Deal Abstract

Scientific innovation that claims to save fuel by up to 8%, increases lubrication, decreases dangerous emissions up to 50%. Technology claims to be 800x more effective than competing fuel additives and is priced up to 20x lower. Pre-revenue potential vitamin-not-painkiller that is mainly a team of academics, with no one experienced in B2B sales for energy companies or commercializing scientific innovations.

Shout out to readers Max and John for forwarding me the deal!

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The 6 Calacanis Characteristics (91 161 18)

1. A startup that is based in SVNo: Austin, TX
2. Has at least 2 founders No: CEO is all roles, literally wrote: “CFO, Secretary, President, Treasurer, CEO”
3. Has product in the market No
4. 6 months of continuous user growth or 6 months of revenue.No
5. Notable investors?No: Don’t recognize Sputnik ATX.
6. Post-funding, will have 18 months of runway Yes: Raising $1.07m on $47.175k, so 22 months of runway if success.

The 7 Thiel Questions (ETMPDDS)

  1. The Engineering question:
    • Good: reducing emissions by 50% is impressive.
  2. The Timing question
    • Bad: oil is in the tanker (heh) right now and I don’t see them winning long term over electric.
  3. The monopoly question
    • Good: Though to a latter point, mass producing something is very different than making it in a lab.
  4. The people question: 
    • Lacking: No one here has experience selling to big oil. Or taking a scientific innovation for mass production. Mostly a team of nerds (which I’m fond of, but alas…)
  5. The distribution question
    • Bad: There is no impending pain for gas companies that don’t buy this product.
  6. The durability question
    • Bad: If gas is going the way of the dinosaur, I don’t see a dying industry suddenly embracing innovation.
  7. *What is the hopeful secret?: 
    • Gas companies will finally start paying money for prevention

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