Prioritisation of mental health — If we live longer, these added years must be physically and mentally healthy. People with treatment-resistant conditions and complex diagnoses are out there waiting for solutions. We need technology-driven approaches to help these patients live better lives. As an added bonus: viewing mental health as part of longevity also unlocks more understanding of brain function. For neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, new insights into brain health can make all the difference in delivering a cure.

The term Blue Zones has been used to describe places where people live long and healthy lives. What exactly does it take to live a long and healthy life? What is the science and the secret behind longevity and life extension? In this series, we are talking to medical experts, wellness experts, and longevity experts to share “5 Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life.”

As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Sergey Jakimov, founding partner at LongeVC.
Sergey Jakimov is a founding partner of LongeVC, an international venture capital firm with a mission to bring to market breakthrough biotech that will change lives and transform the nature of our health. He has co-founded 3 deep-tech ventures, including medical data startup Longenesis.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

I grew up in a village in the east of Latvia. I went to university and received a BA and two MAs, all unrelated to biotech. I was always fascinated by how one can transform a piece of science into a commercial product, so I started building my own deep-tech companies pretty early. You could say I’m a serial entrepreneur. I co-founded three deep tech ventures and have also raised more than $50 million in venture funding. I have been a fundraising adviser on several other startups in the therapeutics space, IP protection, and clinical trial strategies. I am a visiting lecturer at several universities on venture capital and intellectual property rights. I also co-authored a master’s program in Technology Law for the Riga Graduate School of Law.

Besides this, I have led the medical tech startup Longenesis since 2018, and I was also one of the Forbes Latvia 30 Under 30 in technology and healthcare in 2020.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

I founded my first company when I was just 23 years old. We were struggling to raise capital for a science-backed venture. Eventually, a local fund (kudos to them) agreed to a pre-seed ticket (which was worth €50,000 at the time) if we could bring in a contract with a major industrial player. The team was me and my co-founder, the only two employees at the time. But we did it. The lesson I learned is even tiny, underdeveloped, understaffed companies have a shot with large institutional partners. That is, if you can time it right and if you can find the right people to introduce you. Anyone is reachable through the network of handshakes.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My mom is the reason I am where I am today. Success (in general, but especially if you are starting companies, raising funds, or breaking into new sectors) is influenced by many variables. I attribute all the variables that helped me succeed — my discipline, getting a proper education, and never giving up — entirely to my mom. Everything else is secondary, and with the right starting off point, you can obtain them as you go.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

The three character traits that have helped me succeed are discipline, curiosity, and the ability to listen first, instead of talking first.
Discipline is often confused with motivation — this is wrong. Discipline ensures repeatability no matter what, while motivation is something that can come and go during the week.

To me, curiosity explains how, despite having a quant/finance degree, I ended up in the biotech sector as a founder and investor. Only a curious person would be called to explore a career so different and to stay there. I would add that this should be disciplined curiosity — to be genuinely curious about any field and learn it properly, no matter your background, you really need to dedicate at least half a year to understanding the basics of it.

Finally, listening to people is a hard-earned skill. I always try to enter a conversation to figure out what the other side has to say, instead of simply delivering my point of view. This has helped me tremendously as I normally go by a very simple principle — people on my team are always much smarter than me in the areas of their specialisation. So listening is key.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview about health and longevity. To begin, can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fields of health, wellness, and longevity? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

I became interested in longevity after founding several deep-tech startups and working with early-stage pharma. I helped pre-IND companies raise and formulate their clinical trial strategies and IP protection. As a founder, my VCs were game-changing. They introduced us to industry stakeholders, delivered valuable business opportunities, and provided critical regulatory guidance. This support can decide whether a project reaches major milestones like human trials. Longevity and longevity founders will need this support as their sector becomes more mainstream — not just to scale, but to adjust to changing regulatory environments and properly manage risk. That experience gives me insight into what it will take to achieve the results we have been discussing — which underpins my expertise in the investment corner of health, wellness, and longevity.

On a more general level, all three partners of LongeVC agreed on the following when we started the fund — none of us is a brilliant scientist. Therefore, we cannot ourselves create groundbreaking treatments and help humanity in this way. But what we can do is find these people, find them early, and give them the resources to succeed. That is our contribution to the world of wellness.

Seekers throughout history have traveled great distances and embarked on mythical quests in search of the “elixir of life,” a mythical potion said to cure all diseases and give eternal youth. Has your search for health, vitality, and longevity taken you on any interesting paths or journeys? We’d love to hear the story.

If only there were such a thing. Health and wellness involve making choices and taking action, and it is very personal for me. I run long-distance several times a week, combining it with a bodyweight exercise routine and strict diet. The cardiovascular benefits are great, of course, but vigorous exercise can also mimic the effects of immunosuppressants with very few side effects, which I need due to specific health conditions. I also do not use alcohol and don’t smoke — two super simple steps anyone can take that make a world of difference. I’m 31, so I do not use specific longevity supplements and prefer regularly scheduled screenings instead. 
I am also really sceptical about the “elixir of life” even being a feasible concept — aging is a complex systemic phenomenon of accumulation of pre-pathogenic factors, which just happens because of your metabolism (e.g., you being around and living on this planet). So, a complex, prevention-based approach should always be a priority. The closest you can come to an elixir is eating a balanced diet, quitting alcohol and smoking (the single most devastating thing you can do to yourself), and getting enough sleep.

Based on your research or experience, can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Live A Long & Healthy Life”? (Please share a story or an example for each)

Prioritisation of mental health — If we live longer, these added years must be physically and mentally healthy. People with treatment-resistant conditions and complex diagnoses are out there waiting for solutions. We need technology-driven approaches to help these patients live better lives. As an added bonus: viewing mental health as part of longevity also unlocks more understanding of brain function. For neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, new insights into brain health can make all the difference in delivering a cure.

Looking at health as an optimisation game, not just trying not to get sick — We look at the applications and the science of the companies where we invest. These will help doctors diagnose diseases earlier, which will help people live longer. Blood tests, biomarker monitoring and gene mapping are promising. It’s not “traditional” longevity, but preventing early deaths is important to living longer. 
Realism — There is no magic pill or potion. Unfortunately, some actors lean into this idea and promote claims that would easily be debunked in an open research setting.

Get screened regularly — This is part of preventive medicine and living a healthy life. It is an administrative task, really — but once you are doing this regularly (i.e., once a year), you will see that it isn’t so difficult to do.

Avoid drugs and alcohol — This is a simple step but very effective.

Can you suggest a few things needed to live a life filled with happiness, joy, and meaning?

First, do something meaningful for society. Second, avoid comparing yourself to others and take time to enjoy life (in other words, take time to rest). Preferably, work with people who feel the same way. And under no condition should you become obsessed with only goals — they are usually too far away. Instead, break it down into doable steps every day so you can make progress no matter what.

Some argue that longevity is genetic, while others say that living a long life is simply a choice. What are your thoughts on this nature vs. nurture debate? Which is more important?

It’s both, and it’s tremendously complex. For some people, it is hereditary, and without consciously ruining your health with bad habits, you can live to old age with little to no maintenance. For others, it involves in-born genetic risks of developing cancers, neurodegenerative conditions and other diseases. In such cases, the mission becomes more complex — constantly screening, preventing, and understanding your risk areas. In other words, a much more high-maintenance lifestyle vs. the case above. Both, however, end up being dependent primarily on your lifestyle choices.

Life sometimes takes us on paths that are challenging. How have you managed to bounce back from setbacks in order to cultivate physical, mental, and emotional health?

Discipline is what keeps me bouncing back. I’ve found myself in dark places, both health condition-wise and professional burnout-wise. The key is having the discipline to pause, assess your options, and take one step at a time in a direction that might work, instead of making rash decisions or getting too wrapped up in the situation to make decisions carefully.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

Everything is temporary. The degree you use now, the career you have now, the health you have now — it can all change.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Next time we visit the doctor, we should ask them to treat our aging. And if they say, “You’re too young for that,” or “What do you mean?” we answer in return: There are many diseases that I will never develop, but aging is the one I will experience no matter what, and I am experiencing it right now. Please help me treat it so I can age well.

This might incite some frustration with our doctors, especially if they have not been given the tools or education to treat us this way, but that frustration creates pressure. Pressure to have answers. Pressure to look at patients in a different way. And pressure on ourselves to come to terms with our aging and take control of it as we would any symptom.

What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?

Give us a follow at LongeVC (here’s our LinkedIn) and connect with me here, too — I often share articles on longevity and biotech, so if this is a space you want to know more about, our work is a good place to start learning about exciting companies and scientific breakthroughs.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.