Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Julie Wolf, a principal of 2048 Ventures. Let’s learn what’s happening at 2048 Ventures and how Julie is making a positive impact in the world.
Spiffy: Hi Julie, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge is 2048 Ventures addressing?
Julie: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! I'm an investor with 2048 Ventures, where we work with early-stage startups, especially those that are differentiated and defensible through data and technology. Our firm invests in all types of technologies. I work mostly with biotech and digital health startups. I love working with founders. We meet with our founders regularly to provide mentorship, suggestions, and see where we can help solve problems.
Spiffy: What motivated you to work on these problems?
Julie: We are at a pivotal point in history, Spiffy. The convergence of new biological discoveries and new computational capabilities is creating a world where biology is becoming a big data field. There are so many possibilities for a world in which we can read—and even write, or rewrite—DNA samples. Working on the investment side allows me to find and support technical founders as they build global companies and solve large problems.
Spiffy: I love that! How would you say that your organization is working towards a more equitable world?
Julie: At 2048, we have a strong belief in funding underdog founders, and we're proud to have a woman cofounder on 40% of our portfolio teams. We're big believers in transparency as a means to level the playing field: our founder, Alex Iskold, publishes a blog (called “Startup Hacks”) that is basically a playbook for startups.
Spiffy: What milestone/impact has 2048 Ventures achieved?
Julie: 2048 raised its second fund of $67M earlier this year. Another team member and I then joined to focus on investments in bio and digital health. We're actively looking for visionary founders, and have recently invested in Inso Bio and Basis Health, as just two examples.
Spiffy: Tell me about an inspiring startup that your organization has helped to advance its impact.
Julie: I am very excited to see Eli Health's product on the market someday. Eli creates an at-home, real-time saliva test for hormones, which affect so many aspects of women's lives: fertility, energy, physical health, emotional state. Providing women with this information empowers them to understand their health status, plan accordingly, or take appropriate intervention measures. I'm proud to help Eli positively impact the lives of millions of women. I look forward to watching them grow.
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Julie—it’s been an honor!
Julie Wolf is a principal of 2048 Ventures. Prior to 2048, she worked with the biotech accelerator IndieBio. She holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology from the University of Minnesota. (Nominated by Ladderworks. First published on the Ladderworks website on October 20, 2022.)
© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Jason Block. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.