Health Care, Family Office

An Investment Thesis for an Innovative Family Foundation

How Might We...?

We refined a single question as a group to direct our work together; evaluating venture's role in a philanthropic endeavor.

Critical Players & Journey Milestones

We identified how each critical player interacted to identify road blocks and opportunities for innovation.

Analyzing The Landscape

We engaged patients, administrators, advocates, and subject matter experts individually and in cross-disciplinary roundtables.

Stages of

Research & Modeling
Prototyping & testing
Design & Branding


Three Lakes Foundation (TLF) is a family foundation dedicated to an orphan lung disease called Pulmonary Fibrosis. Fueled by personal loss and frustration, one family channeled grief into action and created TLF to close funding gaps, nurture collaboration, and drive innovation.

Further Faster partnered with Three Lakes Foundation to develop an investment thesis for a potential venture fund or studio to drive innovation and strategic investment in Pulmonary Fibrosis.


"Working with FF validated my theory that we can be more strategic and impactful by taking the time to drill down and develop a thesis for investment. The project illuminated challenges that seriously impacted our original intent, changed our strategy and saved us time and money."

Dana Ball, Executive Director


Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a little-known lung disease that affects more than five million people worldwide. Approximately 40 - 50,000 people in the US are diagnosed each year and another 40,000 die annually. Currently, there are no available therapies to stop or reverse the disease's progression. For many in the PF community, the pace of change is too slow. Awareness of the disease is almost invisible. Misdiagnosis is common. Access to care and medications are lacking. And the patient experience is frustrating.

Further Faster partnered with Three Lakes Foundation to develop an investment thesis for a potential venture fund or studio.


Market + Competitive Analysis

Gaining a clear understanding of the marketplace as it exists today is essential to effectively deploying capital and fostering innovation. We underwent a rigorous research process to map the current state of the oxygen innovation ecosystem, looking at trends and data to shape the investment thesis.

Primary Research

There is no substitute for primary research. In order for all of our other research to be most impactful, we  understood the context in which these market conditions came to exist. We prioritized listening to the experiences of the key stakeholders in our ecosystem - including patients - to inform our path forward.

Financial Analysis

Taking what we learn through our various forms of research, we’ll apply a critical financial lens to the work to determine how to best deploy capital with the current market realities. This will enable Three Lakes Foundation to be more impactful in their investment strategy and accelerate the impact of those investments.

Stakeholder Roundtables

In close collaboration with Ilument, we will convene small groups of key stakeholders to surface additional insights and prospective pathways to collaboration. These meetings are essential to translating our literature reviews, and quantitative research into action.

Synthesis + Recommendations

We synthesized our learnings and re-evaluated the assumptions we named at the beginning of the work. We iterated on our thesis and made actionable recommendations for ways to move the work forward. We evaluated the thesis based on the market expectations of pro investors for a return (~i.e, 5x their investment or 35% IRR over five year holding period).


A clear analysis of the landscape and market opportunities for the areas of innovation.

We surfaced the market opportunities and gathered evidence to validate our assumptions about the key areas for oxygen innovation.

Key stakeholder round tables

Alongside surveying and primary 1:1 research interviews, we conducted thematic roundtable discussions to gain deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities through the people who are most impacted by the lack of innovation and those shaping its future. These contacts continue to serve TLF in the shaping of their programming and initiatives.

A well-defined, evidence based investment thesis.

Our research revealed legislative changes that needed to be made for startup companies to thrive in the market. We developed an action plan for TLF to leverage the coalition that we brought together and lunch a data gathering and advocacy strategy that they are executing on today. Once complete we will move forward with the development of their fund to accelerate oxygen device innovations.

See All Work

Read more about the  Further Faster process, step-by-step.