Introducing IndieBio SF – Batch 11

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vol. 11
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vol. 11
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Slide Proteinea No Capex Biomanufacturing “Imagine being able to scale up drug production in just 14 days.” Mahmoud Eljendy, CEO In 14 days, insect larvae will increase in size by a factor of 1,000,000

The major lesson of the Cleantech 1.0 era was “reduce or avoid the Capex.” Today, in the new Cleantech 2.0 era, we are always looking for companies that can scale up without the huge investment needed into expensive facilities.

Proteinea is a new approach to the field of precision fermentation. You might call it “bioreactor-free.” Rather than growing high-value complex biologics in e coli, or in yeast, or even in insect cells – inside large steel bioreactors – Proteinea uses whole insect larva, growing on low-cost feedstocks. These larva are inoculated and produce the target biologic in every cell, then through downstream processing, the target biologic is extracted and purified.

With this approach, bioproduction can scale up far more rapidly and with ultra-low capex spend. Right now, Proteinea is working on multiple projects with three corporate partnerships. One is scaling up a polio-vaccine. One is an aquafeed vaccine. And one is a biologic drug.

Proteinea has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium

Slide California
A delicious answer to chocolate’s harsh truths -- cell based chocolate
“When you’re looking for the world’s best chocolate, it’s no longer just about taste. It’s about where it comes from, and doesn’t.”
Alan Perlstein, CEO
From West Africa to Peru, surging chocolate production has become a major driver of deforestation. Onto those lands come underpaid paid small farmers, or child labor which is not paid at all.

Around a decade ago, cocoa bean cells were cultured in giant, 20,000 liter bioreactors – it worked, except for one little problem. To get the cells to grow, they had to use the main toxic ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp. California Cultured has solved that issue by enticing cocoa cells to grow with stimulation by food ingredients you’d find in any grocery store. Second-time founder Alan Perlstein (Joywell Foods) leads this team, which is going to market rapidly with a D2C subscription model.

The benefits extend beyond social impact. California Cultured’s cocoa cells are less bitter, which helps human health. This is important because conventional chocolate can be 50% sugar to counteract cocoa’s bitterness. California Cultured is aiming to reduce sugar content 10x.

California Cultured has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium

Slide Aja
The Beyond Meat of Hair Extensions “Many women spend more on their hair every year than they spend on their iPhone. It’s a big deal, and deeply personal.”
Osahon Ojeaga, CEO
Around the developing world, women and girls as young as eight years old are paid just $11 to $25 for selling their hair to supply the hair extension marketplace. The only readily available alternative is plastic synthetic hair, made from petrochemicals, from which consumers often experience toxicity reactions. At worst, these plastics potentially trigger endocrine disruption. Despite all these issues, extensions and weaves are still a fast-growing $7 billion market.

Aja Labs, led by an impressive team of African American and female founders, aims to be the ethical and more sustainable choice in hair extensions and weaves. Aja Labs makes human-like hair from plants by utilizing proprietary fiber processing, biotechnology, and microparticle technology to upcycle waste crop matter into premium, healthy hair extension products. The team is engineering sustainable fibers using materials that are better for human and planetary health.

Aja Labs has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium

Slide Moderna for plants – adaptive crops with a ‘click’ “Today, new crop genetic development is a two-year process that takes $20 million. We want to make that four months, and $20 thousand.
Brendan Collins, CEO Half of all plant species are at risk from climate change

The world is changing faster than crops can adapt. To make crops more adaptive, we need a speedier way to alter their gene expression. Most plant genes are unexplored because their role is too subtle to be picked up by GWAS. are leaders in interpretable machine learning in the realm of agricultural genetics.

This drastically narrows (by around 100x) the scope of candidate genes to validate. Paired with a system to deliver gene regulators via the soil, attempts to replace the trial-and-error breeding of the past with a computational and programmable responsive system. has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium

Slide OncoPrecision The right drug for the right patient “Despite great advances in tumor mutation information, up to 75% of cancer patients may not respond to the prescribed treatment.
Tarek Ali Zaki, CEO Oncologists now have well over a hundred precision therapies in development, with waves more advancing rapidly to market. Even with detailed genetic analysis of tumors, it’s very hard to predict what’s the best choice for the patient. The market is evolving towards functional assays: testing drugs and drug combinations on organoids, grown from tumor biopsies, to seek the best therapeutic approach. But this is slow, and it’s expensive. OncoPrecision skips the organoid and uses cell culture lines, combined with patient-derived cells, to rapidly and inexpensively find the best drug.

OncoPrecision has raised $850,000, from SOSV, GridX, Genesis Consortium and FPM.

Slide Vertical
You thought vertical farming was cool? Meet vertical oceans. “Why wait for clean shrimp to be grown in a lab? Get clean shrimp today, sustainably grown in our urban vertical oceans.”
John Diener, CEO
90% of the fish consumed in the U.S. comes from China and overseas

Vertical farms are exploding, but why grow lettuce? There's something else you can grow that generates 12x more revenue, on the same minimal land footprint. No, it's not marijuana. It's shrimp - in multi-story vertical oceans.

Humankind’s future will include cultured meat and plant-based meat, but it will also include sustainably grown animal protein. What “self-driving” is to the car industry, “self-cleaning” is to the booming aquaculture industry. Zero waste, zero effluent. With Feed-Conversion-Ratios (FCRs) below 1.0. Vertical Oceans aims to be the world’s first seafood company to reach these hallowed benchmarks. The whole system is run on their biocomputer. Having just moved from their pilot facility to a larger demo facility in Singapore, they’ll be running four harvests this spring and are coming to Chicago soon. Their jumbo shrimp are 16-20 per pound.

Vertical Oceans has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium.

Slide Capra
Biofilms to the rescue
“In the future, even motor oil won’t be made from oil.” Liz Onderko, CEO Capra is making high performance lubricants for the $150 billion motor oil market. But first they’re making a bio-Retinol for the cosmetics market.

In fermentation, biologists focus on free-floating bacteria and yeast for making products today – and if biofilms develop, it’s a big problem. Capra reverses that equation. In nature, 99% of all microbial activity takes place in biofilms, and at Capra, biofilms are the solution. Biofilms mean more cells and less water – resulting in a process that requires less infrastructure and minimal downstream processing. These bring cost savings of at least 50%, and up to 90%.

Capra Biosciences has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium.

Slide Panacea
Turning 16:8 into 24/7 “We’re giving you all the benefits of fasting — even when you eat.”
Dr. Chris Rhodes, CEO
In 2020, intermittent fasting surpassed keto dieting and ‘clean eating’ as the most popular eating pattern in diet and nutrition. 10% of Americans now practice some form of intermittent fasting, but almost no products exist to support this massive market.

Dr. Chris Rhodes, the CEO of Panacea Longevity and nutrition influencer with over 150K followers on TikTok (@thatnutritiondr), wants to change that. Panacea Longevity has invented the world’s first “fasting mimetic” supplement designed from years of human research at UC Davis to give people the benefits of fasting without the fasting. How? By supplementing with a combination of the same beneficial bioactive metabolites your body naturally produces during a prolonged fast.

Unlike their competition, Panacea’s fasting mimetic is designed from human research, for maximum human benefit. These are the compounds that evolved in your own body over millennia to induce a “bio-program” of cellular health, regeneration, and longevity. The results? Panacea has shown that their fasting mimetic extends lifespan by a stunning 74% in model organisms and creates powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in human cells. If that already has you drooling, don’t worry, Panacea is racing to market for a launch this year so you can finally have breakfast without breaking your fast!

Panacea Longevity has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium
Dr. Chris's Tiktok @thatnutritiondr

Slide Lypid “Alternative fats are the secret ingredient in alternative proteins.”
- Jen-Yu Huang, CEO

Despite huge sales jumps, plant meat is only 2.5% of the protein market. For the next wave of growth, plant meat needs to be more like animal meat.

Vegan oils have different textures, melting points, water content, and flavor-volatility than animal fats. Lypid are the inventors of PhytoFat, a line of fats made from vegan oils that can be tuned to precise textures and melting points. They do this without additives like texturizers, emulsifiers, or hydrogenation. Their secret? Water. Which makes their products healthier, lower cost, and more fat-like.

Lypid has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium

Slide Canaery What if computers could smell … everything? “The world is at risk of closing. Closing borders to each other, closing the movement of goods and products. Trust is eroding, fast. Our mission is to keep the world open. Open for business, open for travel, open for the international trade that brought our world together.”
Gabriel Lavella, CEO Canaery will be a security company, detecting and identifying dangers in all goods and people – at ports, airports, inspection points, and borders. They don’t use X-Rays, nor do they use cameras. Instead, they will use scent. Absolutely everything in the world gives off a unique signature of volatile compounds, perpetually – a scent-fingerprint.

Being able to detect and identify everything through scent has long been a holy grail in tech. Canaery is a neural interface company from the Rinberg Lab at NYU, the world’s leading lab for how olfactory information is represented in the brain. Canaery will do for scent what machine vision has done for sight.

Canaery has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium.

Slide Ozone
One word: Zombiezymes
“Nylon 66 is the secret ingredient in most plastics, added for toughness and strength, and it’s at the core of our plastics problem.” Khorcheska Batyrova, CEO Worldwide, 8 billion pounds of nylon are produced each year — 1.5 pounds for every person on earth.

Can Green Chemistry be a high-margin business? The conventional wisdom has been "no." Bio-Nylon, for example, has a big Green Premium because manufacture is so expensive. Ozone Bio changes the bio-nylon industry's economics -- enabling high margin and massive growth. In addition, they can make Nylon a circular-economy product for the first time, using lignin waste from the paper industry. Their process is so super-scalable that they are already working at 50 liters volume.

Ozone Bio has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium

Slide Sundial
It’s time to get skin in the game “Any chef will tell you. Chicken tastes better with the skin on. It provides both the crispiness and the juiciness. Plant-based chicken needs to up its game.” Jessica Schwabach, CEO On Superbowl Sunday alone, 1.25 billion chicken wings are consumed in the US.

Sundial makes plant-based chicken wings wrapped with a signature and delicious skin. Their 1.0 product already has flexitarians raving, from a trial in 41 stores where it earned 85% approval rating, and they are hard at work inventing Skin 2.0. The co-founders are plant and cell biologists from UC Berkeley.

Sundial Foods has raised over $500,000, from SOSV and Nestle.
See the Instagram

Slide Prolific
Accelerating the transition to sustainable cell production
“The future isn’t mince meat. The future is whole cuts generated with single cell resolution.” Dr. Deniz Kent, CEO Enabling high precision control of cell-differentiation at scale, Prolific Machines aims to improve multiple markets – biopharma production, cell therapies, and cultured meat.

Prolific Machines has raised $500,000, from SOSV.

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