starts expressing genes that it’s not supposed to be expressing.” – Dr. Bobby Dhadwar


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  • Leon Apel 9:19 am on June 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    4 Pathways to Reverse Damage/Aging 

    1. Use Telomerase activators: “Drugs that turn on our own telomerase (using the HTERT gene) and thereby reset gene expression.”
    2. Use Telomerase Protein
    3. “Use messenger RNA for telomerase (accomplished by Helen Blau’s group at Stanford)”
    4. “Deliver telomerase gene itself (either via liposomes or viral vectors) to the body’s cells”
      1. Several groups are doing this include Telocyte.  Telocyte uses adeno-associated viral delivery.

    Source: Michael Fossel – Telomerase Revolution

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  • Leon Apel 7:28 pm on May 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    What do investors want? 

    What do investors want?

    1. Clarity regarding how funds are used: In some cases an entrepreneur has too many projects/ideas (which can be both good and bad) but the company needs to initially be a lot more laser focused. It’s good because it shows the entrepreneur may be willing to “pivot” or adapt to the best potential opportunity. However, it can be bad if it’s distracting and causes the company to lose money.
    2. The path to revenue/profitability needs to be more persuasive
    3. The growth/sales strategy needs to be more persuasive
    4. Milestone based funding to reduce the investor’s risk
    5. Committed entrepreneurs: For example, full time and some cases they have skin in the game.
    6. The upside is explained clearly. For example, creating: a) High growth company (eg. user acquisition b) Creating a cash flowing company c) Creating valuable intellectual property that can be licensed
    7. Regulatory/compliance risks
    8. Barriers to entry
    9. Risk controls (this is a big category). For example:
      1. Budget/cash flow decisions are controlled
      2. Manager/operator do business in a jurisdiction with a good legal system in case something goes wrong
    10. The team’s interests are aligned. You want to ensure that the company can focus on building great things instead of worrying about whether they believe they are fairly treated
    11. Strong management team that works well together
    12. Great product(s) and/or services
    13. Proof that they can get the job done and problem solve
    14. Proof that they can overcome pressure (eg. some investors prefer entrepreneurs that have had setbacks) so that they know that they are dealing with a resilient entrepreneur
    15. Selective and skilled at setting priorities
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  • Leon Apel 7:37 am on May 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Bad Assumptions and Pivoting 

    Unsuccessful people tend to fall victim to bad assumptions, which affirms their existing flawed perceptions of reality. Are bad assumptions due to laziness because thinking and due diligence requires effort? It’s quite odd how many people refuse to evaluate new ideas so they get stuck in life. Successful people I know tend to be able to “pivot” — change their path or strategy based on new ideas/facts.

    Successful people tend to be more willing to evaluate new ideas/facts, question assumptions and seize opportunities.

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