Thank you for the emails, tweets, texts, and notes in response to last week’s announcement. It was heartwarming to hear from so many of you. As noted in that post, the friendships and connections I have made through this project have been the best part.
In today’s follow-up, you’ll hear about the Beckley Waves origin story and mission from the founders, Amanda Feilding, Rock Feilding-Mellen, and Dan Love.
The company’s focus—building and funding businesses, products, and services that will create safe and responsible access to psychedelics for therapeutic and transformational purposes—is why Beckley Waves is such a good fit for The Trip Report and why I am excited to be joining the team.
Why We Created Beckley Waves
After decades of advocating for drug policy reform, raising philanthropic support for psychedelic science, designing and initiating clinical trials, and collaborating with pioneering researchers to cautiously and methodically revive the field of psychedelic science, it is gratifying to see the broader adoption of rigorous scientific work, the abundance of drug policy reform efforts underway around the world, and a cultural recalibration of the stigma and perception of psychedelics.
The psychedelic experience can have profoundly positive effects when coupled with intention, support, and guidance. It is wonderful that the world is starting to recognize this.
Several years ago, we realized that there was going to be a rush of for-profit funding coming into the psychedelic ecosystem, much of it based on the research findings instigated, co-designed, and funded by the Beckley Foundation.
Rather than ignore this or turn a blind eye, we realized that Amanda’s life mission could only be fully achieved by leveraging the resources and skills of the private sector. As a pioneer and leader in the field, she feels an incredible responsibility to help build the critical projects and support high-integrity founders that will steer this nascent ecosystem in the right direction.
While the first wave of investment has overwhelmingly gone into biotechnology and drug development companies, we recognized that there was also going to be a need for a new paradigm of care delivery for psychedelic medicines for when regulators approve them and as progressive policy reforms are enacted around the globe.
With the rollout of both expected in the next year or so, it is imperative that investment and company formation activity turn toward building the infrastructure necessary for safe, legal, and equitable access.
And this is why we started Beckley Waves.
Beckley Waves is a venture studio focused on building and investing in companies that will help to provide the care delivery infrastructure needed for safe, legal, and equitable access to psychedelic medicines and other therapies for improving mental health, wellbeing, spirituality, and personal development.
We chose the studio model instead of the typical VC fund because we decided we could have a greater impact and create more value by focusing on a small number of startups, for which we will leverage the Beckley network, knowledge, and reputation to maximize their chances of long-term success.
To make this paradigm a reality, Beckley Waves seeks to build and invest in the critical infrastructure projects being undertaken by leaders with integrity that will yield safe, equitable, and legal access to the benefits that we know are possible through psychedelics.
Such projects could include clinics, retreats, therapist training, ancillary technologies, consumer education and harm reduction, insurance reimbursement, and others, including information and learning resources for industry stakeholders.
This brings us to our acquisition of The Trip Report.
About The Trip Report by Beckley Waves
To help us achieve this vision, we are delighted to have acquired The Trip Report and brought Zach’s experience, passion, and curiosity in-house to help.
We have been fans and readers of Zach and The Trip Report for some time. We have always found his analysis of this complex, multifaceted and dynamic domain informative, engaging and insightful.
Whenever we asked people who their favourite writers and resources were, Zach and The Trip Report was nearly always at the top of the list.
In Zach, we found a like-minded and thoughtful collaborator whose work positively contributes to the direction we hope to see this psychedelic ecosystem move.
We have a shared belief that psychedelics portend a paradigm shift in mental health, personal, interpersonal, and spiritual development. But these are potent substances that need to be thoughtfully and cautiously integrated into society with due reverence. Part of this integration will be accomplished through media and information stewardship, which is why we hope The Trip Report by Beckley Waves can help foster a thoughtful, informed, and responsible industry.
Therefore, it is a source of pride and joy to bring Zach on board at Beckley Waves and give him a platform and the support to continue providing the psychedelic community with great analysis and thoughtful commentary on the emerging landscape.
It is an exciting time for psychedelics—legal access to psychedelics for therapeutic and transformational purposes is coming.
But there is still much to be done to ensure that this paradigm is safe, responsible, and equitable.
By cofounding or partnering with early-stage teams building critical infrastructure projects, we hope to make it a reality.
—Amanda, Rock, and Dan