Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Malin on Unsplash

Now, as Shakespeare said, is the winter of our discontent.

Covid keeps on coming, creating a third wave of infections that put the earlier upswells to shame. We are hunkered down, tired out, fed up, and strung out. People fret and businesses suffer.

What is an entrepreneur (last time I looked, entrepreneurs are people, too, subject to all the slings and arrows of human experience) to do during a dark moment like this? How can an emerging business move forward when everything is locked down?

Every entrepreneur is unique and every business different, but here are a few thoughts on how to traverse terrible times. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Peter Boccia on Unsplash

It has been a long year. It feels like several long years, actually, jam-packed into a few dreary months. Locked down, cooped up, hemmed in, beset by a profusion of woes, wary of illness and peeking between our fingers to see what fresh Hell comes next. 2020 hasn’t been a romp in the sun.

So, this seemed an ideal moment to return to my penchant for trenchant quotations and this time to focus on….hope.

Let’s hold our heads up, look to the brighter tomorrow and know this, too, shall pass.

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Priyanka Singh on Unsplash

Neuroscience has always been a focus area for Joyance Partners and Social Starts, and should continue to be due to the large and clear unmet need. Stress, anxiety, mental illness, and their associated impacts are at all-time highs. People seem desperate for solutions.

Science points toward many potential new approaches. We also recognize that there could be successful products in this space based on pseudoscience or no science at all. Pure placebo effect or adept marketing can generate short-term market winners in brain and mood products. But our goal will be to winnow out those products quickly and not invest in them, even if we see how they can make money. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Kate Hliznitsova on Unsplash

Scientific exploration of the microbiome represents the opening of one of the greatest new areas of science in decades, perhaps centuries. It has the potential to rival Einstein’s impact on physics or the double helix on understanding biology. While young, this area shows historic potential across a dizzying expanse of health and human experience.

The biome may be a main vector in how genetics and the body interact, explaining why similar genes can generate variable outcomes among populations. It may be the pathway by which the body influences the brain and vice versa. It could be the pathway for food as preventive medicine. It could hold the key to extending healthspan and lifespan. It utterly defines novel new approaches to the prevention and treatment of diseases, from athlete’s foot to liver cancer. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Julia Zolotova on Unsplash

Water is essential for life and central to innumerable human activities. So we feel water is a uniquely strong investment opportunity that, driven by global warming and other factors, is only getting stronger.

Even before COVID, people were growing increasingly interested in preserving access, assuring purity, and reducing the environmental impact of processing water. COVID, with its new focus on the home as life’s center, is accelerating that desire among people to control their water supply. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Andy Kelly on Unsplash

Personal Robotics has historically been a small but solid focus area for our funds. We should continue this year as we did in 2019. That means looking hard at robots in medical/health, education, and vertical SaaS (outside manufacture). But we should only invest when we have a great entrepreneur, a great product, and a clear business model and path to exit. If we are doing our jobs right, these investments should be rare, but do quite well and seldom fail.

Our primary focus areas for the rest of this year should be

  • Individual health, specifically motion and other forms of enablement for groups that would otherwise be isolated or limited, enhancing or standing in for the five senses, and companions to the lonely/elderly. …

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Juan Ramos on Unsplash

Education is part of health and happiness as a means of intellectual and financial empowerment and as a vector for delight. Happiness can be enhanced by the acquisition of new skills. Where education was once the province only of formal institutions and largely as part of long-term pedagogical programs, today education is becoming a pure consumer product. It is available by the course, by the class, or by the experience, whenever and wherever desired. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Christine Sandu on Unsplash

XR (the new overarching term for VR and AR) is one of those areas that keeps looking promising, but never seems to happen. Throughout 2019 AR/VR was a market in turmoil and COVID made it worse: Headsets are too expensive for individuals to buy and use them at home, and COVID eliminated any chance for people to go to public spaces for XR experiences. The market, already shaky, essentially stopped.

The only area of XR with a pulse is in health.

With COVID limiting traditional in-person healthcare, Telehealth is booming. But remote care has one glaring weakness: the practitioner can’t touch the patient. Can’t palpate. Can’t walk around the person. Can’t get the full view. XR has the potential to bring that missing element into telehealth. And drugstores and clinics remain open during the pandemic, so they could be places where this could take place even while COVID is active. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

That first generation of digital community — The Pinterest/Facebook generation — was delineated by scale. They created evocative, even addictive, interactions that could touch billions and essentially created a new kind of public space for celebrating, declaiming, mourning, meeting, snooping, and generating influence (both positive and pernicious). This generated extraordinary success. But the potential to create a new universal community, while possible (think Tik Tok) is exceedingly difficult. So, we stepped away from the category several years ago.

We have continued to monitor this space, however, and at the beginning of 2020, we noted that the market was showing signs of a new generation of community with characteristics much different than those of the earlier Pinterest/Facebook generation. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

Longevity and Aging Economy will be one of the core investment areas for Joyance Partners for the remainder of 2020. Longevity ties strongly into Delightful Moments:

About

Joyance Partners

The first venture fund focused on individual health experience, not process.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store