Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: [Biomaterials.]
Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?
Mr. McGuire: There’s a great future in [Biomaterials.] Think about it. Will you think about it?
Few entrepreneurs have the patience and skill set to change an industry fundamentally through the companies they create. When we met Modern Meadow’s founder, Andras Forgacs, in 2013 at Breakout Labs demo-day, we knew he and his team had the vision and experience to build something radical with the potential to be one of the biggest advancements in materials science since plastics (referenced from the iconic scene from The Graduate above.) Growing animal-free leather from living cells using collagen is one of the most ambitious ideas we’ve seen in 13 years of investing.
What separates Modern Meadow from comparable startups in hard-science & biotech is their focus on viable commercialization with achievable steps and reasonable milestones for their development. They’re on track to bring sustainable products to market with fantastic, strategic partners that will be poised for commercial success.
Conventional wisdom in the tech community, political class, and the media is that innovation has slowed to a halt, significant breakthroughs are in the rear-view mirror, and incrementalism is the only way forward. In Silicon Valley and elsewhere, this cynicism infects startup founders & employees, investors, and members of the tech press. Modern Meadow is defying this sort of thinking with their bold vision for a better future.
The need for new, environmentally conscious materials that perform better while providing new capabilities has never been higher. The potential reductions in greenhouse gasses produced by raising cows and noxious chemicals required for processing & tanning leather are enormous.
Similarly to our other portfolio company, Stemcentrx, Modern Meadow is building a platform (rather than only developing a single product) for the creation of a host of new materials with properties currently impossible with animal hides, like improved strength to weight ratio and a host of others the company will be announcing in coming months.
We’re thrilled to be apart of the journey with Modern Meadow and continuing to support their mission by participating in the Series B financing. Lastly, below is a short video with Modern Meadow’s CEO, Andras: