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Build

8VC is a firm built by founders for founders. Entrepreneurial DNA is one of our core values. Our partners have built companies from the ground up, and we understand what it takes to succeed across industries and verticals. The 8VC Build Program leverages our background as entrepreneurs, vantage point as investors, and powerful talent network to launch companies to address conceptual gaps in the market.

The virtuous circle of investing and building

Through the investment process, we often identify whitespaces and internal theses where there are opportunities to remedy an important part of the world. We gain exposure through our work to determine the optimal approach to add value, often in tackling messy, legacy technical systems in industries paralyzed by their scale. The Build program creates a powerful channel for 8VC to act on these ideas, partnering with ambitious entrepreneurs and engineers, and creating positive feedback loops as we build sustainable businesses. 8VC Build companies are either initially driven by these internal theses or our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, who join 8VC with a problem, technology, or vertical in mind.

8VC Founder and serial entrepreneur, Joe Lonsdale, is personally involved with each of the 8VC Build companies, helping to craft their theses and guide strategy. Partners across the firm work directly with our founders in the “Zero to One” process to give our companies unfair advantages.

Our build companies are tackling hard problems in:

Zac Bookman FOUNDER, OPENGOV Brian Hendrickson 8VC ADVISOR Maleka Momand FOUNDER, ESPER Blake Brickman 8VC ADVISOR Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper FORMER PRIME MINISTER, CANADA Leigh Madden CEO, EPIRUS Zivian Benesty 8VC ADVISOR Alex Moore BOARD MEMBER, PALANTIR Bruno Sidler 8VC ADVISOR Shaleen Devgun 8VC ADVISOR Alan Gershenhorn 8VC ADVISOR Nate Robert FOUNDER, BATON Justin Hall 8VC ADVISOR Chris Sultemeier 8VC ADVISOR Chuck Wallace CEO, HDVI Andy Clarke 8VC ADVISOR Dan Faga 8VC ADVISOR Alicia Jackson 8VC ADVISOR Arie Belldegrun 8VC ADVISOR Rahul Singhvi FOUNDER, RESILIENCE Jonathan Weisman 8VC ADVISOR Dan Widmaier 8VC ADVISOR Andrew Perlman 8VC ADVISOR Bryan Yoo FOUNDER, NUANCED HEALTH Lawrence Fong 8VC ADVISOR David Mace FOUNDER, SWIFTSCALE Greg Chang 8VC ADVISOR John Melas-Kyriazi FOUNDER, QUAESTOR Brett Cummings 8VC ADVISOR Keri Findley 8VC ADVISOR Isaac Applbaum 8VC ADVISOR Josh Fink 8VC ADVISOR Eric Poirier CEO, ADDEPAR Vivian Bannon 8VC ADVISOR John Mack 8VC ADVISOR Greg Silverman 8VC ADVISOR Ray Zhou FOUNDER, AFFINITY Tom Baruch 8VC ADVISOR

Case Studies

Description
Epirus is the only U.S. developer of software-defined high-powered electromagnetic pulse (“EMP”) technology. The nature of warfare has changed and our military is outdated. Dynamic threats, particularly drone swarms, to critical infrastructure, nuclear sites, airports, stadiums and mass gatherings are increasing and creating havoc around the globe. Through Epirus’ initial focus on EMP in defense, their best-in-class team’s innovation unlocked major advancements in smart and on-chip AI to control power applications beyond defense to commercial applications, driving financial savings and reducing radical power consumption and emissions.
How was it Built?
8VC helped to build a company around incredible technical talent, from the formation of an exemplary leadership team to helping build a culture of highly autonomous problem-solving and resolve. Co-founder and CTO Bo Marr is the father of next-generation EMP and has written many of the most important patents in the space.  CEO Leigh Madden was a U.S. Navy SEAL who built Microsoft’s National Security and Defense business to over $1.5B annually, winning landmark contracts including the $10B DoD’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (“JEDI”) contract.  CFO Ken Bedingfield was most recently CFO of Northrop Grumman.  Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Grant Verstandig is an entrepreneur (sold Rally Health for $7b to United Health), investor and advisor to multiple government organizations, including serving as a senior advisor to the National Security Agency on advanced analytics, technology, and Artificial Intelligence. Epirus also gathered together some of the best talent in the industry in the quest to build the best power management solutions on chips with AI for their EMP defense product.
Results
Epirus closed a $70M Series B at $400m post in December 2020; Epirus’ SmartPower platform, which uses AI to generate massive power output as needed without special cooling, is now the most power dense phased array on earth, creating new opportunities for intelligent power products in commercial markets.
Description
Quaestor is building a proprietary data platform and network for the private markets, creating new standards of governance and transparency to enable deeper collaboration between start-ups and VCs.
How was it Built?
The idea for Quaestor was born at 8VC to address our own pain-points in tracking portfolio company metrics.  The co-founders began working together on an initial proof-of-concept alongside 8VC partners Joe Lonsdale and Alex Moore and the rest of the partnership.  Co-founder Kevin Hsu was an early employee and PM at Carta before joining 8VC as an EIR; co-founder Deny Khoung helped spin-out and advise several portfolio companies (including Affinity) as 8VC’s Director of Design; John Melas-Kyriazi joined Quaestor as co-founder and CEO after five years as a Partner at Spark Capital.
Results
While 8VC served as the company’s first pilot customer, now Quaestor has onboarded hundreds of companies to the platform as of Q4’20.
Description
Resilience is building the future of biomedicine manufacturing, dramatically increasing production capacity for pioneering novel treatment modalities, ensuring that medicines are accessible to all patients and protecting against supply chain disruptions.
How was it built?
As the world reeled from at the outset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, our firm worked deeply to strategize what we should do for society. Through those sessions in conjunction with ARCH Ventures, the thesis emerged that we needed to remedy critical vulnerabilities in medical supply chains. Together, Bob Nelsen and Joe Lonsdale founded Resilience and raised $800MM to create capabilities and capacity to rapidly produce and distribute important drugs at scale. Together, we amassed top executives, Board of Directors, and advisors with experience at the highest levels of business, the biopharmaceutical industry, academia, and government, including:

– Rahul Singhvi, Sc.D. — CEO; former Operating Partner at Flagship Pioneering; COO of Takeda Vaccines; CEO of Novavax
– Sandy Mahatme, LL.M. — President, COO & CFO; former CFO and Chief Business Officer at Sarepta Therapeutics; SVP Finance & Corporate Development at Celgene
– Patrick Y. Yang, Ph.D. — Vice Chairman; former EVP at Juno Therapeutics; EVP & Global Head of Technical Operations at Roche/Genentech

Directors and Advisors include luminaries such as Frances Arnold, the Nobel Prize-winning professor from the California Institute of Technology; George Barrett, the former chief executive of Cardinal Health; Susan Desmond-Hellmann, the former president of product development at Genentech; Kaye Foster, the former vice president of human resources at Johnson and Johnson; and Denice Torres, the former president of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical and Consumer Companies; and more.
Results
Resilience has integrated multiple operational facilities (with over 500 employees) since founding and raised their Series B in Nov. 2020.

Build Portfolio

Philosophies

Philosophy 1
Big Problems, Big Impact

We seek ideas that tackle the world’s greatest challenges and think on a grand scale. We ask what is possible now that was not possible 5 years ago given breakthroughs in technology. We seek to identify the biggest gaps from this ideal state to reality. Of these gaps, we assess which will meaningfully improve how the industry works and target those where we are confident there’s an entrepreneurial path to success. 8VC is willing and motivated to tackle problem spaces with higher barriers to entry, like govtech or healthcare, to yield results as these are often bigger and more important gaps to fix.

Philosophy 2
Start with First Principles

We are rigorous in challenging assumptions, always seeking to look at a problem from first principles. That said, there is a tension between the visionary, intuition-driven and evidence-based approach. As Steve Jobs famously said, “People don’t really know what they want until you show it to them.” Great entrepreneurs embrace the best aspects of both, and we are willing to take leaps of faith when our common sense and intuition suggests something is right before the data has made it obvious.

Philosophy 3
Assemble Artist Colonies

We search for uniquely equipped individuals (“artists”) at the top of their discipline, trading for the magnitude of their talent spikes against a breadth of generalist capabilities. With eyes wide open, these artists can be matched with teams of complementary skill sets, creating colonies of strength. This approach generates a dialectic organization, naturally cultivating highly diverse teams with a myriad of perspectives. By applying high rigor to the identification of these artists and composition of teams, 8VC Build ensures that the starting fabric of our companies is resilient, creative, and set up for success.

Philosophy 4
Seek the Intersection of Intellect and Integrity

We identify individuals that marry rigorous thought, curiosity, and meticulous attention to the things that matter, with a strong moral compass. Great Builders are constantly learning, growing, and seeking self-improvement hand-in-hand with their businesses. Starting with a purpose greater than self ensures that our companies intrinsically focus on the outcomes and values that matter, with leadership that can weather obstacles and navigate challenges along the way.

Whether through the Build program or our broader portfolio and community, we seek to cultivate deep relationships with talented founders. Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) work directly with 8VC’s partners and within 8VC’s network to hone in on industry-upsetting Build company ideas.

Apply here