The future is already here - it's just not evenly distributed yet.
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 for the users is greater even 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. At Lux, Shaq assists the team’s efforts across market research, due diligence, and portfolio support initiatives.
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 as a consultant at Illumina, seeing firsthand the impact DNA sequencing has had on modern healthcare. And most recently, Shaq worked at Parthenon (SSG) in San Francisco, where he advised mega-cap private equity and growth equity clients on software and data infrastructure investments across market and technical diligence.
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 larger business. 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 with.
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 – much like how a computer is 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 because of its programmability, but just moves around information. But imagine a world in which we can do the same for cells.
You put in code and it runs but instead of bits it moves atoms. Synthetic biology along with cell programing will allow us to do the same with any partly organic and even inorganic matter (e.g. physical 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
Built a high-altitude balloon spacecraft in high school to photograph the curvature of Earth
Hasn’t missed watching a Florida football game in over a decade
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