The world they live in is built from petroleum. The paints on their walls, the carpets in their homes, the tires on their cars, the plastics for everyday consumer goods – these and many more products are made from chemicals that are mostly made from petroleum, creating a $3 trillion/yr industry. To fulfill their dependency on petroleum, they do crazy things like setting up oil rigs in the middle of the ocean and drilling several miles into the ocean floor! They’ve done these things because they have had no alternative to meet their needs. Not anymore! Over the past decade, advances in engineering microorganisms have afforded us the opportunity to make the same chemicals that are traditionally made from petroleum. Instead of requiring raw materials buried deep within the earth, microbes can use abundant and renewable sources of carbon such as sugars during processes akin to brewing beer. Despite the numerous advantages, making chemicals this way at the industrial level is still rare. This is because it’s still more expensive than using petroleum for producing the chemicals. Although a few challenges need to be solved to usher in the era of renewable chemicals, a fundamental constraint that limits the economic competitiveness of using microbes is the loss of at least 33% of the carbon as carbon dioxide waste during the fermentation – think of this as the head on your beer. Because of this carbon loss, potential product is simply not made. In technical terms, the maximum achievable yields are 67%. As sugars are the most expensive component of a bioprocess, making the carbon dioxide waste translates to as much as 20% of total costs, which severely hampers the economics of the bioprocess and its competitiveness with petroleum-based production methods. At ZymoChem, they are re-imagining the microbe, one that is designed to eliminate (or substantially reduce) carbon loss during the production of chemicals. To do this, they had to design a completely new biosynthetic pathway – one that doesn’t exist in nature – to make the chemicals. Each individual step of this pathway is designed to not lose carbon as carbon dioxide, enabling their biosynthetic pathway to retain all of the sugar’s carbon into the final chemical product. This carbon conservation allows their approach to have superior theoretical yields, up to 50% better than existing state-of-the-art technology! In turn, their technology has the potential to substantially lower production costs and drastically improve cost-competitiveness for making a variety of chemicals from renewable sources, even at today's oil prices.
Cytovale is a medical diagnostics company focused on providing a more rapid and insightful way to diagnose fast-moving and immune-mediated diseases. Our FDA cleared IntelliSep test is pioneering a new way of quickly and accurately analyzing white blood cells to stratify a patient’s risk of sepsis by performing a biomechanical evaluation of white blood cells collected from a standard blood draw in under 10 minutes. Cytovale’s first market application will be for sepsis, one of the fastest-moving, most lethal conditions in the world. Sepsis, a dysregulated immune response to infection, is often difficult to quickly and accurately diagnose. Sepsis is the no. 1 cause of death in hospitals, taking the lives of 270,000 people every year in the U.S. – more than opioid overdoses, prostate cancer, and breast cancer combined. Mortality from sepsis increases as much as eight percent with every hour of delayed treatment, and as much as 80 percent of sepsis deaths could be prevented with rapid diagnosis and treatment, making early detection essential. Cytovale aims to provide critical insight for early identification of patients at risk of having sepsis, in the time needed for it to be useful.
Modern Meadow is a purpose-driven company positioned at the intersection of material science and biology with a mission to be a catalyst for real-world impact on people and the planet. Modern Meadow’s proprietary Bio-Alloy™ and Bio-F@rm™ technology application platforms harness the unique properties of tuned proteins to sustainably move the world away from petrochemical and animal-derived inputs without compromising on performance. These innovations can drop into any existing infrastructures for immediate scalable adoption in the materials, beauty, and other industries. Our close relationship with development partners and production facilities allows companies partnering with Modern Meadow to feel confident knowing our products are 100% traceable from Lab-to-Brand™.
Ecovative uses biology to solve fundamental human needs at industrial scales and in consumer applications. Ecovative uses mycelium to grow category defining products ranging from leather like textiles to sustainable packaging to high performance foams for apparel and beauty. Ecovative has been widely recognized for its technical and environmental contributions by organizations like the World Economic Forum and in the media including Wired Magazine, Forbes, and Time.
Checkerspot is a materials innovation company. Advances in our understanding of biology, chemistry and materials science are converging with breakthroughs in data science and unleashing capabilities they once only imagined. Checkerspot's technology unlocks this potential, expands the palette of materials available to product designers and enables a more intentional way to design performance materials for specific applications. As a graduate of the Illumina Accelerator program, we are building a technology platform that enables the design – at a molecular level – of new materials. Through applications development, they prototype and iterate on specific product embodiments. By engaging directly with product users and partnering with socially responsible corporations, they design and bring to market superior products with better materials.
CellChorus provides comprehensive, dynamic analysis of single cells for biopharmaceutical companies. The company’s TIMING platform applies visual AI to evaluate cell activation, killing and movement as a function of time in order to maximize our understanding of the cellular function, state and phenotype of immuno-oncology and other therapies.
EnPlusOne is on a mission to bring RNA and RNA solutions to the world. Its ezRNA synthesis platform is a stepwise innovation that can incorporate a diverse array of nucleotide modifications and promises a manufacturing process that can sustainably deliver therapeutic RNA at commercial scales. In addition to direct RNA synthesis, EnPlusOne's ezRNA platform supports a vast array of RNA solution applications. For more information, please visit www.enplusonebio.com
ShiraTronics is in the early stages of developing new innovative therapies to combat debilitating migraine headaches. The company is focused on commercializing novel neuromodulation technologies to treat this large unmet clinical need for patients and physicians. ShiraTronics is the first spinout from NuXcel a global medical device accelerator company.