Slashing CO2

Founded: 2018

HQ: Berkeley, CA

When rotten is good.

Big Picture

The $6 trillion chemicals industry produces 20% of all industrial greenhouse gas emissions. Current industrial biotech alternatives can only address 12% of this market, as they rely on expensive inputs and are limited to a few “model organisms.” The future of the chemicals industry undoubtedly runs through industrial microbes, but to get there we’ll need to bring more specimens into our stable.

How it Works

MicroByre uses high throughput automation to domesticate novel microbes that can address the remaining 88% of the chemicals market. They run organisms through an algorithm that observes industrially relevant properties and makes tailored genetic edits to reduce the cost of cultivation. Their first product is an L. reuteri that can produce acrylic acid from dairy waste at three-fourths of the cost.

Unfair Advantage

MicroByre’s computational platform lets them observe and engineer microbes that nobody else can work with. They can test hundreds of bacteria at once, onboarding them in half the time and one-tenth of the cost that other companies quote. As they work with more and more microbes, the data they generate makes them even better and faster and gives them an unassailable lead over the industry.


Times cheaper

genetic engineering of novel microbes


After her PhD in Molecular Biology from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Sarah worked on large-scale synthetic biology projects as a postdoc at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.


Jeff was previously a Managing Director at Activation Energy and CalCEF, and a President at CalCharge. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.


Margaret specializes in understanding the intracellular proteomic environment and its bioengineering. She has PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkely.

Could Bacteria Save the Planet? Yes — If She Can Train Them


MicroByre: Sarah Richardson

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