For an investor, staring at a highly technical proposal for some promising-looking science company can feel like trying to summit a daunting mountain while more accessible ascents are all around you. So where do we start?
While investing in complex science and technology may seem hard, it’s not insurmountable. At OS Fund, we have created a decision-analysis model — the OSF Playbook — to help demystify the due diligence process for science-based start-ups. We started with one playbook, synthetic biology, and one company to test the model. We are openly sharing the Playbook through a detailed white paper and slide deck.
We consider this work our initial contribution to the increasingly open and collaborative culture in emerging science and technology investment. While many firms have been investing in biotechnology for decades, a fewer number have invested in emerging science and technology such as synthetic biology. We hope that our approach, detailed in this paper, will be helpful to others in their own decision-making processes and spark interest from investors new to the space.
We also recognize that many investors have given these issues thoughtful consideration, and we believe that understanding, insight, and expertise comes from many iterations across different companies and situations. By openly sharing our methodology, we want to encourage other science-focused funds to share their thoughts and methodologies. Encouraging investment in emerging science and technology to create a viable path for its growth is key to rewriting the operating systems of humanity.