It is comparatively easy to build companies that sell customized mixes of various supplements shown to modestly slow aging in mice, and the same goes for companies that offer personalized advice on health matters relating to aging. Neither of these options are going to do much to meaningfully extend the healthy human life span. As participation in the longevity industry grows, it will inevitably be the case that a great many participants will gravitate towards safer businesses and returns on investment, while doing very little to change the healthy human life span. I feel that we shouldn't encourage this sort of behavior. We all have only so much time left, and we have been given the opportunity to produce actual, working rejuvenation therapies by implementing the SENS programs to repair the cell and tissue damage that causes aging. We can collectively reach for that goal, or we can collectively waste our time working on yet another round of overhyped supplements that cannot move the needle on human life span. It is a very real choice, with very real consequences.
Switzerland is now home to what claims to be the country's first longevity company builder. Maximon will start several companies each year, providing what it calls "a comprehensive set of resources that empowers founders to focus on and create superior services and products and execute at speed on a global scale." Maximon says it plans to allocate more than $50 million over the next four years and to raise a larger longevity focused fund thereafter. The company is already in the process of building its first two companies, one focused on the development of precision longevity supplements and the other on the development of a digital platform for the provision of personalised longevity advice.
"The real difference is that we really build the companies from scratch, not just incubation or early seed money. We start with ideas, form the teams, bring the people together, give them money, and everything. Founders don't have to think about fundraising, we do that here, they don't have think about finding offices, we provide workspace and equipment, the HR is done, the insurance is done, and so on. I think that we're the first ones to do this in longevity." The Maximon principals believe that this approach will benefit the start-ups to emerge from Maximon, both in terms of speed of execution, but also in terms of equity.
While the idea for getting into the longevity area had been in their minds for several years, the Maximon principals say that the coronavirus pandemic provided the time needed for the co-founders to start making things happen - starting with last October's Longevity Investors Conference. "After the success of the conference, we thought about what else we could do. We knew that we were good at building companies and identifying what you can do with certain technologies in the market, and so out of this conference, the idea was born to start a company builder." Things have moved quickly since then, and the founders have assembled an initial $6 million to get things started with the first two companies in the Maximon family. After raising the rest of the $50 million or more, Maximon will be in a position to support the creation of eight to 10 new companies over the next few years.