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What technology challenges have you faced over the past few months and what steps have you taken to overcome them?
The biggest challenges were in validating the most suitable type of bioreactors to use for making our PHAs — and hitting consistently higher yields. We’ve overcome them by pursuing continuous reiterations of our experimentation and methodology. In other words, we tried many things that failed, but ultimately success was found after a lengthy process of elimination.
As a new entrepreneur, how do you enjoy tackling business issues — IP, hiring, governance, etc. — as opposed to just technology development?
It’s been absolutely satisfying to learn the business development side, as opposed to just technology development. They have to go hand-in-hand.
What were some of the highlights of the past quarter?
We’ve had several, but I’m particularly proud that we received a great deal of commercial interest from large consumer brands for our PHAs. We also won top prize at the TiEQuest Toronto pitch competition.
What will you be focusing on achieving in the next three months?
We’re focused on raising our seed round, scaling up our pilot phase II with NRC, and working with contractors to start work on our new demonstration plant.
Any words of wisdom for other women in STEM?
“You miss 100 percent of shots you don’t take.”