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HealthTech entrepreneurship, SARS-CoV-2 variants vs. vaccines, and taking back the Internet

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In this week’s episode of Ventures, my guest Alice Crisci (https://www.instagram.com/fertilityanswers_/) and I discuss her journey as a cancer survivor and entrepreneur in the medical/fertility space. While many people turn to “Dr. Google” when trying to find answers to their medical questions, Alice and her team have created a more sophisticated and personalized approach for finding answers to fertility-related questions. In addition to talking about MedAnswers and their first vertical, FertilityAnswers, Alice and I also talk about mental health for founders, how to validate an initial entrepreneurial idea, and how to think about smart resource allocations for effective go-to-market strategies.

Check it out: HealthTech entrepreneurship, surviving cancer, and starting Fertility Answers :: with Alice Crisci

SARS-CoV-2 variants vs. vaccines

With the understandable concern about the emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, one big question is about the efficacy of the vaccines against them. Recent data from Moderna is promising. With the B.1.1.7 variant (UK), “neutralizing antibody titers remained high and were generally consistent with neutralizing titers relative to prior variants.”

However, the B.1.351 variant (S. Africa), “neutralizing antibody titers were approximately 6-fold lower relative to prior variants”. They remain optimistic about it being “above the neutralizing titers that were shown to protect NHPs against wildtype viral challenge”, but we’ll see.  

No data yet on the P.1 variant (Brazil).

And, FYI, Pfizer-BioNTech showed similar results as Moderna (not surprising since the two vaccines are so similar).

Taking back the Internet

For those interested in Web 3.0, if you haven’t read this article from Figment yet, you should. People on both sides of the aisle should be very concerned about what is happening with Web 2.0 right now.

Ultimately, Clayton (the author) says it well:

“You cannot condemn corporations for taking advantage of an opportunity that is clearly beneficial to them, but there is a proper balance between centralized and decentralized systems that has yet to be discovered. That balance of power will not come to fruition easily, but it is absolutely necessary if you believe in a publicly accessible, neutral, and censorship resistant Internet.”

Web 1.0 was actually quite open and decentralized, but it was just the beginning of the technology of the Internet. Financial interests ultimately drove Web 2.0 to its logical end (social media was just the vehicle), and Web 3.0 will be extremely political but good for the world. It will be a scary and uncomfortable ride, however, that will make many technologists question their political positions in multiple directions.

It’s time to don our empathy hats yet again and take a close look in the mirror.

If you missed it before, check out the podcast episode I did with one of the Figment co-founders: Taking back the Internet: Blockchains, Privacy, Web 3.0, and Figment.io :: with Andrew Cronk

Have a great rest of your week,