Flagship Ventures operates through two synergistic units: VentureLabsTM which invents and launches transformative companies, and Venture Capital, which finances and realizes innovative early-stage companies.
Inventing world-changing companies is in Flagship VentureLabsTM DNA. Our principals have an unparalleled track record of innovation and professional entrepreneurship, having founded more than twenty pioneering companies across protein therapeutics, systems biology, synthetic biology, renewable fuels, DNA sequencing, and nanotechnology. We have invented over one hundred technologies to solve important global problems in biology, medicine, and sustainability, and have received international recognition as innovators and technological pioneers. Working together, we leverage our collective creativity, expertise, experience and network to generate ideas, reduce risk, and accelerate the creation of disruptive new ventures.
Professional entrepreneurs and institutional entrepreneurship. Classical, “non-professional” entrepreneurship is largely performed in isolation, often in the wake of a technology’s invention and within a single venture. Best practices and hard-fought lessons are frequently lost or hidden, perpetuating an immature vocation of entrepreneurship and dramatically increasing early-stage startup risk. Flagship VentureLabsTM is building the first institution dedicated to entrepreneurial innovation, where the acts of technology invention and entrepreneurship are performed in concert by a team of world-class innovators and professional entrepreneurs.
Seeing over the horizon. We start by determining where new technologies can solve global problems and transform large markets in human health and sustainability—spaces in which pioneering new companies can provide extraordinary returns. Often this juncture creates sets of opportunities that are effectively untouched—true white spaces. We then work together to invent or identify breakthrough technologies in these disruptable intersections, while carefully protecting our IP. The result: companies that are both first-in-class and durably best-in-class.
Darwinian innovation. Breakthrough innovations often occur at the intersection of market pull and technology push. Flagship VentureLabsTM principals work at that intersection, actively pursuing unmet needs, technological opportunities, and regulatory trends within the markets we target. We then invent and hone new concepts in a highly evolutionary process of new venture conception and counter-selection to reveal only those concepts with truly transformative potential.
Exploring the adjacent probable. Theoretical biologist Stuart Kauffman describes evolution as exploring the adjacent possible. In nature, there is latitude for random variation; in the capital-constrained world of startups, there is pressure to invent the new venture concept with the highest likelihood of creating significant returns for shareholders—a task requiring simultaneous understanding of technologies, markets, regulatory paths, and legal trends. It takes a uniquely inventive and entrepreneurial team to operate amidst this entwined complexity, create breakthrough value propositions, and execute on their promise in a highly adaptive manner.
Building field-dominating IP portfolios. From the earliest stages of a new company’s conception, we develop a comprehensive intellectual property strategy to strongly protect our innovations against imitation and follow-on competition. The intellectual property we create not only fuels the immediate projects at hand, but provides our team with unique insights and a sustainable advantage within the targeted market sector. As our knowledge of an area increases, so does our group’s ability to invent and build disruptive new enterprises, with the nuanced understanding of the market pointing to new, adjacent opportunities within the sector.
Flagship VentureLabs strives to build:
- Breakthrough innovations
- Solutions to sizable, meaningful problems
- Long-term unsubsidized advantages
- Short innovation cycles
- Scalability with declining costs
- Teams that can and want to change industries