Deepika Awasthi, a project scientist in the Microbial & Enzyme Discovery group in JBEI’s Deconstruction Division, won the 2022 Berkeley Lab Pitch Competition held on October 27. The competition, funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) and co-hosted by the Berkeley Lab Intellectual Property Office and the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, was designed to provide scientist-entrepreneurs at the Lab with experience in pitching to key stakeholders such as potential investors and partners.
The judging panel included eight judges from a variety of backgrounds, including entrepreneurs and representatives from the venture capital community.
The contestants gave ten-minute presentations on their elevator pitch, their market position, the customer and competitive landscape, and financial considerations, followed by a five minute Q&A with the judging panel.
Awasthi won with her pitch on her idea for “Z6 Technologies: Upcycling Methane to Green Biochemicals.” She will receive funding to support time spent for market and customer research. She also competed against winners of other DOE national labs at the National Lab Accelerator Pitch Event that took place on November 16.