Deep Science Ventures
Who are we, where did we come from, why are we here?
Deep Science Ventures is a venture builder focused on rapidly creating enormous impact via the hard sciences.
Why we started DSV
Deep Science Ventures evolved out of 5 years of working with academics to shape technology to fit the market at Imperial Innovations (Imperial College's commercalisation and investment partner).

We have had the pleasure of working with teams across scientific domains from biochemistry to nano-tech and helped to start new ventures from agriculture and healthcare to new forms of solid state storage.

During the last couple of years 3 of those companies have already exited, including one to Google, whilst over 75% are continuing to grow. It's been an incredible journey, but we think there's a much bigger challenge.

Given how many people want to drive change in the world the collisions between the required deep scientific and commercial expertise are surprisingly rare. This is what we set about to change.

We've left Imperial to start DSV in January and are already seeing some incredibly high-potential ventures being built by the first batch of Founders. Join us to turn your knowledge into global impact.
Mario Branciforti
AI, semiconductors, heavy engineering
Mario is a Principal on the investment team at Imperial Innovations where he focuses on SaaS, machine intelligence and cybersecurity, working with import.io, Telectic and Garrison Technology among others. Previously lead strategy at NXP Semiconductors through to IPO in 2010, and Symantec.cloud, formerly MessageLabs, acquired in 2008.
Inmaculada Martinez
Data & behaviour

Originally a pioneer in WAP technology she has founded and sold several businesses all with a common theme of data and behavioral modeling. Inma was a partner at Opus Corporate Finance, is a Catalyst Member of UKTI and advises on deriving value from data in across huge number of industries for companies including IBM, HP, P&G, Unilever, IDEO, Blackrock, Sony and many others.
Jason C. Foster
Healthcare and pharma

Senior healthcare advisor specialising in marketing and operations. Previously at Reckitt Benckiser leading the growth of the global pharma business to $1.1B in revenue and a £2B LSE listing.
Dr Jonathan Crouch (MBA)
Agritech and bioeconomy
Over 20 years experience managing the scale up of business across agriculture, sustainability and healthcare in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. He also built out the $60m CDC investment vehicle. Jonathan originally comes from a research background and has expertise across breeding, genetics, antibiotics, nutrition and computational modeling.
Dr Mark Hammond
Director
Background in Neuropharmacology and AI before moving on to spend 8 years working with academics to build early stage high-tech companies (from computing to chemistry including 3 big-name exits) both at a clean-tech focused investment boutique and Imperial College's commercialisation arm Imperial Innovations.

mark@dsv.io
Dominic Falcão
Director
Previously 3 years building Imperial College's start-up community from zero to 3000 scientists, founded a social enterprise consultancy and worked in marketing at several digital start-ups.

dom@dsv.io
Millie Johnson
Marketing
Previously managing the Emerge conference at Oxford University, building out the Create Lab Community at Imperial College and Innovations manager at Hub Ventures.


Santa Astratova
Ecosystem Development Manager
Previously business mentor at Australia's leading business incubator, Cicada Innovations. Worked with over 70 advanced tech start-ups in areas of customer development, capital raising and business growth. Managed a med-tech commercialisation training program helping 9 companies raise over $13M in private and public investment over two years.

santa@dsv.io

Our focus is on opportunities emerging at the interface of science and engineering.

What happens when a computer scientist and a medicinal chemist get together to explore how to accelerate drug development? How about when a microbiologist and an architect investigate the bio-remediation of precious metals? Just two of hundreds of combinations that have already led to exciting ideas that would rarely happen organically.
Frequently Asked Questions
If it's not covered here feel free to drop us a line at hello@deepscienceventures.com or @deepsciventures
Do I need an idea / team / experience?
Absolutely not. We look for technically exceptional individuals that are the sort of people who have lots of ideas but haven't necessarily found the idea yet, or more importantly the right people to work with. Some real world commercial experience is helpful from the perspective of insight on opportunities, however the processes of starting up is a series of experiments, it's more like science than it is running a traditional business so academics are perfectly placed.
How do teams form?
Three main ways: firstly, through structured ideation around briefs, experts and challenges, from which teams will arise where a clear fit occurs. Secondly, we matchmake to help you explore ideas and interests that you have, meeting you twice a week to ensure the match works. Finally, you may decide to work with someone else in the cohort with whom you have a particularly strong affinity, with the idea arising from the skills profile of the partnership.
Is that really enough money for science?
The DSV process removes a large portion of the initial cost by a) having all of the expertise in the room to start - people are expensive, b) focusing on building protectable steps on existing research, not conducting open ended research, c) leveraging existing infrastructure and d) getting Founders far enough to leverage abundant grant funding which we typically find averages £200k and is often over £1m. This is one area where high-tech scientists have an advantage over web-tech.
How do you handle university IP?
We previously worked at Imperial's Technology Transfer office so we understand the complexities of IP within the university environment. We aren't focused on commercalising university IP, rather we expect you to develop new protectable IP on open work. However, some overlap is inevitable, where this is the case we will work with you and the relevant TTO to understand where ownership lies and how to move forward. Best to get in contact with specific questions.
Is 6 months really enough time?
In 6 months you will work up 10s of ideas, rapidly testing the riskiest aspects of the project's market and technical assumptions (if that sounds crazy read how Google does it). With this approach you can move very quickly as all of the input you need is easily within reach. We are not looking for perfectly rounded products and business plans, we are looking to invest in teams that have made exceptional progress, are aiming towards something really exciting and have what looks like a potentially viable way of starting even if the approach ends up changing in time.

Are there lab facilities?
We are currently building London's first shared wet co-lab facility with the aim of significantly lowering the barrier to entry for deep science companies. We are partnered with SynbiCITE who provide experimental design expertise, high throughput robot driven facilities and CRO capabilities. We also have links to a wide range of commercial and academic labs for specific experiments. The focus of DSV isn't on research, it's on finding a commercial need and a potential technical solution that builds on existing research.
We're currently building the first cohort so companies are in stealth until April. Here's a few of the companies that the founding team have worked with in the past at Imperial.
LOMARE
Very low energy and high density data storage materials that could form the next generation of solid state drives
Fungi Alert
Instant in-field detection of a fungus which kills 30% of all soft fruit crops
Gyroglove
Active reduction of unintended hand motion in Parkinson's sufferers
Surreal Vision
SLAM of objects for VR. Acquired by Oculus Rift at Facebook.
Sweet Gen
Fuel cell that turns food industry waste streams into extremely cheap electricity
Cyanofeed
Re-engineering cyanobacteria as a suitable foodstuff for aquaculture
Ooho
Low molecular weight alginate as an edible / disposable packaging material
Eva Diagnostics
Optimisation of chemotheraphy via at home white blood cell monitoring
Cleavr
New methods of delivering highly potent chemotherapy drugs
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