Can Plastic-Eating Enzymes Help Us Solve Plastic Waste?
There’s a team of scientists brewing different enzymes that break down plastic. They want to produce enzymes capable of breaking down currently unrecyclable plastics.
We live in a world where anything is possible. Take the story of how the company Epoch Biodesign got founded.
Jacob Nathan was in school when he got interested in the plastic waste problem. He saw that the world is heading for catastrophe and wrote a paper on how enzymes could be used to break down plastic.
He went online and found Douglas Kell, a biologist that’s 48 years older than Nathan. Douglas got interested in what Jacob had to say, and they founded the company Epoch Biodesign.
The startup is brewing enzymes that can break down plastics. The task is now to produce one that can eat the plastic the quickest. They want to make one that makes the most economic sense.
The vision of the company is to put plastic easting enzymes in every home.
“My ultimate vision for this is that we can decentralize recycling completely,” says Nathan. “We could do this in the home on a very, very small scale. That’s the beauty of biology, it can work at a very small scale.”
European Startups Are Getting Ready For Uncertainty
Tech stocks are getting hit, and uncertainty is creeping into the daily lives of European tech startup founders and leaders.
In a recent survey, ninety-four founders and startup leaders shared their thoughts on the recent state of the Europen startup tech industry. They mostly agree that we’re entering a time of caution.
Almost three-quarters (72%) of the companies have taken preventive measures to decrease cash burn and increase their runway. A whopping 83% of respondents believe it will get a lot harder to fundraise in the coming future.
The job market is also getting hit hard. 61% of the respondents’ companies have cut or completely stopped their hiring plans. More than half (52%) feel less secure in their jobs compared to previous months and years.
The data from the jobs platform Otta shows that UK tech job listings have been down 20% over the past three months. In fact, the respondents even said they no longer have to negotiate salaries to get new employees.
The sales and marketing apartments have been struck with the new reality the hardest. More than half of the respondents said their companies made the biggest cuts to these two departments.
One respondent provided a different perspective. They said that the uncertainty means that the best talent on the market is (or will become) available. All is not dark for Europen tech startups.
The AI That Spies On Your Messages Lands A $4 Million Seed Round
The 2021 founder startup called mpathic sets a goal of making corporate communications more emphatic.
The AI tool analyzes conversations happening between coworkers. It monitors texts, emails, calls, and more. The AI has a single goal – to identify potential misunderstandings and misinterpretations in the communication and adjust in real-time.
Mpathic can be used in customer service, insurance claims, healthcare, human resources software, etc. The founder, a trained psychologist, built mpathic to be used anywhere where emphatic conversations affect the outcomes.
The company currently has 12 employees and is looking to grow with the latest $4 million seed round from Next Frontier Capital.
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Google Is Helping Mena Startups With Marketing
Google completed the first phase of “Startup Expedition,” a new program that helps startups in the Mena region grow with effective marketing.
13 different startups from the UAE, Saudia Arabia, and Egypt participate in the 6-months program. All startups are at their growth stage.
The program helps startups prepare effective marketing campaigns through a series of workshops. The workshops cover key areas in digital marketing, from generating leads, driving sales, best practices, measuring KPIs, etc.
The startups are expected to produce meaningful results during and after the program.
Google will continue supporting the most promising startups in the region through the Startup Expedition program in the future.
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Finnish Startup Says That Ground-Up Chicken Bones Are The Future
People crave low-cost lean protein. That’s one of the main reasons why chicken and poultry are so often on the dishes around the globe.
This demand turned chickens into meat machines. In fact, chickens are putting weight on so quickly in specialized farms that their organs can’t keep up, which results in death sores if the birds are kept alive past six weeks.
A small Finnish startup SuperGround from the city of Kotka, says it has the solution to this problem. The founders want to incorporate ground-up chicken products into nuggets and meatballs to prevent companies from overfeeding chickens.
While the idea doesn’t sound too appealing, it’s a fact that people enjoy eating bone marrow. The question is – would they want their nuggets mixed with bones?
The idea is definitely interesting, and we’ll monitor how the startup evolves.
This Startup Is Working On Insect-Based Dog Biscuits
Let’s remain on the topic of unusual foods. A Sydney-based entrepreneur Shaun Eislers was a banker before launching BuggyBix.
“Sitting with my wife at the local dog park, it occurred to me that the rapidly growing pet market and trend towards feeding pets human-grade meat proteins was exacerbating the strain on our food system”
He learned about the favorable nutritional qualities and the environmental benefits of edible insects. That’s when his climate and ag-tech startup turned into a reality.
Today, BuggyBix is working with AgriFutures growAG which helps find investors, wholesalers, and distributors. Time will tell what the future holds for insect-based pet treats.