On September 15, 2019, the Biotechnology students from Skyline College’s BTEC 400 and BTEC 210 classes took a field trip to the Embarcadero center in San Francisco to attend a talk at GABA (German American Business Association). GABA invited four local biotechnology companies to talk about how they started and how new food biotechnology companies operate.
Babak Kusha talked about intellectual property and how his company can support startup biotechnology companies in obtaining their first patents and protecting their intellectual property. He described the process of getting a patent and why is important for beginning companies.
Dr. Nick Legendre from New Age Meats then talked about the startup he works with and how they are developing sustainably to replace meat in our diets. New Age Meats’ notable product is $20,000 worth of breakfast sausages from cultured cells.
Chris Davis Ph.D. is with Impossible Foods, one of the most successful biotechnology food companies in the world. Their “Impossible” burgers are in many fast food restaurants and in our local grocery stores. At least four of Skyline College alumni are currently working for Impossible Foods.
Th Good Food Institute was represented by Blake Byrne. The Good Food Institute is interested in developing more sustainable foods using biotechnology, by funding cultured meat and vegan food development. Fund startups will caveat that their intellectual property be available to the public at large. They encouraged our students to apply for a grant if they want to start their own companies.
Skyline College students were very excited about the talks and stayed for about an hour afterward, networking and asking questions. Jason said, “I learned something about how companies must protect their intellectual property, if someone copies your patent and started making a product and selling it, then you need to send your lawyers over to stop them.” Catherine asked Impossible foods if they are going to go into schools. The company replied that while they are looking into providing this healthy alternative, that the price point is not there right now. They hope future editions of their burgers will be more affordable.
We would like to thank GABA for giving the Biotechnology Manufacturing classes a break on registration. We also would like to acknowledge Genentech’s support that allowed us to fully fund one class and have all Biotechnology classes attend this event.
Article by Arlyne Bautista | Photo By Nick Kapp