55 minutes | Aug 27th 2020

Ep.94: Funding Biotech with Conscious Capitalism (to Save the World)—with Arvind Gupta

The old way of doing capitalism is about making money in the short term, and that way of thinking has caused a lot of destruction. But some venture funds are taking a new approach and deploying capital in a way that is net beneficial for society in the long term. So, how do we leverage this new kind of conscious capitalism to support the biotech companies that are making the world a better, more sustainable place?

Arvind Gupta is a Partner and at Mayfield Fund, a venture capital firm that operates under a framework of conscious capitalism. Arvind is also the Founder and Venture Advisor at IndieBio, the world’s largest biotech accelerator, where he invested in 136 companies in five years and grew a portfolio worth $3.2B. Arvind has been a guest lecturer at UCSF, MIT and Harvard, and he is the coauthor of the forthcoming book, Decoding the World: A Roadmap for the Questioner.

Today, Arvind joins us to share his mission to help scientists create companies, explaining why access to equity is more important than capital and what we can do to address the trending economic inequality. He discusses the connection between social revolution and new technologies, introducing us to the idea of conscious capitalism as a way to make an impact AND create better returns. Listen in for insight around the challenges of scaling a bio-related startup and learn how Arvind is working to deploy the capital necessary to build the technology that will save the world.


Arvind’s work as the founder of IndieBio

  • Help scientists become entrepreneurs
  • 136 companies valued at $3.2B

The connection between revolutions and new technology

  • Social shift demands new way of doing things
  • Gen Z, millennials willing to pay to affect change

Arvind’s philosophy on the way we view animals

  • See as living thing or disposable product
  • Reflects way we treat each other

The benefits of replacing meat with lab-grown food

  • Subtract moral cost of meat
  • Remove carbon from supply chain

Why Arvind sees COVID as the Great Accelerator

  • Speeding up every trend
  • Includes biology, neo-feudalism

What we can do to correct neo-feudalism

  • Reinvent education to create mobility
  • Create jobs that provide access to equity

How Arvind is engaging in conscious capitalism

  • Deploy capital for things feel important + make money
  • Create better returns by changing way things done


Arvind’s insight on the idea of designed humans

  • Ability to make compounds by delivering RNA/DNA (but not keep)
  • Editing DNA too dangerous for future generations


What’s different about funding a bio-related startup

  • Tech is alive under hood and living things don’t always behave
  • Challenge to ensure production platforms repeatable at scale


What inspired Arvind’s transition to Mayfield

  • Bio companies need support in series A/B for movement to grow
  • Learn from world-class team devoted to conscious capitalism


Connect with Arvind

IndieBio  https://indiebio.co/

Mayfield Fund https://www.mayfield.com/

Arvind on Twitter https://twitter.com/arvndgpta



Arvind on Boost VC Podcast EP034 https://theboostvcpodcast.simplecast.com/episodes/f2db5d9c-d3c4f571

Decoding the World: A Roadmap for the Questioner by Po Bronson and Arvind Gupta https://www.amazon.com/Decoding-World-Questioner-Po-Bronson/dp/1538734311

IDEO https://www.ideo.com/

Memphis Meats https://www.memphismeats.com/

Finless Foods https://finlessfoods.com/

New Age Meats https://www.newagemeats.com/

George Church’s Woolly Mammoth Revival https://reviverestore.org/projects/woolly-mammoth/

Khan Lab School https://www.khanlabschool.org/

Navin Chaddha’s Post on Conscious Capitalism https://www.mayfield.com/conscious-capital/

‘China’s CRISPR Babies’ in the MIT Technology Review https://www.technologyreview.com/2019/12/03/131752/chinas-crispr-babies-read-exclusive-excerpts-he-jiankui-paper/

The Martian by Andy Weir https://www.amazon.com/Martian-Andy-Weir/dp/0553418025

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History https://www.dancarlin.com/

Yik Yak https://www.linkedin.com/company/yik-yak-inc-

Tim Chang at Mayfield https://www.mayfield.com/team-member/tim-chang/

Ursheet Parikh at Mayfield https://www.mayfield.com/team-member/ursheet-parikh/

Mammoth Biosciences https://mammoth.bio/


Connect with Boost VC

Boost VC Website https://www.boost.vc/

Boost VC on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/boostvc/

Boost VC on Twitter https://twitter.com/BoostVC

Boost VC on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/boost_vc/