Today, we find petroleum in all kinds of products we use on a daily basis. For example, in the insulation panels in our walls, fragrances we wear, plastics, clothing, digital devices or in the products we eat. All these products could be sourced from more sustainable resources. However, the technological solution to do this in an efficient manner has been lacking. Faced by a global demand and need for more sustainable solutions, there is a clear need for the chemical industry to adapt.
2019 SEIF Tech for Impact Award winner Bloom Biorenewables converts biogenic carbons efficiently and sustainably. With the vision that everything that is made from petroleum today will be made from biomass tomorrow, Bloom has developed a groundbreaking solution for the production of sustainable and cost competitive bio-based materials for the chemical industry.
You recently celebrated the first official birthday of Bloom Biorenewables, congratulations! What has been your biggest achievements so far?
Bloom successfully took the technology from the lab-scale (a few grams) to the pilot scale (kilograms) to demonstrate the relevance of the process for the industry. Larger samples were shared with partners and promising business cases have been confirmed. Bloom grew around its core team and is known around Europe as one of the most innovative ventures in the field of biomass valorization. Those efforts have been rewarded by funding exceeding 1 million CHF in 2019.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Over the past 20 years, there have been many attempts to develop alternatives to fossil resources, but very few successes. Hence, people believe sustainable industry must be uncompetitive and risky. Our biggest challenge has been to convince partners and funds that we will actually be able to reach commercial phase because Bloom combines the right technology, the right team and the right timing. Also, the team has a growing amount of opportunities to work on and a daily challenge is to focus and carefully select developments directions.
What is your long-term vision for Bloom?
Bloom envisions to reach commercial operation by 2025 and to conquer markets from fragrances to materials to build a significant impact. In addition, Bloom will act as a technology provider from 2026 to enable worldwide deployment to valorize biomass where available and generate value locally.
You are based in Switzerland. How do you perceive the impact driven startup ecosystem here?
We feel a strong support from the impact driven startup ecosystem in Switzerland. This ecosystem is an asset to raise funding and to connect with partners.
How did winning the SEIF Award in 2019 influence the development of Bloom as an impact driven tech startup?
The SEIF Award has been a great opportunity to be featured in the headlines and is still perceived today as a label to underline our vision towards impact.
What is your best advice for aspiring impact entrepreneurs who want to make a difference?
A profitable and scalable solution will boost business growth and maximize impact. Having an impact driven startup does not exempt you to build a robust business case.