Frontier technology is our best shot at solving humanity’s most pressing challenges. But how do these companies get built? Near Frontier takes you behind the scenes where the world’s most innovative companies work towards mitigating disease, climate change, and x-risk. We talk to founders, investors, and operators to bring you unfiltered stories on how deep tech companies come to life and most importantly, give us hope for the future.
Near Frontier is brought to you by Cantos, a venture firm that invests in world-positive deep tech startups at pre-seed and seed. To learn more, visit www.cantos.vc or find us on Twitter @CantosVC.
Building Space Planes with Sassie Duggleby of Venus Aerospace
Today we're joined by Sassie Duggleby, co-founder and CEO of Venus Aerospace. Venus is a Houston-based aerospace company building hypersonic space planes that fly at Mach 9 taking you anywhere in the world within an hour. We talk about hypersonics, challenges in building airframes that can support hypersonic speeds, and how Sassie has built an inclusive and balanced culture at Venus. If you're curious about the future of transportation, then this episode is for you.
Twitter: Venus Aerospace, Sassie Duggleby
Website: Venus Aerospace
Scaling Robotics with Tessa Lau of Dusty Robotics
Today we're joined by Tessa Lau, founder and CEO of Dusty Robotics, a Bay Area construction robotics company. We talk to Tessa about the vision for Dusty, how she got started, dealing with supply chain, selling into construction, and her advice for new deep tech founders. If you're interested in robotics, construction, or building hardware startups, then this episode is for you.
Dusty Robotics twitter
Dusty Robotics website
Tessa Lau twitter
Dusty Robotics tik tok videos
Organ Printing with Melanie Matheu of Prellis Biologics
We talk to Prellis Biologics founder Melanie Matheu about bioprinting organs with Prellis' holographic laser technology, using bioprinted lymph node organoids for antibody discovery, and Melanie's advice for new bio founders with regards to choosing focus and setting early partnerships.
Note: We discuss the January 2022 pig-to-human heart transplant at 13:45. This episode was recorded before we learned that the recipient of the transplant has since passed away.
Get in touch with Prellis—
Synthetic Biology and Biomanufacturing with Joshua Britton from Debut Biotech
Today we're joined by Dr. Joshua Britton, founder and CEO of Debut Biotech, a cell-free biomanufacturing company. Josh gives us a crash course on synthetic biology and biomanufacturing, walking us through the various methods and promise of this industry that may very well shift industrial production away from fossil fuels. We also get into some of the founding story of Debut, including how Cantos' investment in Debut came to be...hint: it had to do with a cold message.
Power: Limits and Prospects foor Human Survial by Richard Heinberg
McKinsey report on synthetic biology
Debut Biotech on Twitter
The Deep Tech Decade: Cantos Chats Where Deep Tech is Headed in 2022
Cantos analysts Amee and Andrew dive into their top predictions for what deep tech might see in 2022.
Our 2022 predictions blog post
Trailblazer's List by Mina Fahmi: https://trailblazerlist.xyz/
Loonshots by Safi Bahcall
Speed & Scale by John Doerr
New funding models in biotech
Nuclear energy blog post
RNA Delivery with Anna Perdrix and George Foot of Sixfold Bioscience
Today we're joined by Anna Perdrix Rossell and George Foot of Sixfold Bioscience, co-founders of Sixfold Bioscience, a UK based biotech company using computation and advanced chemistry to engineer highly programmable constructs that make the delivery of RNA therapeutics predictable and precise. Sixfold's technology expands the purview of RNA therapeutics from vaccines to all diseases, starting with cancer. In our conversation, we discuss the challenge of RNA delivery, what it's like starting a biotech company totally from scratch (no academic spinout or venture incubation), how to hire a diverse team, and promising areas of biotechnology.
Get in touch with the Sixfold team: Sixfold Bioscience; George Foot; Anna Perdrix
Interested in joining the team? Check out open roles here
In this episode, we cover:
Sixfold Bioscience and challenges with RNA delivery
How George and Anna started Sixfold
Switching between an academia and entrepreneurship mindset
Building a biotech totally from scratch
Twitter debate—founder led bio vs venture incubation
Building a diverse (majority women!) team and tips for recruitment
Sixfold's big vision
Broader trends to be excited about in biotech and deep tech