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Senior Associate

Shaq Vayda

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The future is already here... it's just not evenly distributed yet.

Biography

Shaq joins the Lux team with a passion for technology and a desire to invest in people. Helping turn their vision for a better world into reality. Specifically, he is excited by platform and “building block” ideas where the economic value downstream is greater than that of the company that creates it. Some examples of these building blocks include: computational biology platforms & tools, synthetic biology, data infrastructure, semiconductors and space.

Shaq’s career journey in some ways mirrors the ethos of Lux, investing at the intersection of technology and the natural sciences. Shaq started his professional career in the aerospace and defense sector spending time at NASA and Northrup Grumman. Following, Shaq got exposure to the emerging life sciences sector at Illumina, seeing firsthand the impact DNA sequencing has had on ending human suffering. Most recently, Shaq worked at Parthenon (SSG) in San Francisco, where he advised large private equity and growth equity clients on software, data infrastructure, and healthcare investments.

Growing up on the Space Coast of Florida, Shaq earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida. He is passionate about pursuing his lifelong goal of living up to his name and finally dunking a basketball. He loves helping companies refine go-to-market strategies, and to help them think critically about scaling into a large enterprise. Competitive from a young age, Shaq is passionate about being a great team player and helping whatever team he’s on win, whether that is his peers at Lux or the entrepreneurs he works for.

Outside of work you can catch Shaq exploring California through his hobbies of skiing, biking, golf, and of course searching for the greatest bagel in the entire Bay Area.

What is an exciting innovation of the past decade?

AlphaFold2 – not only because proteins are incredibly important and the ability to predict their structure will directly influence our understanding of their role in diseases, but also the fact it was discovered by DeepMind (a subsidiary of Alphabet) validating the generalizability of AI and the convergence of interdisciplinary fields

What are you looking forward to in the future?

Programmable Matter. Computers are a programmable machine, you put different code in it and one day it’s streaming a video, and the next day it’s doing electronic medical records. It’s amazing, but it just moves around information. Imagine a world in which we can do the same but for the physical world…

You put in code and it runs but instead of moving bits around it moves atoms. Synthetic biology along with cell programing will allow us to do the same with any partly organic and even inorganic matter (think everything from consumer goods, lumber, recycling, food, etc.)

What was your first paying job?

When I was 12, I wanted to buy more video games but my parents weren’t too excited by the idea, so I learned that I could sell in-game items on Runescape to feed my hobby instead

Key Facts

  • Built a high-altitude balloon spacecraft in high school to photograph the curvature of Earth

  • Avid fan of the Florida Gators

  • Was once asked to leave an all-you-can-sushi restaurant for exceeding their limit

The future is already here... it's just not evenly distributed yet. William Gibson

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