Today we have Arvind Gupta, Co-Founder of IndieBio and Po Bronson, Managing Director of IndieBio. They both wrote a book together called Decoding the World, A Roadmap for the Questioner. A, I would say an anthology of all of the wonderful technologies Po and Arvind have incubated through their journey in IndieBio.
For those that don’t know, IndieBio is this amazing biotechnology incubator in San Francisco. I’ve spoken there a few times myself. Basically, imagine this incubator that takes these fantastic ideas but also has the equipment to create a viable product for future funding.
A lot of companies like Memphis Meats, Clara Foods, Prime Roots, Geltor, Perfect Day, NotCo, Endless West, New Age Meats, Finless Foods. Why am I naming so many of them? Because not only are these companies hot, up and coming superstars in the food industry, but I personally have friends in all of these food companies!
It’s been an honor to have the opportunity to interview the team in charge of sparking the flame and I ask how they started and got involved in IndieBio, how young people can contribute to this biotech movement, and I think we have a very touching and important discussion about the value of doing creative art with your science career.
Po and Arvind have great chemistry and it was a blast talking to them. I added a bit of pre-audio banter, because I found it so funny.
Show Notes IndieBio – Independent Biology
Located in Jessie Street
Why IndieBio?: It lowers the barrier of entry of BioTech Startup
IndieBio: What are huge problems that no one can address that we can solve?
We have areas in new York, China, etc
Notable companies that went through IndieBio
New Age Meats
Sandhill Road: Silicon Valley Money
Worldly Priorities: Do we need an environmental disaster to finally understand that this is an issue?: Cognitive Dissonance is a huge problem.
We might need something bigger to happen
Do you think there’s going to be more companies solving this?: The younger generation is taking note and they are asking “what can I do to change it?”
In most situations, the taste will always have to win for consumer acceptance. Environmental challenges are generally second-teir
How did you start?:
Arvind: My thesis was modifying e.coli to dissolve wood at 1996
Venture Capital is the ultimate business model to take all the risk
How do we have scientists take more risk?: Most safe jobs aren’t as safe as you think
Generally, you’ve already bet on yourself with your PhD
For Po: IndieBio is a movement, not everyone needs to be a founder, but everyone can be part of the movement. It’s not just the scientists
Author of 7 New York Times Best Seller Indie books
People thrive in a balance between security and risk and different people have different thresholds
Po, you’re an author, why are you in food?: I’ve grown up in it my whole life around food
Why did Po and Arvind create a book?: We’re both artists so we get along
Dr. June Axup – plays Ukelele and sings science songs
In this industry, your mind has to be extremely fast
Also, most companies that go here have a sense of performance art because it’s so ambitious
My Food Job Rocks:
Arvind: We play an important role in having scientists build meaningful companies
Po: I love proving people Wrong
How do people get into IndieBio?: A one-page application. You can attach a pitch deck if you got it
We do 10 startups twice a year every 6 months in San Francisco and New York
Where can we find your work?
Indiebio.co – You can select SF or NY
Decoding the World – DecodingtheWorld.com
Social Media: Po Bronson
Social Media: Arvind Gupta
How’s the pandemic treating you this year?: This batch, we couldn’t do food companies but next batch has a few promising food ones