The Biomimicry Launchpad is an incubator program that helps early-stage entrepreneurs bring nature-inspired solutions to market.
The Biomimicry Launchpad accelerates the development and commercialization of biomimicry startup innovations and helps support the next generation of sustainability entrepreneurs. All teams have been selected as finalists from the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge.
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Meet the 2019-2020 Teams
California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, California
Rice Age is aiming to solve the problems with plastic use, water loss, and methane emissions in the rice growing industry. By emulating the hexagonal shape of the honeycomb and the circulatory system of termite mounds in a closed-loop system, Rice Age is able to maximize land use, oxygenate the soil, and preserve water in rice production.
New York, NY
Undula Tech looked to the undulating fin motion of cuttlefish to develop an energy-producing turbine. By harvesting the energy of flowing mediums like air and water, Undula Tech seeks to make renewable energy accessible and affordable to ordinary people. It is designed to be mounted on rooftops or sides of homes or buildings, along roadways or in tunnels, or in flowing water like rivers or tidal flows, as a potentially non-invasive hydro turbine.
Bryosoil Water Management System
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia
Bryosoil is a modular and multi-functional soil system that uses 3 geometric patterns found in bryophytes to help prevent floods and fight the heat island effect. It catches water from a flooding event and manages it, depending on the risk. It is composed of 3 layers that perform 5 functions: it slows down the flow, redirects it, infiltrates the water into natural soil, harvests stormwater, or evaporates it. These layers replace the existing paradigm of water management that is based on pipe systems.
Air pollution is an increasing risk, with high levels of smoke in the atmosphere due to wildfires posing a risk to vulnerable populations’ health, outdoor recreation opportunities, and tourism near Calgary, Canada. Team Foothills Flow designed a nature-inspired mask that could be worn outside on these smoky days. They looked to the particle-trapping strategies of bees, mammalian eyelashes and nose hairs, and flower stigmas to design a surface that can capture smoke particulates as small as 6 nanometers.
Pratt Institute, New York, NY
Tomato’s Home addresses the issue of food waste in producing countries with an energy efficient tomato storage system that can prolong the freshness of tomatoes, one of the most common crops in Nigeria, by five to six days. The team utilized local materials and drew inspiration from cacti, quiver trees, South-American grass cutting ants, desert snails, and the respiratory system of crickets.
Milk & Juice
Waste and spoilage of milk products and fruit pulp currently represent 40,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions in India and Mexico alone. Inspired by the nanostructure of cicada wings and sounds generated by caterpillars and queen ants, Team Milk & Juice address waste generated during postharvest, storage, and distribution management phases of the fruit pulp industry, as well as spoilage in the conservation, storage, and transport of milk.
Ecosystem’s Approach for City Water Management
Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
An Ecosystem’s Approach for City Water Management proposes an integrative, regenerative, multilayer platform that functions with superorganisms’ principles. Consonance between the different environmental and human stakeholders is built. This integrated plan attempts to develop a mutual relationship between private companies and national-local governments, and individual cooperation to increase a system’s resilience by optimizing efficiency of funds and water resources while ensuring the protection of human rights.
The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Hague, Netherlands
Floating Coconet aims to capture plastic pollution in rivers before it has the chance to enter the oceans. By mimicking the way organisms like manta rays and basking sharks filter food from water, Floating Coconet is able to collect and direct free-flowing plastics, small and large in size, in rivers for safer capture.
New York, NY
Performance textile production heavily relies on petrochemicals, livestock, and agriculture – the largest industrial contributors to CO2 emissions globally. Werewool used a biomimetic approach to emulate inherent performance properties such as color, stretch, and waterproofing for performance textiles without the deleterious impact of traditional synthetic fibers.
SUNY, Syracuse, NY
Blue-green algae blooms have been occurring in reservoirs, lakes, and oceans at increasing rates around the world. These blooms deplete oxygen in water bodies and can release liver and neurotoxins, as well as negatively impact ecosystems, health, recreation opportunities, and drinking water supplies. InstaBuff is a layered mat inspired by several organisms that filters nutrients, holds water, collects sediment and promotes plant growth.
Biomimetic Land Ocean Treatment System (B.L.O.T.S.)
USA, New Zealand, Germany
As sea levels rise, coastal regions and cities are experiencing more and more flooding. It is estimated that by 2100, sea levels could rise by a foot. B.L.O.T.S. looked to numerous organisms for water management inspiration to find an adaptable and resilient way to deal with infrastructure being inundated with water. The B.L.O.T.S. system absorbs, redirects, filters, and stores flood water. The system is adaptable to any situation, whether it be a flooded street, playground, or building, and can be utilized
H2U – Hydration to You
California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
H2U addresses the lack of clean water in the majority world with a design solution that collects water from fog. A fan connected to H2U will draw in and concentrate the fog, mimicking the motion created when ducks paddle their feet. The strings made from recycled bottles replicates spider webs and narrow leaves, which will help draw in fog and condense it into water droplets.
The Launchpad consists of a virtual 10-week customer discovery and technology validation “pre-accelerator” and an in-person Biomimicry Entrepreneurship Expedition. The Launchpad will cover topics such as the biomimicry design process, understanding a customer’s problem or need, and how to build a rockstar team.
Launchpad participants will experience: Startup training & coaching, in-person Biomimicry Entrepreneurship Expedition, mentorship & network of industry experts, pro bono legal advice, and access to free design software.
Virtual “Pre-Accelerator” Program – September 30 – December 6, 2019
Biomimicry Global Design Challenge (BGDC) Open to Submissions – January 2020
In-Person Biomimicry Entrepreneurship Expedition – January 31 – February 6, 2020
BGDC Submission Deadline – May 2020
BGDC Finalists Announced and Launchpad Participants Selected – June 2020
Please reach out to launchpad(at)biomimicry.org with any questions.
The Launchpad experience was a transformational process for me to become a leader and change maker.Naeeme Mohammadi
I am so grateful to have been part of this program, have access to such a wealth of resources and mentorship, and obtain the support needed to help accelerate our product launch.Megan Hanck
The Biomimicry Entrepreneurship Expedition has provided us with a unique space for the development of our vision and ideas.Samuel Serna Wills
Participating in the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge and the Biomimicry Launchpad was the opportunity of a lifetime.Wade Hanson
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