The Paxtier Report 060422

Mark Cuban Bets $1m On Algae Tech, James Bayne from The University of Oxford and Tanzanian Seaweed Farmers

“Follow your heart. Do what you want to do, and at times, be stubborn. Only when you follow your heart can you give it your all.” — Professor Gustaaf Hallegraeff

Hello and welcome to The Paxtier Report for Wednesday, April 6th 2022! Difficult news this week for tourists as seaweed nabs the best beach spots in Mexico:


Credit Reuters

In today’s email:

News:  Umaro get Mark Cuban

Tech Review: How can microalgae solve agricultural pollution?

Epic: Tanzanian seaweed farmers

Fireside chat: James Bayne from The University of Oxford

Around the web: One-third of the current Fortune 500 will soon be supplanted by climate companies.

Markets and Investing

What a start to April!

This week, climate action was the focal point as the IPCC explained the need to ditch coal, and BBVA announced a new carbon markets business within its investment banking division. This news was followed by Climate VC and Omnivore unveiling new funds while Evok Innovations, a British Columbia-based clean energy venture investor, reported the first close of its $300 Million Cleantech Fund.

On the algae tech front, it was super cool to see Alga Biosciences, a seaweed team tackling US cattle methane production, at YC’s demo day alongside other awesome climate teams like Phase BiolabsCarbon Crusher, and Mooji Meats.


Alga Biosciences aims to use its seaweed supplement to reduce the 27% of annual methane emissions which come from enteric fermentation (mainly coming from ruminant cattle)

Other epic algae highlights this week:

Extra relevant titbits from climate tech

In depth with Peter Green

Fireside chat: James Bayne, Nucleate, The University of Oxford

This week we sat down with James Bayne, the co-Founder and Managing Director of Nucleate UK, a non-profit organisation he created during his time at the University of Oxford. Here’s a teaser from our recent call where we explored topics including computational biology, and his journey so far:


James Bayne

What’s your perspective on algae technology?

I’ve been involved in a couple of algae projects over the last few years which have taught me we can learn a lot from these photosynthetic organisms. For example, at Imperial College I explored how to improve plant crop yields using genetic inserts from algae, and more recently, I spent time supporting CyanoCapture with their carbon capture technology.

On the subject of scalability, a challenge algae technology has encountered in the past relates to cost. If teams can resolve this by fixing downstream algae processing issues, I think critical questions will be addressed and algae products can start to heavily compete with cheaper commodities.

What advice might you give to your younger self just starting out on this journey with biotechnology and entrepreneurship?

I’d encourage myself to reach out to more people who are on interesting and inspiring journeys. There’s a lot you can learn from a simple 15 minute chat and it can open up a whole new world.

Tech review: How can microalgae solve agricultural pollution?

I get it… the idea of growing microalgae in space is both epic and inspiring.

Movies like “The Martian”, or papers on algae life support systems (LSS) can also send my mind into overdrive. But could these space technologies solve other planetary problems too?

Martin et al. sure think so, and in this article we consider their 2020 piece which hopes to utilise research on microalgae LSS to reduce nitrate pollution in agricultural groundwater runoff.

🔥 What else has been hot in algae-tech this week?

  1. We are the new farmers
  2. UHI Shetland has secured £185,000 investment for Imaging FlowCytobot (IFCB).
  3. Jessie French on Turning Plastic Waste Into Beautiful Artworks – With Seaweed
  4. A great article on our friends over at AgriSea, NZ
  5. Aqua researchers get new access to Commonwealth waters off Australia
  6. Why using the oceans to suck up CO2 might not be as easy as hoped
  7. Structural basis for different types of hetero-tetrameric light-harvesting complexes in a diatom PSII-FCPII supercomplex
  8. Microbial metabolites in the marine carbon cycle
  9. Restructuring of plankton genomic biogeography in the surface ocean under climate change
  10. Influence of wind and light on the floating and sinking process of Microcystis

Tweets of the week

That’s all folks!

Thanks again for joining us this week. Hope you have a great day and stay tuned for more algae tech updates soon!


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