What if you were developing a new skin-care product for market — and it’s made from something called cyanobacteria?
“I’m not sure we should call them skincare solutions,” saidJenny Bailey, a MBA student at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. She spoke as teammates weighed in on how to define a skincare product line for startup HelioBioSys, which has developed cost-effective ways to harvest and process the bacteria, commonly found in oceans.
The students are among six teams — comprising 20 MBA students and 11 graduate students from engineering, biology, law and other Berkeley schools — who were presenting their findings and recommendations to more than 200 alumni, faculty, students and industry professionals at the 10th annual Cleantech to Market (C2M) Symposium in at Berkeley Haas today. Two audience-chosen awards, plus a one that carries a $5,000 prize, will be given out.
The C2M program launched a decade ago, pairing students with scientists to help push promising technologies to market. And with carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere the highest in human history, the need to develop viable cleantech startups has never been more critical, says director Bev Alexander. Alexander runs the program with co-director Brian Steel and C2M faculty member Bill Shelander.
“Cleantech to Market grew out of an environmental urgency and it’s only grown more urgent,” Alexander says. “We’re giving students so much freedom to innovate here at a time when California has put a stake in the ground as an antidote to shifting federal government priorities.”