Biotech Heats Up Seattle

Highlighting clean technology innovations is a major part of what we do here at the CleanTech Alliance. As a reminder, we’ll be hosting our fourth-annual CleanTech Innovation Showcase at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle next Monday, June 26.

Twenty-four companies have been tapped to present their latest clean technology innovations, ideas and initiatives, including Boeing, Beta Hatch, Helion Energy, Uber, Washington State University and more.

If you’re planning to be there, don’t forget to get your tickets in advance here.

Beta Hatch continues to make headlines. The company’s founder and CEO, Virginia Emery, recently took to the stage at a New Tech Northwest BioTech event in Seattle, speaking about her company’s vision for sustainability. We’ve written about Beta Hatch in the past, here and here. Other guests at the event included Chuks Onwuneme from Pillsy, Anatolia Au and George Gosieski from JumpstartCSR, and Tina Bose from Adaptive Technologies.

For those of you who weren’t able to attend, we thought we’d share a quick recap from our friends at New Tech Northwest.

Highlights from New Tech Northwest Seattle event

Beta Hatch: Beta Hatch Founder & CEO Virginia Emery kicked off the night with her cleaner, more sustainable vision for the future of agriculture. Virginia’s contagious enthusiasm for Beta Hatch immediately infected the room, inspiring the New Tech community to engage with her company’s mission to industrialize insect production for farming. Virginia expressed the need for a paradigm shift in agriculture in addition to the cultivation of new solutions for how we produce food that will sustain our rapidly growing population; a pursuit she emphasized as 20% farming more and 80% farming more efficiently.

With a PhD in entomology, Virginia, or “The Bug Lady” as she playfully refers to herself, is championing Beta Hatch’s endeavor to make mealworms the next commodity crop and disrupt the animal feed market, a $400 billion industry starving for innovation.

Virginia’s fun fact of the night: Insects can eat inorganic waste. Even plastic. The only known way to biodegrade Styrofoam is in the gut of a mealworm.

Pillsy: Chuks Onwuneme, Co-Founder and CTO of Pillsy introduced New Tech to his company’s product, a smart pill bottle to support healthy medication and vitamin consumption habits. Chuks related Pillsy’s modus operandi to The 3 R’s of Habit Formation coined by behavioral psychologist, James Clear: Reminder, Routine, Reward. Once Pillsy is paired with a compatible mobile device and the user inputs their prescription specifications within its proprietary app, Pillsy will trigger an alarm to notify the user when it’s time to take their medication. According to the company’s methodology, utilizing Pillsy on a regular basis will promote medication adherence along with its inherent health benefits.

JumpStartCSR: Co-Founder & Chief Science Officer George Gosieski and Chief Design Officer Anatolia Au tag teamed the presentation of JumpStartCSR, a biotech startup focused on improvement of the human condition by helping people regain, improve, and optimize their musculoskeletal performance. JumpStartCSR’s pioneering the “IoT of personalized ergonomic products”, beginning with intelligent footbeds. The proprietary sensor system within the personalized footbeds tracks users’ biomechanical health and relay image-grade medical data to the product’s accompanying app Holmz. JumpStartCSR currently has a working prototype of their intelligent footbeds and is in the process of developing the cognitive expert system for the Holmz app. This startup’s approach to personalized ergonomics combined with the company’s ambition to expand JumpStartCSR’s technology beyond musculoskeletal diagnostics, we wouldn’t be surprised to see them hit the ground running when they officially launch their intelligent footbeds, and keep gaining momentum far into the future.

Adaptive Biotechnologies: The final speaker of the evening was Tina Bose, scientific liaison at Adaptive Technologies. The three founding researchers of the company discovered a unique way to profile a patient’s adaptive immune system by sequencing their T-cell and B-Cell receptors. Tina used an image of Jake Gyllenhaal as Bubble Boy from the 2001 film of the same name to relate the importance of the immune system, as well as the difference between the functional adaptive immune systems most people have and individuals like Bubble Boy who are born with rare genetic diseases that leave them with no functional T or B-Cells to defend them against even the most common bacteria and viruses.

What Adaptive Technologies has done is take an individual’s genetic code and use a combination of bioinformatics and high-throughput sequencing to track B-Cell and T-Cell receptors. Adaptive Technologies aims to use immunosequencing data as a biomarker for diagnosis and change the course of medicine by improving patient care.