Twenty-three-year-old heads venture capital fund to combat aging

Laura Deming, head of The Longevity Fund and Peter Thiel Fellow, will speak to innovators, entrepreneurs, leaders and students on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 1 p.m. in the Dewitt E. Rhoades Conference Center on the main campus of Forsyth Technical Community College. As part of the SciTech Lecture Series, the event is free and open to the public. You may register at Event Brite.

A native of New Zealand, Laura became engrossed in the aging process and longevity when she was 8 years old. Ever since, her driving passion has been to slow aging and eliminate age-related disease. At age 12, she started working in a biogerontology lab and enrolled in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) when she was 14. At age 17, she was one of the youngest ‘20under20’ fellows awarded $100,000 by Peter Thiel to pursue her venture full time. Laura is currently a full-time partner at The Longevity Fund, an early stage venture capital fund backing companies that target the aging process to treat disease, with investments in gene editing, small molecule therapeutics, and novel methods to treat disease. She recently completed a second round of fundraising that attracted more than $20 million for additional investments.

“I’m very excited to be visiting Forsyth Tech and Winston-Salem, it’s such a young, vibrant tech community,” said Laura Deming.

A coalition of Triad organizations partnered to bring her to the area including the National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce, NC Biotechnology Center, Venture Café, Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

“We’re delighted to host Laura Deming in the Triad,” said Russ Read, director of the National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce. “Ironically, at age 23, she’s a true pioneer in the field of biological interventions in aging through her own work and the investments she’s making through The Longevity Fund.”

While Deming is in the Triad, she’ll be holding private meetings with several life science companies in addition to her public event at Forsyth Technical Community College. “Research advancements related to aging are underway in the Piedmont Triad,” said Nancy Johnston, executive director of the NC Biotechnology Center’s Piedmont Triad office. “Partnering to raise visibility of our emerging companies that are developing therapeutics or products ranging from cognition to biomaterials is important to future job creation.”

Venture Café Executive Director Karen Barnes added, “This is another example of how our local innovation ecosystem can work together to create more opportunity and get on the national radar with important potential partners and investors.”

About Forsyth Tech

Forsyth Technical Community College provides students with guided educational pathways into a competitive workforce for the community and global economy. The college offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in more than 200 programs of study, including programs that promote personal and professional development through non-credit courses and seminars, as well as customized training for business and industry. Forsyth Tech is the seventh largest community college in North Carolina and serves more than 35,000 students with approximately 1,500 full and part-time faculty and staff.