Blogpost by Ginger Dosier, winner of the 2013 Postcode Lottery Green Challenge

It is hard to believe that one year ago, we were writing our pitches, scheduling film shoots for our video and eagerly awaiting a response from the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. Since winning the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, every week for us is a new challenge and new growth for bioMASON. One key word that has come up every day this past year would have to be: momentum.

The call announcing that we were finalists came while we were visiting William McDonough’s office in Virginia and from that moment on, bioMASON has experienced a tremendous injection of growth. We didn’t know exactly what to prepare, but we made sure to pack well for our trip to Amsterdam. I recall sitting in my room at the Lloyd Hotel, staring out over the brick landscape, fueled with ambition and imagining what it could be like to win the competition, while memorising the script of the pitch.

The experience of the competition is quite vivid, and we did not expect all the moments that unfolded. I remember seeing Molly Morse from Mango Materials for the first time, sitting at the table at breakfast, and we as finalists sat down with her to discuss her experiences since participating in the competition. Around lunchtime, Nick Christy had arrived, and more stories ensued of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge experience. We felt as though we were at a family dinner table, talking about our businesses and our lives.  Their presence was really calming and welcoming. At that moment we started to understand what it meant to be a part of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. Molly and Nick were both quite calm, and soothed our nerves for the competition ahead. We all understood that we were in this together, arriving with the same values and that the next steps of the competition were some of the most helpful advice we were fortunate to receive.

Since winning the 2013 Green Challenge, bioMASON has experienced tremendous growth. For one, we have added quite a few new faces, which enabled us to build our core development and execution team. We relocated our facaility closer to three major universities, along with with new bioMASON associates and interns.
We also found a highly supportive financial angel investment partner in Acorn Innovestments, as well as support from our regions North Carolina Biotechnology Center.  As we continue to grow, finding new spaces and moving to larger and larger facilities for pilot scale production remain a challenge.  We have also included a new satellite facility at North Carolina State University to work with the National Science Foundation on a Small Business and Innovation Research Grant for further growth and scale of bioMASON’s process. bioMASON was fortunate to win another competition, the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Award, shortly after the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge.
There has not been much time for reflection, (which we view as a privilege), so taking this opportunity to write a reflective blogpost is a treat really!

In February, a few of us were able to attend the Green Challenge Deep Dive in Amsterdam, where we learned more about both our business and our team, and it was very inspiring to spend some time with Ecovative’s Gavin McIntyre to learn of their technical and business journey thus far. Ecovative won the Green Challenge in 2008, so it was very exciting to hear what their experiences have been over the past years.

Branson en Ginger1000
The Green Challenge has enabled bioMASON with more than we could imagine and we wish each of 2014 finalists the best of luck. I look forward to spending some quality time with the  finalists next week, when I’ll be in Amsterdam to see them pitch their plans during the finale.
We look forward to our own reflection and further growth next year, and reading about the tremendous growth of the Green Challenge’s 2014 finalists in the next year!