Agnetix is a horticulture lighting company with a system approach. They provide not just the physical lights but also software and analytics. Their mission is to empower growers with an efficient lighting system as well as the data to make growing decisions.

I had the pleasure of speaking with two awesome members of the Agnetix team — Jordan Miles (CEO of Agnetix) and Ihor Lys (Co-Founder/CTO) — and learning all about how the company was started and how they’re truly innovating the horticulture industry, and doing way more than just producing a fancy lightbulb.

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Ihor Lys, PhD — Co-Founder/CTO (photo courtesy of

In 1997, Lys was one of the founders of the world’s first LED Lighting Company, Color Kinetics, which he helped grow over 12 years, and saw it go public and get acquired by part of Philips Lighting (now Signify). He had been doing what he called the “LED thing” for a really long time when he decided to move out to California to retire. However, he didn’t even get off the plane before he had people telling him he needed to build LED “grow lights”. Lys said, “growing weed was the biggest problem people thought we had at the time.” …

Apollo Neuroscience is a wellness technology brand that regulates stress through the use of vibrations from a wearable worn on the wrist or ankle. Their mission is to empower people to take control of their health by taking control of their stress first.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Kathryn Fantauzzi, Co-Founder of Apollo Neuroscience. Not only did I learn the history of Apollo and how she worked together with Dr. …

Caraway is a home brand that uses ceramic as opposed to Teflon to create non-toxic, eco-friendly cookware. Their mission is to make the home and kitchen stylish & safe while also making cooking and decor more accessible.

People forget. A broad statement but absolutely true. Did I remember to lock the car when I left? Did I remember to schedule that Zoom meeting or respond to the email from yesterday? Usually, our forgettings don’t have severe repercussions, but what if a slip of mind could lead to toxic poisoning?

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Before founding Caraway, CEO Jordan Nathan was cooking on a Teflon non-stick pan, just like any normal night. While cooking, he was distracted and accidentally left his burner on, with the frying pan sitting empty on top. 45 minutes later his apartment was filled with fumes. Jordan became sick and was likely exposed to Teflon poisoning — something he didn’t even know existed. After doing some more research, he couldn’t “wrap [his] head around how something used to cook food could be tied to cancer, lower sperm count, and behavioral issues.” Before this incident, Jordan never really looked into cookware materials, but he felt like this was an opportunity to create a brand that focused heavily on safety. Given his background with Ecommerce, and being CEO of a direct-to-consumer kitchen brand, Jordan was the perfect person to take this on: enter Caraway. …

Bokksu is a food start-up that delivers authentic Japanese snacks to your door. Their mission is to bridge people together and sustain culture through authentic food and storytelling. Bokksu partners directly with snack-making businesses in Japan, anywhere from Tokyo, to Hokkaido, to Okinawa, and brings these snacks to customers in the US and over 70 other countries.

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Danny Taing, Bokksu Founder (Photo from

Danny Taing had been working with Google for about a year when he decided it was time to follow his dream: moving to Japan. During his time at Stanford, Danny studied psychology and Japanese, so he had completely fallen in love with the culture and was ready to dive in. He became one of the first bilingual international employees at Rakuten, focusing on business development and strategy, and having the opportunity to travel around the country. …

From Christian Sullivan of Republic Labs (sent to LPs on March 23rd):

I started out writing a note about sustainable growth and how it will be a crucial indicator of private investment opportunities going forward. I also thought to mention that following the leader in private investing was vital, as 4% of top VCs made 66% of IPO returns in the last internet boom. I soon realized describing the stress we all feel would be more useful than investment opportunities at the moment.

In May 2017, I took an 18-day rafting trip on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. It was never on my bucket list, but I agreed, hazily, one night after a few drinks. A waitlist of a year and a half later, I was gearing up for Class IV and V rapids, camping under the stars, cooking out daily, and leaving no environmental footprints. …

Sent to LPs on March 9th

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Good Afternoon Investors:

We’re writing this morning to address the large volatility hitting global markets in wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, Saudi Arabia vs. Russian oil war, and other turbulence. The world today is full of uncertainty, and we want to assure our investors that we’re present, focused, and monitoring all of our investments for capital needs and outsized impact. …


Republic Labs

Republic Labs invests in venture-backed startups across all stages, industries, and geographies. Visit to learn more.

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