Joy Ventures’ new VP Portfolio Success Liron Nunez Weissman on how the Joy Ventures team chooses projects and teams, and how Joy helps its portfolio companies cross the chasm.
Not exactly an incubator, not exactly an accelerator, and certainly not a traditional venture capital firm – Joy Ventures is unique both in its investment scope and its operating model. For anyone interested in cooperating with Joy Ventures, VP Portfolio Success Liron Nunez Weissman provides insight on how the team selects ideas and entrepreneurs, and describes the framework of working with Joy Ventures.
“The main difference between Joy Ventures and traditional VCs is that they are usually focused on financial returns. We are focused on building successful companies,” says Nunez Weissman. “Our objective is to see the teams in our portfolio develop successful consumer products for emotional wellbeing. We are a strategic investor, rather than a financial investor.”
The journey of cooperating with Joy Ventures usually begins with two basic questions: What exactly is a consumer product for emotional wellbeing, and at what stage should a team come to Joy Ventures.
According to Nunez Weissman, the ideas the Joy team is looking for are consumer products, aimed not at solving a medical problem, but rather are applicable to a wide audience and still have strong scientifically proven efficacy and technological innovation. There are many technologies already available which help people reduce stress, boost mood and more, through visual stimulation, voice, electrical stimulation, biofeedback, breath regulation and more. But often these promising solutions stay in universities and research institutions, and don’t make it to the hands of consumers, or are developed for professional use outside of the consumer or wellbeing space.
Regarding the stage in the lifecycle, Joy Ventures partners with everyone from academia (in fields as varied as design, psychology, software, architecture and music), to people who are fascinated by the emotional wellbeing and consumer product space but don’t yet have an idea, to startup teams who already have a working prototype. Even companies active in a different market but with a product that could be effectively adapted to bring emotional well-being benefits could be a relevant partner for Joy Ventures.
Nunez Weissman’s varied professional background makes him uniquely suited to identify and support promising teams for Joy Ventures, as the field of emotional wellbeing products is in its infancy, and inherently combines people and content from a wide variety of disciplines. Nunez Weissman began his career in the Israeli Defense Force’s prestigious Talpiot program. In the last over 20 years he has lead R&D in a wide variety of technologies and domains. Recently, he led the CTO office at Consumer Physics and was CTO of Beyond Mobility, an organization which supported innovation in the automotive vertical.
“Developing consumer products that are grounded in scientific research and technological differentiation is a huge challenge,” Nunez Weissman explains. “Lead times are long. It’s similar to developing medical products in that sense. Even though the regulatory burden is reduced we still require rigorous proof of efficacy. People can be motivated to develop an idea and a startup, but weary of spending the few years that it may take to get the idea off the ground and raise seed money, without a salary. Joy Ventures can provide the support – financial support, mentoring, guidance – everything necessary to make dreams and ambitions take flight,” says Nunez Weissman.
The Joy Ventures team recognizes that the potential in the field is almost limitless, but that major challenges need to be overcome first. “We face difficulties on both sides of the lifecycle spectrum,” explains Nunez Weissman. “In the beginning stages, the research or science often has a way to go before it is proven and established. On the other side of the spectrum, bringing a consumer product to market is an expensive and daunting task requiring a lot of consumer testing, and a major financial commitment in production, marketing and sales.”
The team at Joy Ventures knows the market well and is up for the challenge.
If you have a great idea for a consumer product that can help people improve their emotional wellbeing, or are fascinated by the emotional wellbeing space and want to get involved, write to the team at Joy Ventures at firstname.lastname@example.org