Prateek Mahalwar
Great success for Circular Valley startup: Bioweg cooperates with Ginkgo Bioworks

The two companies join forces to solve the microplastics problem and to produce new types of bacterial cellulose

Bioweg had already successfully introduced its products to the market, and now it has found a partner to help produce these for large scale commercial use. The partner is Ginkgo Bioworks, a Boston-based biotechnology company specializing in the genetic engineering of bacteria for industrial use. Ginkgo Bioworks' principal investor is Microsoft founder Bill Gates. "This is a great and big next step for Bioweg, to which we warmly congradulate," said Dr. Carsten Gerhardt, chairman of the Circular-Valley® Foundation, which supported Bioweg last year.

The startup, based in Lower Saxony, Germany, is dedicated to the fight against microplastics, as for instance found in personal care products. Bioweg has developed "Micbead" as a biodegradable alternative. Moreover, the young entrepreneurs are replacing the previously common seed and fertilizer coatings made from petroleum and acrylic with their "Agriweg" product. Thanks to the new cooperation, such bio-ingredients can now be produced on a large scale and at competitive costs.
In Circular Valley®, Bioweg was able to further develop its business model in the second round of the Circular Economy Accelerator program. There, the founders worked with top-class coaches and mentors and met numerous representatives of the established economy. Circular Valley® aims to transition the extended Rhine-Ruhr region into a global hotspot for circular economy startups, just as Silicon Valley is for the digital economy.

Bioweg founder and CEO Prateek Mahalwar also represented Circular Valley® at the Gordon Research Conference on Green Chemistry near Barcelona. At this global scientific meeting, he met some of the "fathers" of Green Chemistry and was encouraged to continue on his path: "As a startup, you constantly ask yourself if you are good enough. This conference gave us strong confidence in our developments, as we face similar technical challenges that other cutting-edge labs face," Mahalwar said afterwards.

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Source: Circular Valley