Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre – Eco-friendly packaging from mushrooms (ceremony)

During the final year of our mechanical engineering
studies we took a course called “Inventor’s Studio” which had three goals: Develop a technology that can have a sustainable
impact on the planet Invent something that could be patented. And start a company. That’s exactly what Eben and I did: I grew up on a farm. While I learned the importance to valuing
the earth. We’ve been looking for a solution to single-use
plastics – when we stumbled upon mycelium. And it´s what you’d find if you look beneath
a mushroom and it´s these billions and billions of tiny little fibres and you can kind of
think of it as one of nature’s biopolymers or plastics. Mycelium is a natural adhesive. It grows on and binds particles together. We thought: That’s it! We can use mycelium to grow replacements for
plastics. Our process begins with locally sourced agricultural
waste which we mix together with trace amounts of mycelium. Over the course of just 4 days the mycelium
grows, transforming that waste into a product, which we then dry, render it inactive and
it’s ready for shipment. So what can you do with mycelium materials? You can grow protective packaging materials
that have really unique performance attributes: They have high strength, home compostability
and are grown which just a fraction of the energy. We started here because single-use plastics
are rapidly becoming a worldwide problem, both inside of our cities as well as bioaccumulating
in our forests and oceans. Our patent portfolio has been incredibly important
for us as a technology provider, allowing us to license our technology internationally
to extend our footprint beyond just Upstate New York. From “Inventor Studio” our business has
continued to grow, very similar to mycelium. Our mission is to grow better materials that
are compatible with planet Earth. And patents have helped our growth too.

Michael Martin

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