Yummy animal fats without the animal

You can’t do this with vegan cheese… yet.

I will always associate Nourish board meetings with the smell of roast beef. That smell. It reminds us how important fat is in our food. I’ll tell you why at the end.

The best way to appreciate the value of fat in the kitchen is to try to imagine cooking without it. What would vinaigrette be without olive oil, sausage without pork fat, a baked potato without sour cream, a croissant without butter? Pointless, that’s what. Without the flavours and textures that fat makes possible, food would be immeasurably less pleasurable to eat. …


Unlocking founder superpowers in research commercialisation

At the start of a company’s life, everything is fragile and yet this is completely ignored in many research commercialisation programs.

Technology transfers are taken out of the hands of the people that ‘carry the flame’ of the idea into the hands of a professional commercialisation officer who ‘negotiates the transaction’. These transactions are often brutal, dispassionate and gut the life out of the opportunity before it has begun.

When the company finally begins its journey in the wild, some of it has shrivelled up & died.

For the last 20 years, I have been interested in bringing this to…


Main Sequence Challenge Briefing

What is a Main Sequence Challenge?

Main Sequence is Asia Pacific’s deep-tech venture fund, founded by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO. The valuable companies of the next few decades will be those tackling epic problems for a planet in trouble. We believe that the combined force of entrepreneurship + science can solve these problems. Main Sequence challenges, led by specific members of the investment team, guide us to discover, create and fuel companies to deliver these solutions at scale to the planet.

Why this challenge?

We need to make a lot more food and we’re running out of planet to do it.

According to the World Resources Institute, there…


Richard Feynman

What Richard Feynman’s unsourced idea reveals about how scientists and entrepreneurs collaborate

I learned a powerful lesson about building science-driven companies whilst leading a session at the CSIRO’s ON Accelerator Program in 2015. It was a good vintage that year, including remarkable companies such as Emesent, RapidAIM and Future Feed as early ideas. On this day, we were talking about pitching and I wanted to show an example of a pitch that created momentum from people that can support the company as advocates, customers and partners.

I showed them Elon Musk launching the Tesla Powerwall. I love this talk because it has an ambition that gets people excited. …


We need to be less incremental in our thinking about food production

How else can we make meat if we need to double production volumes?

Why do we need to talk about food production?

Most of us take food for granted where our food comes from. I for one have the expectation that I can buy what I want, when I want it from a supermarket less than a kilometre away from my house. But the job of making it and getting it into our bodies is a fragile process — as many of us recently observed during Covid19 when supermarket shelves were bare.

We are likely to need 2x the food we produce today over the next few decades as we race towards 10b…


Are we going to become a net producer or net consumer of possibly the greatest revolution in computing this century?

Quantum computing technology is making the transition from lab into industry. Some businesses are already working with early quantum computing companies to get ready for the inbound possibilities to come. Over the next ten years, these businesses will discover advantages that will set them apart from the competition. It will happen quietly as they learn how to use a technology that has exponential performance. For years, the outcomes will be unimpressive, but one day a tipping point will be reached and for certain types of problems, quantum computers will outperform classical computers, allowing business to deliver solutions that the world…


In case its useful…

I was chatting with some folks at Nicky Williamson’s fun Tech Community Coffee Morning last week about how I have been tracking the pursuit of product market fit with some of our portfolio companies. In particular, what have we done differently to adapt to these crazy times.

I promised I would share.

A common pattern

As a VC, I need to shift my focus between many companies and I found it hard at first to quickly shift from one to the other. At the start of 2020, I created a common tool for myself that I use for this purpose and I…


Create a ‘User Guide’ and share it out loud with your team

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Albert Einstein

I have always enjoyed being in teams that understand the differences between each other. When we celebrate the strange ways each of us act and think, instead of neutralising ourselves to some kind of machine, we unlock the magic of a diverse team.

Introducing the User Guide of You

At Main Sequence Ventures, we use this tool to…


What if pests could be spotted and suppressed before they become a problem for farmers?

We met Dr Nancy Schellhorn, Laura Jones, and Darren Moore two years ago during the CSIRO ON Accelerator program where they began their journey out of the labs at CSIRO into the farms of Planet Earth. Since then, we have supported the team while they get ‘venture ready’ and now we are delighted to announce our investment in this terrific #deeptech team.

Nancy, Darren and Laura!

A Problem to be Solved

Ten percent of food production does not make it to the table due to pests. 900M tons ($15B) of insecticide is used each year — 98% of which does not reach the intended target.

Growers need to know…


Main Sequence Ventures has invested in Coviu to help health tech developers extend what is possible in healthcare.

Coviu makes some kinds of medical treatment possible without requiring a trip to the doctor. They do this through a brilliantly simple user experience that combines video streams of the patient and doctor with realtime access to medical information and powerful tools needed to augment the treatment. This might be as simple as looking at an MRI image together or dynamically measuring limb movement in a physiotherapy session.

Who would have thought physiotherapy treatment could happen over the internet?

One of our themes at Main Sequence Ventures is ‘Humanity Scale Healthcare’ — a title we learned/stole from one of our…

Phil Morle

Deep tech VC — Main Sequence Ventures. Ecosystem builder. Maker. Director. Startup Scientist.

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