Two new biotech related podcast episodes. One, Synbiosys, about material innovation and the other, Beta Bugs, is about creating insects for next gen food, fuel, feed.

Podcast Episode 35: Dr. Thomas, Founder of Beta Bugs, Talks about Creating Next Generation Insect Crops to Create Feed, Food, and Fuel

Listen to it here, Itunes, or Google play.

Discussion about Black Soldier Fly evolution to create next-generation crops that will drive a sustainable bioeconomy that produces feed, food, and fuel. We also get into his startup journey, how he had to transfer out a member of the founding team, and what he learned from that situation on founding greater teams, his fears, and some of his accomplishments.

About Beta Bugs

“Beta Bugs is a cutting edge biotechnology company that produces enhanced insect strains for the growing insect farming industry. The domesticated, optimized strains we produce provide benefits at all levels of the production chain ensuring the industry is both more profitable and sustainable. We accelerate the evolution of the organisms to create traits that ensure greatly superior final products ”


“At Beta Bugs we know the insect industry has huge potential, both environmentally and economically. Insects, such as the Black Soldier Fly, are excellent sources of protein for feed as well as a broad range of other resources from bio-materials to fuel.

However, having only recently been domesticated, insects, unlike other agricultural species, are far from optimized for industry. There are huge improvements to be made in efficiency, quality of produce and ease of farming. At Beta Bugs we are changing this through the application of state of the art breeding programmes and tried and tested bio-techniques.” source

Beta Bugs and Thomas were also a part of Deep Science Ventures. Check out the episode we did on them with their Founder Dom.

Hyperlinked Timestamped Show Notes:

  1. [ 01:30 ] Who is on their team, and what they do. Additionally, how he used to have a co-founder, and how they parted ways.
  2. [ 03:50 ] What inspired him to want to create Beta Bugs and a bit of his backstory (i.e. PhD).
  3. [ 07:30 ] What he thought about in creating his breeding techniques and the many places he pulled from.
  4. [ 09:36 ] How he is using traditional breeding over GMO type practices and the benefits of doing so.
  5. [ 10:50 ] How long until they have a viable product and the first market they are targeting.
  6. [ 11:44 ] His thoughts on a customer-driven approach, and the types of things his potential customers are looking for.
  7. [ 13:00 ] His first product development in regards to salmon, and why he choose it.
  8. [ 13:58 ] His thoughts on adding compounds/processes to bugs which then makes it possible for the bugs to give salmon their pink coloring.
  9. [ 15:30 ] How he plans things out.
  10. [ 16:12 ] We discuss his team of advisers, and how they have helped in his development.
  11. [ 16:50 ] Grey hair fallacy, and how he finds advisers.
  12. [ 18:14 ] How he gets them on the team and keeps them excited.
  13. [ 18:43 ] How DSV helped him out, and the first ways they challenged him.
  14. [ 20:50 ] His thoughts on different levels of feed stock and trait costs similar to Telsa’s car tiers.
  15. [ 23:20 ] Why build out a catalog as a breeding company.
  16. [ 24:30 ] His thoughts on vertical vs horizontal integration.
  17. [ 26:30 ] His thoughts on competition, roadblocks, and his value proposition.
  18. [ 27:30 ] What the benefits of going horizontal vs vertical are.
  19. [ 28:46 ] Books and other recommendations, and his thoughts on them.
  20. [ 32:00 ] He describes the different types of fun and the benefits of targeting different types of fun.
  21. [ 33:01 ] His cycling hobby.
  22. [ 35:02 ] What he is currently looking to overcome and add to his company.
  23. [ 36:10 ] Great ways to follow along on his journey( i.e. Website and email:
  24. [ 37:11 ] Who he is looking to partner with and connect with.
  25. [ 39:41 ] What he fears most.
  26. [ 40:40 ] The most impressive/unimpressive things about his startup journey (i.e. Co-founder leaving the startup, and how to manage that ).
  27. [ 42:30 ] What has impressed him and swelled him with pride or made him happy.
  28. [ 43:55 ] The rising thing he has done (i.e. eating ice cream at the top of a mountain).
  29. [ 44:50 ] What he and the team have that will destroy the competition.
  30. [ 45:10 ] Where he wants to go next as he develops his technology and insects.


Podcast Episode 36: Dr. Jose and Dr. Gian of Synbiosys discuss building a Materials Innovation Startup, Their journey, and What Makes Them Different

Listen to it here, itunes, stitcher, or google play.

About Synbiosys

Synbiosys is a new platform for materials research and development, by pioneering a symbiotic relationship between the scientific rigor of academia and the goal-oriented attitude of the industry.

  • Next generation Armour with super fast energy absorption
  • Biological composites for biomedical applications
  • High-toughness carbon fiber composites
  • High-strength structural glass
    and blast-proof glazing

Read all of this an more on their website: Synbiosys

Contact: [](

About Founder Jose:

“José entered the startup environment before his undergraduate years, working in, and shadowing, companies within Imperial College London’s incubator such HydroVenturi, deltaDOT, Gusto and Duvas Technologies.

During his undergraduate degree he helped build and test a proof of concept for a new form of micro-hydroelectricity.

He spent a year in between his undergraduate and PhD working for Duvas Technologies. His physics and language skills have sent him on projects to Brazil and Qatar.

Before joining Deep Science Ventures as a Venture Founder, he worked in its expansion via networking and equipment procurement.

He has now founded Synbiosys Ltd to develop next generation reinforced materials, and part-developed the new “Entrepreneurship in Physics” lecture course in the Department of Physics, Imperial College London, which will start in Q1 2018″

His main interest is on sustainable technologies, and cutting edge materials engineering. His expertise revolves around optics, experimental semiconductor physics and organic composite design. He also has experience in optimising two-phase flow (air in water), plastic film coating and fibre extrusion.

Technical specialties:
– Raytrace modelling for concentrating optics
– Solar cell characterisation (single and multi junction, quantum well)
– Photoelectrochemical multijunction structures and reactor optics
– Luminescent solar concentrator fabrication: planar and fibre geometries
– Lab managing (laser and wet)
– Spectroscopy (UV and visible)
– Organic material processing”

About Founder Gian:

“Received my Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Pisa in 2014 and completed my PhD in materials science at Imperial College in 2017. During the last year of the PhD, he co-founded Synbiosys and joined it full time in October 2017.

As co-founder and director of Synbiosys, He wants to develop the next generation high-performance bio-composites which can be produced locally and from renewable sources, and will benefit consumers as well as the local communities and the environment.”


Listen to it here, itunes, stitcher, or google play.

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