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Macro Micro Michael Marco & Startups at the Edge (M4Edge)
54 minutes | May 20, 2021
Michael Sachse of Dandelion Energy on Decarbonizing your Home with Geothermal
It’s not often that a small startup has ties to Google and Bill Gates. Our guest today, Michael Sachse, the CEO of Dandelion Energy inhabits that rarefied atmosphere.Dandelion Energy was originally part of Google X, Alphabet’s so-called moonshot factory. And very recently, Dandelion received substantial series B funding from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which is the VC arm of a Bill Gates – led organization whose mission is to help get the world to net zero carbon emissions.So what’s so special about Dandelion that it attracted this sort of attention? They are tackling one of the hardest clean energy problems we will face as we decarbonize, namely how to heat our homes without fossil fuels. Dandelion harnesses geothermal energy – which is itself not a new trick – but the way they do it and deliver it is indeed new. There’s tech and business model innovation involved, and since this is M4Edge, we’ll of course explore some policy issues, some labor issues and more. And you’ll learn what kind of outright ban Marco thinks would be in the public interest.Enjoy the episode, and thanks for being curious!
50 minutes | Mar 25, 2021
Nathaniel Jackson of TrueAlgae explains how he can help your strawberries taste better, last longer, while improving farmers profits and reducing GHG
We seem drawn to Agtech and impact investing. And good-tasting fruit.We kicked off our 2021 season with a discussion on impact investing or socially responsible investing, including with a startup (EcoRobotix) that produces solar-power farming equipment for AI-based precision application of herbicide. We've done a few episodes in the Agtech space, including with a startup (Strella Biotech) that uses sensors to determine optimal fruit ripening in storage, reduce food waste and make our avocados not crummy. In this episode we continue these trends, and learn from TrueAlgae CEO Nathaniel Jackson about how their product can improve crop yields while simultaneously improving the sweetness and nutrient density of fruit, all while saving farmers' money and helping reduce the GHG impact of agriculture. This company is a true "double bottom line" company, or more like triple bottom line. Nathaniel himself was an impact investor at the Inter-American Development Bank, and has strong personal stake in seeing the impact investment sector succeed.Please share the episode with your friends and ... thanks for being curious!
67 minutes | Jan 19, 2021
Doing good and doing well: Impact Investing, Social Entrepreneurship & ESG, cohosted by Georgetown's Beeck Center
We kick off this season with a deeper look at the meaning of our phrase “changing how the economy functions,” specifically examining what you may have heard of as “social entrepreneurship,” which is the idea that entrepreneurial ventures should measure themselves not just by revenue but also by metrics that capture their broader impact on the social and natural environment.Impact investing takes many forms. It can be venture firms seeking out so called “double bottom line“ or even “triple bottom line” returns, meaning financial & social returns or financial & social & environmental. In fact, there is a venture firm called DBL Partners - double bottom line - one of whose portfolio companies we’ve had on the show- Zola Electric. DBL invested in another company you may have heard of - Tesla - which is probably the most high profile, but not the only proof point that impact investing is not charitable giving. Impact investing can also refer to the idea of investors screening for or against certain types of activities. The institutional approach is the idea of ESG investing. ESG stands for environmental, social, governance. ESG investors are typically mutual funds or financial companies with specific funds that invest in companies that are promoting those aims or perhaps which are improving their own internal practices. How big is ESG? According to Morningstar, there are about 275 ESG open-end mutual funds and ETFs available in the U.S.. And according to Deloitte, 75% of investors applied ESG principles to at least a quarter of their portfolios in 2019. Another sign of how far this idea has come is that the incoming director of the National Economic Council, Brian Deese, most recently led BlackRock’s ESG investing, in other words, one of the most prominent economist positions in the country is about to be inhabited by an ESG guy.Some of the more well known impact VCs include DBL, and Revolution’s Rise of the Rest, whom we’ve also featured on M4Edge. There are many other examples, all with ambitious aims, including the HEED fund, The Impact Engine, SustainVC, Village Capital, Better Ventures and many more.We’ve decided to delve into a few of these areas, with the help of three guests. First, we’re joined by Sonal Shah, the Executive Director of the Beeck Center at Georgetown. Sonal is so steeped in the world of impact that we asked her to cohost this episode. Sonal interviews Lisa Green Hall, the Impact Chair at Apollo Global Management, but has held many roles in this space, as is really one of the pioneers of the field. But we’re technophiles here at M4Edge, so we also interview Steve Tanner, the founder and CTO of EcoRobotix, a Swiss ag-tech company whose mission is to “develop, produce and sell innovative farming machines that require low energy and that reduce the negative ecological impact of modern agriculture, while keeping costs competitive.”
45 minutes | Dec 18, 2020
Climate-Tech is really hard! And other lessons from Ricky Buch of Loctricity (Ricky's Startup Reality)
We are joined again by our friend and former colleague Ricky Buch. We’ve had Ricky on the show several times as small segments we called Ricky’s Reports from the Edge or sometimes full episodes we called Ricky’s Startup Reality. Ricky started a clean tech company - now the term of art is climate tech – called Loctricity. It was a great idea started by a smart guy with skills, knowledge, industry connections, in the right place and in the right time. But Loctricity is now on pause, and in this episode you’ll hear why, and how Ricky is still pursuing business opportunity in the distributed renewable energy space. The idea behind Ricky’s Reports and Ricky’s Startup Reality was to give listeners and inside view of what it’s like to start a company from scratch; in this episode, Ricky shares some thoughts about that process which I think are among the most insightful and sort of soul bearing that he’s shared so far.It’s been about a year since we last checked-in with Ricky, and what a year it’s been. We hope M4Edge listeners and your loved ones have stayed healthy, safe and sane, during 2020. Thanks for your loyalty, and we wish you – and everyone else – a MUCH better and happier 2021. Enjoy the holidays, enjoy the episode and, as always, thanks for being curious!Geoff Oxnam, American Microgrid SolutionsPositive Capital Partners
64 minutes | Nov 5, 2020
Guy Levy-Yurista of Sisense on being a CSO and what strategy means at startups. Strategy Miniseries Part 3
In this episode, the third in our series on startup strategy, Marco and I interview Guy Levy-Yurista , the chief strategy officer of Sisense. Sisense is an unusual business analytics or business intelligence (BI) startup, and Guy is an unusual, well, guy. Before becoming a CSO, Guy’s career included being a CTO, VP of Product, a PhD in physics, a sommelier, and more. So he brings a wealth of expertise and perspective to his job and to this conversation. We talk about what strategy means and what it means for a startup; we talk about how startups take risks; we talk about the methods for strategy; and how the job of a strategist gets done. But we also talk about AI and the singularity, what it means to think for a living , we of course talk about SciFi- but also the role SciFi plays in exercising our minds. Guy says that for him being a good strategist is all about curiosity. For M4Edge listeners, that should be a familiar refrain. Enjoy the episode and Thanks for Being Curious. Thank you to MyIpadRocks for their review on Apple Podcast. They wrote that M4Edge has an “exceptional list of guests and are on the cutting edge of thought leadership on how the use of data and manufacturing technology is evolving.” Thanks MyIPadRocks! Please write us a review, and we promise to read our favorite on the show and give you a quick shoutout for your troubles. These reviews do help, so please add yours.
52 minutes | Oct 5, 2020
Ron Carucci of Navalent on how Corporate Culture, Leadership and Cognitive Biases Affect Strategy. Strategy Miniseries Part 2
Our miniseries on startups strategy continues today with Ron Carucci. Ron is a renowned strategy consultant with three decades of experience in large and small companies, and currently he is the owner and managing partner of his own strategy consulting outfit, Navalent. Ron is also a Harvard Business Review contributor, and a TED speaker.Through the lens of his extensive experience, Ron shares his views on the different strategic challenges that companies face, starting from some very basic questions: When and how does a company realize that its strategy no longer works and needs to be revamped? What are the classic blind spots, the cognitive biases if you will that can prevent a company from realizing that the strategy is no longer on track? We discuss with Ron the best techniques to identify and tackle the key challenges, and the tricks needed to bring everyone on board. We discuss the most typical transformational challenges that companies face, and how they can different across industries and between start-ups and larger companies. We also discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic and the current focus on social issues can further complicate corporate strategy, and how companies can adapt and respond.Companies today face unprecedented uncertainty across multiple, inter-related dimensions: the pandemic, economic disruption, geopolitical turmoil, and accelerating innovation. Developing a well-designed and flexible strategy has never been more important, and it’s never been harder. Ron has seen it all; listen to his advice.Enjoy the episode and thanks for being curious!
50 minutes | Sep 1, 2020
Elma Beganovich of Amra and Elma on How Startups Identify and Reach Target Customers. Strategy Miniseries Part 1
Today we kick off a new, special miniseries on strategy. We’ll unpack the different aspects of business strategy that a startup needs to develop, discuss how strategy evolves through time as a start-up goes to market and starts to grow, and talk about how strategy for a startup differs from strategy for a large corporation.We wanted to go well beyond our own strategy experience and expertise, and bring you a wide range of different viewpoints and fields of expertise. So we have assembled an incredibly diverse set of guests for this series.They include Sue Siegel, former Chief Innovation Officer at GE as well as the CEO of GE Ventures; Ron Carucci, a top strategy consultant, Harvard Business Review contributor, and TED speaker; and Guy Levy-Yurista, Chief Strategy Officer for tech startup Sisense. And, today's guest, who is just waaay too cool for us, Elma Beganovich. A crucial aspect of a start-up strategy lies in identifying your target customer base, understanding it and knowing how to reach it. So we were delighted when Elma accepted our invitation. Elma is the Co-founder and COO of Amra & Elma, a digital marketing agency she co-founded with her sister. Elma and Amra are two influencers with an impressive stack of academic credentials (a JD and LLM, in Elma’s case), and have worked with several top large companies as well as start-ups. We discuss influencer marketing, how to successfully develop brand recognition and how to build an effective PR strategy. We also delve into the challenges and changes brought about by the pandemic, and how companies can best adapt.The broad range of perspectives we bring you in these four conversations will show you what YOU need to develop a successful strategy – and to identify the companies most likely to succeed in this new environment. We’ve learned a lot in these four episodes, and hope you’ll enjoy them too! Thanks for being curious!
55 minutes | Aug 11, 2020
Construction Decarbonization Techs #2. Sandeep Ahuja of Cove Tool on How to Choose Lower Carbon in ALL elements of Construction
Our guest today is Sandeep Ahuja, co-founder and CEO of Cove Tool. Sandeep has been named to the Forbes’ prestigious “Thirty Under Thirty” list; the recognition has given her a great boost in exposure and credibility, but it can prove to be a mixed blessing in the construction industry, as you will hear. Sandeep founded Cove Tool to help fight climate change, and here are the two numbers she wants you to focus on: worldwide, buildings account for about 40% of energy consumption and carbon emissions, and yet about 50% of buildings are designed without even thinking of energy efficiency. Why? Mainly because addressing energy efficiency in construction is devilishly difficult. So Sandeep developed a web-based platform that helps optimize energy efficiency in a holistic way, taking into account all the elements that contribute to a building’s energy consumption; and it helps identify the most cost-effective way to reach specific energy-efficiency targets. What’s more, Cove Tool is accessible to pretty much anybody, not just big firms but small contractors, individual homeowners. We also discuss the role of generative design, the impact of regulations, the dismal state of productivity growth in the construction industry, and whether the rapid global adoption of software tools like Cove will cause buildings to look increasingly alike around the world. Sandeep has an infectious enthusiasm for transforming one of the oldest industries in the world, making for a very high-energy podcast. Enjoy the episode, share it with your friends and colleagues, mention it in your countless Zoom meetings…and give us a review on iTunes! Thanks for being curious.
60 minutes | Jul 24, 2020
Construction Decarbonization Techs #1. Apoorv Sinha of Carbon Upcycling Technologies discusses storing carbon in commercial products
M4Edge is about startups with technologies that can change how the economy functions. There’s very little that is as central to a functioning economy as energy, and that’s one reason why climate change is such a deep societal problem. There are also very few industries that are as important to a growing economy as the construction industry. And so today’s episode is one of a two-part miniseries on technologies that are aimed at the greening of the construction industry. Interestingly, both of our guests were recently named to the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 list, for energy. Today’s guest is Apoorv Sinha of Carbon Upcycling Technologies, or CUT. CUT takes captured CO2 and then basically stores it, but not underground, as is one popular solution, but in commercial products. In fact, the presence of the carbon in the products, like cement, for example, actually makes the products more cost effective to produce because you use less original material, and it gives the products some enhanced qualities. It’s the trifecta. Better cost efficiency, better product, better environment. This is the kind of solution where, if it manages to scale, could be deeply impactful.Please review our show on Apple Podcasts and please share with anyone you think might be interested!As always, enjoy the episode and thanks for being curious!
62 minutes | Jun 25, 2020
The Future of ... So Much, You Decide, with Jay Rogers and Vikrant Aggarwal of Local Motors
Our episode today is about the future of ____. We left that last part blank because you can decide for yourself. We interview Jay Rogers and Vikrant Aggarwal who are, respectively, the CEO co-founder and president of Local Motors. I could tell you that Local Motors is an automotive manufacturing company, but that would be criminally uninformative. Local Motors makes vehicles that are unusual, and makes them in an unusual way. Their marquis product, Olli, is a fully autonomous, electric vehicle shuttle bus. Their manufacturing process relies on Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM), hybrid additive and subtractive manufacturing, and is designed around "microfactories" – hence the local in local motors. This conversation is about the future of mobility, manufacturing, work, supply chain, energy, you decide. And, on what other podcast can you get a CEO talking about Nobel winning Harry Markowitz, Michael Porter, Nassim Taleb, Oprah Winfrey and the Wolverine movies?If you haven’t yet rated and reviewed our show – Please do! It only takes a minute, and it really helps. Starting with the next episode, we'll read our favorite review left for us on Apple Podcasts, so make a it a good one.
29 minutes | May 22, 2020
Untangling Uncertainty Around Coronavirus and the Economy
Today's bonus episode is about the multiple layers of uncertainty we are all facing right now. More specifically, the episode is meant to give you some insight into how M4 Strategy Garage can help your business untangle those uncertainties as you try to navigate the murky waters ahead. We have categorized the covid recovery uncertainty into five elements, and within each element have identified several variables we believe are important to monitor, in order to understand how the economy will respond to the pandemic over time. We've come up with three scenarios, which each comprising a combination of those variables in differing degrees. Listen to the episode to get a taste of what we're thinking and how we can help you. Reach out to us for some deeper advice. Forward the episode to people at your company who you think can benefit from our framing of the uncertainty. Post the episode on social media to help us spread the word about M4Edge. Rate the episode and review the show on Apple Podcast and ... Stay Curious and Stay Safe!
60 minutes | May 11, 2020
Using Big Data in Real-Time to fight pandemics, navigate traffic, analyze banking and more, with Paul Appleby of Kinetica
On today's episode we speak with Paul Appleby, the CEO of Kinetica. Paul has held leadership roles in some very prominent tech companies, including SAP, SalesForce and C3, and he's now at the helm a big data startup, so he’s definitely been at the center of our changing economy, and has a lot to reflect upon. We recorded our interview with Paul in early March of 2020 and we’ve delayed the release a bit because we wanted to give room for some of our M4 Corona Combatants mini-episodes to get some airtime and some of your mindshare. If you’ve not checked those out, please do. Of course, as you heard in the teaser quote at the top of the episode and as you’ll hear in the interview, Kinetica’s power and its platform can certainly be applied to many of the problems at hand in battling the Coronavirus. Kinetica’s strength is its ability to take massive amounts of structured and unstructured data from diverse sources, and do the analytics in real time. Kinetica offers a glimpse into some of the imagined capabilities we’ve seen in movies for years, whether it’s analyzing banking transactions on the fly or the millions of pieces of real time data flow from a fully automated traffic system to tracking the unfolding of a pandemic. As Paul says, they’re at the crossroads of data, business and AI, and it’s an exciting place to be. You’ll see that this is a classic M4Edge conversation. We cover a lot of ground from pandemics to terror threats to banking to dynamic supply chains, but also to what this all means for the future of work. We know you’re a curious lot, but even for us conversation really traversed a lot of ground, so buckle up. PLEASE write us a review on Apple Podcasts, it really does make a difference. And PLEASE share an episode or the show links with a friend or on social media, and help us build or community of Curious Listeners.
8 minutes | Apr 21, 2020
M4 Corona Combatants #3: 3DHubs and Sorcero use their platforms in the fight
This episode is number 3 in our Corona Combatants series. In this series we’re trying to amplify the efforts of our guests and their companies who are using the tools at their disposal to help fight the sprawling battle against Corona. If you’ve not heard the other episodes in this series, please check them out – they include distance learning resources from Legends of Learning, accelerated lending and distance lending from Boss insights, and a Maker based effort to produced PPE by CU Denver and Make4Covid. In this episode, we highlight the work of two companies - 3DHubs - we'll hear from Ben Redwood, and Sorcero -we'll hear from Nnaemeka Osakwe. 3DHubs bookended our 2019 miniseries on 3Dprinting, and Sorcero was one of the first companies we ever had on the show, and one of our first repeat guests, so it’s heartening that both of these companies – very much part of the M4Edge community - are helping fight this fight. More of these Corona Combatants mini episodes are on the way – please really do share these with others, especially if you know someone who can help. Stay curious and healthy!https://covid19.sorcero.com/https://www.gofundme.com/f/covid19-manufacturing-fundhttps://www.m4edge.com/strategy-garage/
49 minutes | Apr 13, 2020
Robots in the Supermakets During a Pandemic, and After, with Brad Bogolea of Simbe Robotics
As the coronavirus forced governments to shut down large parts of the economy, ordering workers to stay home, one of our first questions was: where are the robots when you need them? So we invited Brad Bogolea to come on M4Edge. Brad is the co-founder and CEO of Simbe Robotics and they produce…well…robots. Their most well-known robot is named Tally, and has already been widely deployed across major retail chains, especially grocery stores. Tally goes up and down the aisles and uses image recognition to take a real time inventory of the items on the shelves. The information Tally collects is then used to improve supply chain management, but also to gain insights on consumer behavior and sales trends. Improving inventory management and supply chain management is crucial today, now that supply chains have come under enormous stress because of the Coronavirus disruption. In this podcast, Brad tells us what he is seeing in the retail sector today, and how Simbe and its robots are helping grocery chains meet our needs in this difficult time. The value of Simbe’s robots extends well beyond the current emergency: it is estimated that in normal times, inefficiencies in inventory management cost the US retail industry over 1 trillion dollars!We also discuss with Brad other areas where robots will eventually be able to contribute, and the technical and psychological aspects of human-robot interaction. Up until a few weeks ago we all feared the robots would take all the jobs. Today we almost wish they had taken them already. It’s a great time to understand better how robots and humans can work together, and how we can reach a balance that makes us all better off, including by making our economy more resilient to shocks like the one we currently face.Enjoy the episode, share it, review it on Apple Podcasts, and thanks for being curious!
64 minutes | Mar 27, 2020
Making lending faster, cheaper and better, with Keren Moynihan of Boss Insights
Our guest today is Keren Moynihan, founder and CEO of Boss Insights.Our conversation with Keren is especially timely, as we recorded this podcast on Monday, March 16th, 2020. Just the day before, Sunday March 15th , the US Federal Reserve held an emergency meeting and announced a set of monetary policy measures to support the economy during the #coronavirus crisis. The measures are strongly focused on the need to keep lending flowing to both businesses and individuals, to help them through what we all hope will be a temporary period of serious economic difficulty.This is where Keren comes in: Boss Insights has developed a set of tech applications and solutions to make lending faster, cheaper and better. In a nutshell, Boss Insights helps lenders like banks and credit unions to get fast and easy access to relevant data from the businesses that are borrowing from them or would like to borrow from them. This is especially relevant for private companies, which don’t have the same reporting requirements as publicly listed companies on the stock market. With these data, BossInsights can help banks understand their clients better. This means they can have a better assessment of the risk of the loans they make, but also of their customers’ evolving needs. For example, lenders can better anticipate whether a business will need foreign exchange services, or other financial services to manage its employees or its supply chain. The current crisis highlights how important it is for lenders to have a better, real-time understanding of their customers. The extreme social distancing measures adopted in the US and in some European countries will have a very negative impact on some sectors of the economy, and small businesses will be hit especially hard.The Fed has emphasized that banks should keep lending, to help their customers through this difficult period. For banks then it becomes crucial to be able to understand which customers face only a temporary disruption because of the shock, and which ones instead might have a more structural problem in their business model – because they need to focus their help on those businesses that can stand on their own feet once the crisis is over.Keren also talks about how the #Fintech revolution is transforming the financial sector, the role of Ai and more. It’s a great conversation on the prospects of finance and lending not just through this crisis but beyond it and well into the future.Enjoy the episode, share it with friends and colleagues, and if you can spare a few minutes do write us a review on Apple Podcasts. Thanks for being curious, and stay safe during this difficult time!
38 minutes | Mar 24, 2020
M4 Corona Combatants #2: InWorks at University of Colorado and Make4Covid. Makers coordinating against Covid
This is a very special edition of the M4Edge podcast, and a part of our Corona Combatants series: we speak with a team of people who are striving to leverage 3D printing resources to quickly supply hospitals and care centers with some of the equipment they need to handle the covid-19 emergency. Our guests are all affiliated with the University of Colorado Denver, and the Anschutz Medical Center through a novel project called Inworks, which as one of our guests says, is like a maker space on steroids. Inworks seeks to create innovative solutions to some of the world’s most challenging problems, and so stepping up for Covid response was what they were made for. And they are really stepping up the challenge.Their efforts are currently focused on Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE. This is — in the definition of the Food and Drug Administration, protective clothing, helmets, gloves, face shields, goggles, face masks and/or respirators or other equipment designed to protect the wearer from injury or the spread of infection or illness.In the fight against the covid-19 virus, health care workers are a crucial resource, and protecting them from contagion is a top priority. As the number of covid cases rises, some hospitals have already been running short of some personal protective equipment.Everyone who can, should try to help. Some automakers have switched their production to ventilators, in coordination with the FDA.As our guests explain, 3D printing has two characteristics that can help address this challenge: its speed and its distributed nature. Using 3D printing and an open source design approach can allow us to quickly develop important pieces of equipment—in this case, face shields. And leveraging the distributed nature of the 3D printing market community across the country can allow us to produce at scale and close to the health care providers in need.This podcast is also a call to arms: our guests will emphasize the need for makers, fabricators, designers, engineers and health care experts to join the effort, and explain one way of coming to help. Coordination is crucial, to learn from each other, to diffuse best practices, but also to make sure that help reaches hospitals in the most efficient way possible. Our guests have helped to launch an online platform, make4covid.co to facilitate this effort. Neither one of us is a health expert; our guests are not medical experts either, and they will underscore the importance of coordinating with the regulators and following all the FDA’s prescriptions and guidelines. Theirs is one spontaneous effort, and others are doubtlessly sprouting elsewhere around the country.In a situation that requires to have all hands on deck, we thought it would be valuable to show how 3D printing and the maker community have quickly jumped in to help, and to publicize this effort so that others can join in or reach out to our guests to exchange insights, share advice and help each other help our health care system.So this is an episode you really should share, and quickly, because it might help. If you are someone who could help, get in touch.Stay curious, stay safe and stay healthy, everyone.
7 minutes | Mar 22, 2020
M4 Corona Combatants #1: Our guests' companies efforts to help out.
M4Edge is about startups with technology that can change how the economy functions, and nothing has quite as potentially dramatic an effect on the economy as a Pandemic plus a possible recession. But some of our guests’ companies can help. In times like these, it’s very easy to despair, but it’s important to find as many ways as we can to find reasons to be hopeful, and more importantly, to create reasons for hope. We realized recently that some of our guests – these awesome entrepreneurs - are creating reasons for hope, and we wanted to amplify their efforts by sharing them with you. We’ll be releasing some mini-episodes of our entrepreneur’s forms of Corona combat. We urge you to share these, not because we want the listeners, but because these offerings and solutions will ease suffering. So please, really, spread the word. Today’s M4Edge Corona combatants are Sandy Roskes of Legends of Learning, whom we had on the show last year, and Keren Moynihan of BOSS Insights, whom we interviewed recently and whose episode hasn’t even dropped yet. Listen, and share. Stay curious and stay healthy.
56 minutes | Mar 19, 2020
Food Waste and The Secret Lives of Fruits, with Katherine Sizov of Strella Biotech
Our guest today is Katherine Sizov, Founder of Strella Biotechnology. This is our third Ag-tech show in our young 2nd season. We opened with Allison Kopf of Artemis, and this episode follow Hunter McDaniel of UbiQD. There will be more; it's one of our themes this season, and is increasingly important in the age of Corona-driven changes and challenges to our economy and supply chains.The first thing you should know is that Katherine is fresh out of college, and she founded Strella Biotechnology while she was still a student at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied molecular biology and chemistry. And by the way, she was also on the fencing team. Now to us, that’s quite impressive. Katherine decided to tackle an issue that affects every single one of us: food waste. Did you know that over one third of produce never reaches the consumer? Add in the share that does reach, but that we find unsatisfactory, and we are wasting close to one half of the fruit and vegetables harvest. And that’s in a developed country like the US, with the best refrigeration technology and transport infrastructure. Imagine in the developing world. If we want to address environmental sustainability and world hunger, we must reduce this waste. To do this, Katherine tried to figure out—as she puts it—how to hack a fruit. In this podcast, Katherine explains how fruits and vegetables talk to each other, why the expression “one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel” is actually scientifically accurate, and how Strella developed specialized biosensors to reduce food waste across the supply chain. This is a fascinating and sparkling conversation, full of surprising facts and insights on the fruits and vegetables we eat every day (at least we should) and how they get to our table. Plus you will hear directly form Katherine what it’s like to become a startup entrepreneur in college – what lessons has she drawn?Strella Biotechnology is one to watch –and so is Katherine, who is just getting started.Enjoy the episode, share it with friends and colleagues, and if you can spare a few minutes do write us a review on iTunes. Thanks for being curious!Another link to follow on Food Waste: John Oliver's masterful take on the problem a few years ago, which opened many people's eyes to this travesty: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8xwLWb0lLY
59 minutes | Feb 26, 2020
Hunter McDaniel of UbiQD on engineering the tiniest particles to have an enormous impact on lighting, agriculture, solar power and more
Today's guest is Hunter McDaniel of the company UbiQD. As in ubiquitous, but the "QD" stands for quantum dots. Today's episode is one of those wide ranging talks that has become a hallmark of some of our best M4Edge discussions. We cover not just what a quantum dot is and what UbiQD does, but the Department of Energy's National Laboratory system and the importance of basic science in the innovation process. We talk about solar power generation from your tinted windows, and we even talk about cannabis. UbiQD makes quantum dots, which are so small they're kind of impossible to imagine as you'll hear Hunter describe. Their size; their existence at the nanoscale or, more precisely, the quantum scale makes them effective at absorbing a broad spectrum of light and then converting that energy into emitted light of specific colors that you can choose or "tune" with a precise manufacturing process. So, for example, you can tune the dots to emit an orange kind of late or blue late or whatever you want. Much like our 2020 kickoff guest, Alison Kopf of Artemis, Hunter and UbiQD have chosen the indoor agriculture industry as a good first target market, including the fast booming cannabis market. But the potential for QD is enormous, including energy efficiency and lighting, solar power from the walls and windows of your skyscrapers, thinking and pigments and more. It's pretty fascinating; imagine these tiny, tiny things that could have a huge, huge impact on how we power our economy. https://www.lanl.gov/https://www.energy.gov/national-laboratories
46 minutes | Feb 4, 2020
Sam Kimzey of Chaac Technologies looks to the skies for the solution to twin problems
Our guest today is Sam Kimzey, co-founder of Chaac Technologies. That’s a pretty unusual name for a tech company – Sam will explain where the name comes from and why it is so relevant to Chaac’s mission.Chaac’s technologies has developed an innovative solution to address simultaneously two of the biggest sustainability challenges the world faces today: access to clean water and access to clean energy. In places like the US and Europe we tend to take access to water for granted, but it is a major challenge in many parts of the world, a challenge we need to solve to improve living standards and boost economic growth. The solution that Chaac technologies has come up with is the most imaginative we have come across so far; we’ll let Sam describe it to you. We’ll just say that it’s out of the box ideas like these that give us confidence that we’ll eventually be able to put global growth on a fully sustainable path.Chaac technologies is also a perfect example of an early tech startup: two cofounders, both with a background in the military, and one big idea to help millions of people. Chaac technologies has already struck several high-profile affiliations—this is a company to follow very closely.Enjoy the episode, share it with friends and colleagues, and if you can spare a few minutes do write us a review on iTunes. Thanks for being curious!
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