Collin Cavote: Hydroponic Ecosystems That Increase Accessibility to Nature
Hi! It’s me, Spiffy, the interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth with the latest scoop on entrepreneurs making a difference in healthcare for all of us around the world! Today’s rockstar is Collin Cavote, the CEO and founder of Biome.
Spiffy: Hey, Collin! What can you tell me about the challenge that Biome is addressing?
Collin: Thrilled to be here, Spiffy! To answer your question, Biome increases access to nature and amplifies the emotional, cognitive, and physical benefits of living systems. Our hydroponic ecosystems allow nature to be deployed anywhere in the indoor environment.
Spiffy: Wow, tell me more! What motivated you to do it?
Collin: Living off grid and on organic farms in my late teens and early twenties, I saw a need to reintroduce nature into the built environment. As climate change increases wildfires and air pollution worsens, we are continually inspired to scale up more nature everywhere.
Spiffy: How is the organization working towards a more equitable world, would you say?
Collin: Biome has been certified Climate Neutral since 2019. That means our carbon emissions are fully offset by reforestation and sustainable energy projects. We want to be a net positive brand for everyone, not just our customers.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent Biome milestone or initiative and the impact that it makes on your community.
Collin: We normally have a six or eight week lead time for our customers so that we can manufacture our products. Just recently we reached a huge milestone where we were ahead of production and that enabled us to fulfill a last minute order within one week— allowing us to be part of the grand opening for a new Four Seasons property!
Spiffy: Congratulations! I always ask this question to everyone I interview. Please share an experience when you faced failure and didn't give up. What did you learn from it?
Collin: Developing hardware products is really hard. There are so many times it was easier to stop but our passion for a better future kept us going. When products don’t perform right or are manufactured incorrectly, these are opportunities to improve and make us more resilient in the future.
Spiffy: What is something you've unexpectedly learned from someone recently?
Collin: I have a special plant in my apartment that has always put out one new branch at a time. Very consistent. Just recently it put out two new branches in opposite directions and while meditating on this, I appreciated that nature is showing me that under the circumstances, we can grow in multiple directions at the same time.
Spiffy: Sounds like a wise plant! Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience before we wrap up today?
Collin: Ships are safe inside the harbor but that’s not what ships are for.
Spiffy: I’m going to write that down! Thanks for speaking with me today, Collin—it’s been an honor!
Collin Cavote’s growing awareness of environmental degradation, climate change, and social inequalities led him to drop out of college and seek a low-impact carbon-neutral lifestyle. He traveled on trains, worked on farms, and foraged for food. He created a sustainable life and yet he found it wasn't enough to make a dent. Collin returned to school, created a custom degree in 'Biomimetics', and launched a startup that over the past eight years has grown into a thriving Public Benefit Corporation. (Nominated by Lorenzo Thione by Gaingels. First published on the Ladderworks website on June 27, 2022.)
© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Corner here.