What is Cherubim Labs?
Cherubim Labs is set up as a crypto venture studio. I intend to launch a few powerful solutions from this studio that have blockchain and crypto economic mechanisms at the foundation, and target solutions for preventing and curing Alzheimer’s disease. When I speak of a cure, extending prevention is also a form of a cure. It is a very complex condition which will require a portfolio of solutions to help the population of people susceptible to Alzheimer’ disease. Therefore, I feel like we can contribute to this portfolio through the Cherubim Labs venture studio.
Alzheimer’s disease is a mass market problem. While it is a risk for all people with Down syndrome, the numbers for Alzheimer’s are staggering. Globally, it is expected that over 75M people will be impacted directly by 2030 at a societal cost of over $2T. That means that nearly every one of us will be dealing with this disease directly or via a family member or close friend if we don’t do something about it soon.
Cherubim Labs’ business model is to develop solutions and release them into the market as independent projects. If our projects have a token, we will retain a founding share of tokens and if we provide services to our projects, we will earn a fee for those services.
Our first project is the Cherubs DAO, which is the first NFT funded and governed impact fund DAO, targeting brain health overall with a specific initial focus on Alzheimer’s disease.
What was the catalyst for launching Cherubim Labs?
My youngest of three children, Ruby Mae, was born with Down syndrome. As my wife and I learned more about the condition after her birth, we quickly discovered that one of the health issues of Down syndrome is an accelerated ageing process. This leads to the population of people with Down syndrome having a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease emerging earlier in life than in typically developing people – even those with higher risk of acquiring this disease.
This is a story of success in many ways, because the life expectancy of people with Down syndrome has expanded dramatically in recent decades as has their overall quality of life and independence. Therefore, solving this medical challenge later in life for people with Down syndrome is the next major river to cross to extend their healthy productive lifespans.
Ruby Mae is now 10 years old, and a few years ago she started seeing some of the early autoimmune conditions that would precede this pathway to neurodegeneration. I knew that we had about 20 to 30 years to see real solutions developed to prevent and ultimately cure Alzheimer’s disease, and that might be how long it could take with intense efforts globally.
Sadly, for many decades, little progress has been made. However, recent developments now show promise thanks to the persistent work of some amazing pioneers over many decades. I decided a couple of years ago that I would apply my skills and experience in entrepreneurship, software, blockchains, and crypto economic mechanism design to play a role in the pursuit to prevent and cure Alzheimer’s disease. This is Cherubim Labs, and our first project, the Cherubs DAO.
How has the business evolved since its launch?
I initially thought Cherubim Labs could contribute by creating a solution for providing individuals self-sovereignty over their health data using crypto economics, a token, and the security of the blockchain. After some work and time on this solution, I concluded that it was too early – the technology was not mature enough and the business model was not evident. Adoption would be a huge mountain to climb as well.
In this process, I engaged with many researchers trying to cure diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. I learned along the way the challenges that many of these groups had in attracting awareness to their causes and funding. Many diseases, and especially Alzheimer’s disease, get their funding from centralised sources. These sources include government institutions such as the US National Institutes of Health and mega billionaire foundations like the Gates Foundation. On the one hand, it is incredible that these resources are available. However, on the other hand, these organisations tend to be very conservative and also fund projects that fit into these conservative profiles.
My knowledge and experience in the crypto and blockchain industry made me aware that crypto economic systems, if well designed, are incredible mechanisms for organising talent and capital globally to pursue a common mission.
After briefly flirting with the idea of using the high yields of DeFi to fund research grants, I pivoted to where Cherubs DAO is now – an NFT funded and governed Impact Investment Fund targeting a massive cause. I was inspired by the Nouns DAO project and their funding mechanism through the daily sale of NFTs at auction. We applied our own NFT design and created a legal wrapper for the Cherubs DAO to allow it to function as a publicly funded impact investment and research granting institution.