Monday 27th October 2014
The OS Fund
Today I am announcing the OS Fund — $100 million of my personal capital dedicated to investing in inventors and scientists who aim to benefit humanity through quantum leap discoveries at the operating system, or OS, level.
We are at one of the most exciting moments in history. At no other time has the distance between imagination and creation been so narrow. We now have the power to build the kind of world we could previously only dream of. With new tools such as 3D printing, genomics, machine intelligence, software, synthetic biology and others, we can now make in days, weeks or months things that previous innovators couldn’t possibly create in a lifetime. Where da Vinci could sketch, today we can build. And yet, there are still so many problems that we haven’t begun to solve, so many rich opportunities that lie in wait.
Right now, scientists and inventors all around the world are working on amazing things we couldn’t have imagined 50, 25, or even 10 years ago.
A company in China is using a giant 3-D printer to construct as many as ten houses per day. Biomedical devices are returning to injured people the use of their formerly paralyzed limbs. Autonomous networks of drones are delivering critical supplies to rural African villages. Materials science is undergoing a revolution as researchers can now fabricate structures that are 100 times stronger than steel, yet as thick as a mere atom.
Scientists working with genomics and synthetic biology are proving that we, our environment and our universe are essentially software, which we have the power to read, write and create. In a San Diego lab, Human Longevity, Inc. is assembling the world’s largest database of genomic information and applying advanced machine learning to reinvent medicine and cure age-related diseases. Synthetic Genomics is using synthetic biology to create a global immune system to protect us from pandemics in real-time, find a solution to super bugs and create xenotransplants of vital human organs to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people each year.
More OS-level advancements are coming. In Seattle, a team is working to claim the world’s first trillion dollar asset — a low Earth-orbit asteroid — hoping that it will kick off a gold rush to space and create enduring incentives for off-planet development. Researchers and doctors are developing novel nanoparticle drug delivery technologies to target genes and cells, radically improving our ability to treat disease and maintain health. Neurologists are marching forward in developing tools to enhance our minds and unlock hidden human potential. A company in Northern California is working on the next iteration of machine intelligence; replicating the human visual cortex and creating machines with human-level intelligence in vision, language and motor control.
At the OS fund, we want to support those who see what others cannot, who chart their own course toward the future and who have the courage and determination to pursue their vision. We want to help them turn their most audacious ideas into real, sustainable businesses that scale by providing capital, support, advice and an interdisciplinary network of like-minded people who are there to help each other – Bryan Johnson
Saturday 21st November 2015
The OS Fund
Oct 20th 2014: Today I am announcing the OS Fund — $100 million of my personal capital dedicated to investing in inventors and scientists who aim to benefit humanity through quantum leap discoveries at the operating system, or OS, level – Bryan Johnson
OS Fund Turns 1: A Year of Learning, Adventure, And Reward
One year ago, we launched OS Fund; what a fantastic year it’s been! It’s been uniquely satisfying to work alongside many of the world’s most capable entrepreneurs focusing on some of the most audacious projects on planet Earth.
Here’s a snapshot of what some of our portfolio companies are working to achieve:
- Cure age-related diseases and radically extend healthy human life to 100+ (Human Longevity)
- Make biology a predictable programming language (Ginkgo Bioworks & Synthetic Genomics)
- Create advanced artificial intelligence (Vicarious and Viv)
- Mine an asteroid (Planetary Resources)
- Reinvent transportation using autonomous vehicles (Matternet)
- Reimagine food using biology (Hampton Creek)
In less than 18 months, one of our first investments, Human Longevity, has become the world’s largest sequencer of human genomes, launched the newly imagined preventive care center Health Nucleus , and inked a deal with one of the largest insurance companies in the world (Discovery) for low-cost exome sequencing, redefining personalized health care.
This past summer, Matternet piloted its autonomous vehicles to deliver mail in Switzerland. Where else better to test your product than within one of the world’s most efficient postal services?
One particularly exciting area to us is synthetic biology, which uses organisms and designs from nature to engineer new tools. Synthetic biologists are the future of engineering and are creating solutions now in food, flavors, textiles, and cosmetics – working toward solutions in health and medicine, the environment, and more.
A good example of this industry at work is a company we invested in this year, Ginkgo Bioworks. Based in Boston, this company is working to make the programming of biology more predictable. Ginkgo signed several deals this year in fragrances and flavoring, and we are proud to support them and excited to see what comes next!
Taking a different approach to reinventing the food industry is Hampton Creek, a company we invested in last year. It’s been a remarkable year for Hampton Creek – with their Just Mayo and other products on the shelves everywhere from Dollar Tree to Whole Foods – and also a tumultuous one – with recent stories surfacing that they were a target of an ugly attack by the American Egg Board. Reinventing an entire industry is no small task, and we look forward to seeing what the next year brings for Hampton Creek. – Bryan Johnson