Marie Eric, founder and CEO of Tastee Tape
“Food businesses want alternatives to PFAS-leaching packaging films, in part because regulators and consumers are pressuring them to do better. Tastee Tape is made for this challenge. It’s 100% biodegradable and compostable. Nearly every food we wrap in plastic today could be wrapped in Tastee Tape.”
Tastee Tape has raised $275,000 from SOSV IndieBio.
Truly sustainable packaging
The global food packaging film market is expected to grow from $60 billion in 2024 to over $115 billion by 2034.

In the U.S. alone we use 12 to 15 billion pounds of food packaging film annually, but less than 5% is recycled. Moreover, these plastic films contain PFAS (aka, “forever chemicals”) that leach into foods and have been linked to serious health risks. So far, sustainable alternatives to petrochemical film are either too expensive or lack the barrier properties of plastic.  

Tastee Tape is developing edible, compostable, biodegradable packaging film that can preserve foods without harming people or the planet. Their patent-pending blend of plant fibers is strong and moisture proof, making it ideal for food safety. While existing plant films cost 5 to 20 times more than petrochemical films, Tastee Tape can be produced at cost parity with plastics. 

Founder Marie Eric was studying biomolecular and chemical engineering at Johns Hopkins University when she created Tastee Tape for a product design class. The goal was to create an edible tape that could prevent burritos from falling apart. It garnered coverage on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, NBC, CNN, and ABC and was named one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2022. At IndieBio, Tastee Tape has reengineered that prototype burrito solution into a technology that could outcompete plastic, transforming how we package and preserve foods globally.

Gabriel Villar, co-founder and CEO of Athos Bioindustries
"Mining supplies essential raw materials for everyday products and the clean energy transition. However, the industry accounts for at least 8% of global carbon emissions. Athos’ mission is to tackle sustainability head-on by empowering the mining sector to transform its alkaline waste into valuable resources and a carbon removal solution.”
Athos Bioindustries has raised $275,000 from SOSV IndieBio.
Carbon sequestration at the speed of microbes
The world’s mine tailings and similar waste streams are thought to contain over $3.4 trillion worth of unrecovered minerals and gigaton-level carbon sequestration potential.

The global mining industry produces 100 billion tons of waste every year. Often, these waste streams represent environmental hazards, added costs and liabilities for operations, and contain valuable minerals. 

Athos Bio is developing bio-mineralization technology that mitigates this waste, transforming it into a medium for permanent carbon storage and the recovery of valuable mineral commodities. The team uses microbial consortia to drive efficient mineralization reactions at ambient temperatures and pressures in bioreactors, overcoming the pitfalls of energy-intensive mineralization technologies.

Athos’s bio-mineralization process can sequester three metric tons of CO2 per four tons of mafic feedstocks (i.e., silicate rocks rich in magnesium and iron) while producing three tons of carbonates and other mineral products. Carbonates, normally mined at significant  environmental cost, are used in cosmetics, food production, pharmaceuticals, and building materials, among other things. Down the road, Athos aims to recover nickel, zinc, copper, gold, platinum, and more from mining waste. 

Athos Bio was founded by Gabriel Villar, Matt LaRosa, and Liz Muntean, who previously worked together in the AgTech space. They have extensive experience with developing functional microbial consortia solutions. At IndieBio, they are screening microbes for functional chemistry, assembling and testing consortia, and prototyping a reactor for their bio-mineralization process. At scale, their work could turn mining waste into a valuable commodity, all while fighting climate change. 

Amelia Zellander, PhD, founder and CEO of BioLattice
“We’re developing alternatives to donated tissues and organs. So many people either have low quality of life or unnecessarily short lives because the system in place just doesn't work for everyone. So, I want to do something in my career that fixes this altogether.”
BioLattice has raised $275,000 from SOSV IndieBio.
Restoring the gift of sight
Worldwide, there’s only one donor cornea for every 70 people who need a corneal transplant to restore their vision.

Every year, 2 million people develop corneal blindness, but only about 200,000 undergo a corneal transplantation to regain their vision. Almost 13 million people are on waiting lists for donor tissue, and even if they obtain it, the rejection rate for corneal replacements climbs from 10% in the first two years to almost 50% by year 15. Existing corneal alternatives (keratoprostheses) are last resort options for sight restoration. None are standard of care treatments due to complications including inflammation, infection, extrusion, opacification, and glaucoma. 

BioLattice Ophthalmics, Inc. is developing CorneaClear™, a synthetic, room-temperature-stable, biocompatible material that could expand access to corneal replacement surgery and outperform donor tissues and existing keratoprostheses. BioLattice’s cross-linked polymeric membrane is optically transparent and can be modified with additives to maintain clarity over time. Its design mimics nature to ensure that surrounding tissues recognize CorneaClear as self and reduces the risk of immune rejection.

BioLattice was founded by tissue engineer and pharmaceutical scientist Amelia Zellander, PhD. Over a decade ago, Zellander began designing corneal replacements for her dissertation at the University of Illinois Chicago. She subsequently worked in R&D at Janssen. Today, Zellander and BioLattice COO Linda Alunkal, who previously directed a Johnson & Johnson startup accelerator, are collaborating with corneal surgeons on an anatomically proper CorneaClear prototype to be used in animal trials in late 2024. Following FDA approval and clinical trials, BioLattice could help restore vision for millions of people – and then begin to engineer replacement tissues for other vulnerable organs.

Alicia Showering, co-founder and CEO of BugBiome
“We shared the same frustration around being in labs and doing things for the sake of science, not having an impact on pests or disease. That's why I founded BugBiome to bring products to market that will actually impact people's lives.”
BugBiome has raised $525,000 from SOSV IndieBio and the Genesis Consortium.
Biopesticides from the microbiome
There are 1.2 billion insects per person on Earth.

Every year, pests destroy 20% to 40% of global crop yields despite widespread use of synthetic pesticides. We spend $100 billion per year on chemicals that perform poorly, kill pollinators, and have been correlated with cancer, endocrine disruption, and brain damage in human beings. Farmers will need better solutions to feed 9.7 billion people in 2050, up from 8 billion today. 

BugBiome harnesses nature’s own defenses to protect crops from pests without any harm to people or pollinators. The team sources bioprotectants from the microbiomes of plants that have evolved to eliminate the target pest. BugBiome then uses a specialized consortia of microbes to camouflage the bioprotectant, luring in pests while minimizing their ability to develop resistance.  

BugBiome’s key advantage is AvidX, a high-throughput screening platform that observes multiple aspects of insect behavior to identify microbes with diverse modes of protecting crops. These include feeding deterrents, egg-laying inhibitors, and toxins, which can be combined to mimic the microbial communities that thwart pests in nature. BugBiome aims for AvidX to be significantly faster and more cost-effective than existing screening methods, which examine one behavior and microbe at a time in conditions unrepresentative of a real farm. 

BugBiome was co-founded by Dr. Alicia Showering, PhD in molecular microbiology for disease control, and Christopher Mosedale, an entrepreneur specializing in biotech commercialization. They aim to first produce an evidence-backed bioprotectant against aphids, a global threat to food security through the plant viruses they transmit. Ultimately, BugBiome’s technology might have an answer for every plant pest that harms humanity.

Oliver Shafaat, founder and CEO of Sci-Lume Labs
“I would argue that we need food more than we need clothes; I'd rather have people fed and walking around naked. Bylon requires no compromises there. It can clothe the world while keeping oil in the ground and freeing up land and water for food and healthy ecosystems.”
Sci-Lume Labs has raised $275,000 from SOSV IndieBio.
Natural fibers with synthetic performance
By mass, manufacturers make the equivalent of 60 Boeing 747s worth of apparel fibers per hour.

Fashion is among the world’s most wasteful industries. Textile production alone accounts for up to 10% of global carbon emissions – approximately the same as the steel industry. In the U.S., 85% of all clothes are landfilled or incinerated. Synthetic clothing fibers such as polyester and nylon are petrochemicals that can shed microplastics into our food, water, and air for generations – much like plastic bottles. Natural fibers like cotton and wool are land-, fertilizer- and water-hungry. Under pressure from regulators and consumers, apparel brands have taken steps to make a circular transition, but it is impossible for them to do this using legacy fibers.

To address this, Sci-Lume Labs has developed Bylon, a 100% recyclable, biodegradable, melt-processable polymer that can drop seamlessly into the textile supply chain. Bylon offers the moisture properties and comfort of cotton with the strength and lightness of synthetics like polyester and nylon. Just as manufacturers turn oil into synthetic textiles, Sci-Lume Labs can valorize agricultural waste from industries such as biofuels and brewing to make Bylon cost-efficiently. Upstream and downstream, Bylon uses the same infrastructure and processes in use today.  

Sci-Lume Labs was founded by Oliver Shafaat, a Caltech PhD who previously worked on developing next-gen fibers in Japan. Based in Oklahoma, Sci-Lume Labs is currently developing swatches and prototype garments to showcase Bylon’s end-to-end supply chain compatibility. With Bylon, neither consumers nor manufacturers have to change their behavior to prevent textile fibers from damaging the environment.

Gabriel Peer, co-founder and CEO of Starstone
“As the global population grows, we’ll need to create new infrastructure at an unprecedented pace. At Starstone, we’re developing a low-emission, bio-based concrete that can quickly achieve cost parity with conventional concrete.”
Starstone has raised $275,000 from SOSV IndieBio.
Biology-based concrete
Cement and concrete, a $500 billion industry, accounts for at least 7% of global CO2 emissions.

Global demand for cement, a key ingredient in concrete, is expected to grow from 4.2 billion tons today to 6.2 billion by 2050. The construction industry relies on it to build everything from homes and buildings to roads and bridges to dams and seawalls. Cement, however, is responsible for almost 90% of concrete emissions. So far, technologies that eliminate cement (or clinker, cement’s carbon-intensive bonding agent) have failed because they cannot scale or compete on cost.

Starstone is developing a bio-concrete that removes cement from the equation. Instead of hauling rock from quarries to kilns to make cement, Starstone grows bacterial cement in fermentation tanks situated at concrete casting facilities. Once that bio-cement is combined with the usual sand aggregate and water, it functions like conventional concrete and slashes the emissions per ton by at least 70%. 

Starstone’s proprietary technologies include genetically modified bacteria mixes, enzymatic active ingredients, upcycled bacteria feed, recyclable media, and aggregates sourced from industrial byproducts. These will make Starstone concrete cost-competitive with conventional concrete at scale. 

Starstone co-founders, Gabriel Peer and Reut Sorek Abramovich, PhD, and their teammates bring experience in construction, fermentation, microbiological structures, and biomineralization. At IndieBio Demo Day, the Tel Aviv-based company will have a hybrid, bio-concrete breeze block – type of decorative concrete block – made with 50% less cement than conventional concrete. It will illustrate Starstone’s potential to eliminate carbon-intensive steps from concrete production without compromising on cost or quality.