CleanTechies Podcast
#112 - How to not be Another Failed Green Plastics Chemistry Company, Refugee Shelters, & Selling to Producers, not Brands w/ Alex Blum (Applied Bioplastics)

#112 - How to not be Another Failed Green Plastics Chemistry Company, Refugee Shelters, & Selling to Producers, not Brands w/ Alex Blum (Applied Bioplastics)

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Want to redefine sustainability in a truly impactful way? Alex Blum, the innovative founder, and CEO of Applied Bioplastics, shows us how in our latest episode. The conversation illuminates Alex's journey from being a seasoned salesman to a philanthropist, generously contributing half a million dollars to charity. We delve into his exciting project of constructing refugee shelters using biocomposite material, a venture that not only supports the environment but also provides job opportunities to those in need.

This episode unravels the tale of Alex's transformative trip to Bangladesh, where he encountered Dr. Mubarak Khan and learned about his dedication to reinventing the use of jute. Alex envisions a promising multi-billion-dollar business if this material can be efficiently converted into a thermoplastic. He also discusses the urgent need for refugee housing, the alarming risk of disease spread in refugee camps, and the role governments must play in managing these temporary settlements.

We explore Alex's business model, his approach to commercializing his innovative plastic chemistry, and the potential global effect of switching to eco-friendly plastic alternatives. Alex shares the challenges he faces when dealing with large corporations, and his strategy to navigate these hurdles, which includes understanding cultural nuances to secure successful sales. As he outlines his plans to license his technology and expand the agricultural waste aspect of his business, we discuss the implications of supply chains and the impact of tech on climate change. Tune in and be inspired by Alex's journey and his commitment to creating a sustainable future.

In this episode Silas Mahner (@silasmahner) speaks w/ Alex Blum (@AlexBlum4Austin) Co-Founder and CEO of Applied Bioplastics (@abioplastics) about his journey into founding the company, their experience commercializing the tech, their business model, and his advice to other founders doing something similar.

In addition to having some great stories and things to say, Alex is also quite funny so it's a triple whammy episode. If you're a founder creating alternative plastic chemistry, you should be sure to listen to the part about where to sell into the supply chain (around ~48 min into the show).

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  • 2:33 Intro

  • 4:59 Alex's Story

  • 13:10 Discovering the Tech

  • 21:08 Why Housing

  • 31:36 Tech Development Process

  • 39:11 The Biz Model

  • 49:45 How Others selling into the space should be done

  • 57:43 How their biz is split

  • 1:10:26 Don't be afraid to walk into the fire 


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CleanTechies Podcast
CleanTechies is a Podcast and Newsletter where Somil & Silas interview the leading ClimateTech Founders and Investors to share their advice and journeys with other Founders and Investors to help others succeed.