Alex Kopelyan, General Partner at Indie Bio interview with Matt Bird at World Economic Forum (Davos, Switzerland)
- Early stage venture fund & accelerator in biotech
- Focus on seafood sustainability initiatives
- Goal: To create alternatives on how to save our oceans
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS: Alex Kopelyan, General Partner at IndieBio with Matt Bird
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 00:00
Welcome back to the Traders Network Show broadcasting worldwide on Equities.com. I’m Matt Bird. We’re here in Davos, Switzerland covering the 2019 World Economic Forum. And we’re here at the Caspian week show, the last day of the forum. It is extremely cold as you can tell. I’m here with our next guest, Alex Kopelyan, partner at Indie Bio. Welcome, Alex.
Alex Kopelyan – General Partner, Indie Bio: 00:21
Thank you. Glad to be here.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 00:23
So why don’t you tell our viewers a little bit about what your fund does because you’re an incubator doing some really amazing things in the bio tech space and it’s specifically the oceanic aspect of things. Yeah. Why don’t you tell us a little about that?
Alex Kopelyan – General Partner, Indie Bio: 00:32
Sure. so indie bio, we’re an early stage venture capital fund and accelerator. So we help scientists translate inventions and academia to early stage of commercialization. And we focus on things in human health and planetary health. And right now, we’re really excited about looking at how we can expand it to oceans. We’ve done a fair amount of work in the food system and how we can reinvent seafood to be more sustainable but also create alternative.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 00:44
That’s amazing. So, can you tell us a little bit about some of the programs, initiatives that you’ve invested in so far that you’re incubating?
Alex Kopelyan – General Partner, Indie Bio: 01:00
Sure. And the ocean space specifically, we’ve been looking a lot at seafood replacements, aquaculture and aquaponics. So we’re looking at things like plant and fungal seafoods to replace actual seafood cell based fish. So taking STEM cells from the fish and actually growing it. So, for things like bluefin tuna that’s really expensive and nearly extinct. You can actually grow the meat without fishing the tuna out of the ocean so you can actually increase access and lower costs in a very major way.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 01:27
And it how far along are the incubation process is at.
Alex Kopelyan – General Partner, Indie Bio: 01:30
So that company actually finish our accelerator a little under two years ago they raised a, a pretty large seed round and are now in Berkeley, California. And working on scaling that technology and getting a cheap enough to go to market.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 01:41
Now you and I had a few minutes to chat before we got here, and you were telling me a little bit about bio computing. I found that absolutely fascinating. Why don’t you tell me, I’ll tell it me and tell the viewers a little more about that?
Alex Kopelyan – General Partner, Indie Bio: 01:51
Yes. It’s a really amazing company called Conocu and they’re actually using neurons to do biological computation. So what they’re doing is actually stabilizing human neurons. I’m not taking from a person, you actually engineer from STEM cells onto a chip. They feed them so they stay alive and they can train them to do different tasks. And the first one is actually expressing a sense of smell so they can detect and monitor disease early. They can actually detect explosives in the air. I’m at an incredible sensitivity that’s even dogs can’t do.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 02:08
That’s outstanding. Well, listen, I would love to have you back on the show at some point. Do you want to tell the audience a little bit about your company a little bit more specifically on what your focus is at and we’ll do want to tell something?
Alex Kopelyan – General Partner, Indie Bio: 02:30
So, we recruit scientists from all around the world who have ideas to start companies with. They moved to San Francisco. We give them a quarter million dollars of funding access to a lab and really a great network and mentorship so they can take that first step to go from zero to one for a biotech company.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 02:46
And the most amazing part you told me earlier is that you’re having a hard time finding deal flow.
Alex Kopelyan – General Partner, Indie Bio: 02:53
We have a lot of deal flow broadly, but the area we’re really looking to expand into is actually in how do we save our oceans? So how do we really find ways to be on seafood, actually preserve what we have, which is so important to life. And so many of the SDGs that we’re talking about here this week. So, we’re really looking for great scientists in Marine biology or ready to take discoveries and actually save the ocean.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 03:13
Well, anybody who knows me and Equities and the Traders Network, we love the SDGs. So listen, power to you. Why don’t you want to tell us about where the people can find you or contact you if they’ve got an idea?
Alex Kopelyan – General Partner, Indie Bio: 3:25
Yeah, so you can find us on our website at www.indiebio.co. You can find me personally, my name is Alex Kopelyan and I’m on pretty much every social media platform message me, email me a message our company and we happy to talk.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 03:36
That’s awesome Alex. Hey Alex. Thanks for coming on the show. I really appreciate it and thank you so much for watching the Traders Network Show. We’re here for Caspian week as we wrap up the World Economic Forum here in Davos, Switzerland. Don’t go anywhere. I got feeling we got one or two more. We’ll be right back after this. I said just give her some messages. There was a van that just rode by these. You get to see that right there. Thank you.