Co-Founder in Residence: Create a Commodities Market for the Circular Bioeconomy

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Job Description

Imagine a world where agricultural residues are no longer seen as waste, but as valuable resources that power the bioeconomy; a future where farmers enable the emergence and growth of sustainable industries on a large scale. As pledges for decarbonisation are made globally, carbon is being increasingly recognised as a valuable - yet finite - resource. At Deep Science Ventures, we are working to maximize the value derived from sustainable biomass sources and transform the way we utilize agricultural byproducts. We are now seeking outstanding Founders-to-be to lead a new venture in this area, working in collaboration with our Co-founder in Residence: Feedstock Engineering for the Circular bioeconomy.

You will join DSV’s venture creation programme as a Founder in Residence (full-time) and work closely with the DSV team, using our methodology, to spin-out a new company. During the programme, you’ll work on all aspects related to venture creation in this opportunity area, including working out the optimal approach to solve for the desired outcome, building a team and building a viable business case. Once the new venture is incorporated with pre-seed investment from DSV, you and your co-founders will own the majority stake in the business and continue receiving support from the DSV team post-spinout.


The world produces vast amounts of biomass, yet only a fraction is harnessed. Agricultural residues are particularly attractive due to their sheer volume and steady supply, in contrast to sources like food waste that are subject to active reduction efforts. However, residues have traditionally been challenging to utilize effectively given the local variance in their quality and quantity, which is affected by crop types, growing periods, geography, and weather conditions - not to mention seasonality in supply only being available after a harvest. In large-scale farms, like those found in the American Midwest, one-to-one agreements can be established with off-takers, such as the bioenergy industry. However, most other farming systems and prospective off-takers find it significantly more challenging to secure consistent feedstock supply agreements. As a result, biomass is left to decompose, constraining growth of the bioeconomy and bio-based industries. Furthermore, even when biomass is utilized, it is typically employed for a single fraction and one specific purpose, meaning the value of a waste stream’s total chemical complexity is underutilized.

Our mission is to unlock the latent potential of biomass waste streams - in their entirety - by creating a commodities market for bio-based waste streams. Markets and technologies that can aggregate and segregate agricultural residues, or support optimal bid/offer matching, can fuel the coming era of industrial advancement that is cited in national policy arenas around the world and support the growing demand for bio-based solutions and feedstocks. The best way forward is to develop solutions that capture biomass residues on an unprecedented scale, overcoming local farm-level and seasonal variabilities and tapping into the full potential that these resources hold. By doing so, we can break away from the single use paradigm, broadening the horizon to accommodate multi-purpose feedstocks, reshaping value chains and future-proofing industries amid growing sustainability compliance requirements.


There are two primary challenges that must be overcome to achieve this envisioned future. The first challenge revolves around solving the logistics involved in capturing agricultural waste streams and developing a bid/offer model that can underpin a circular economy commodities market. This encompasses the processes of harvesting, transporting, pre-processing, storing and delivering the biomass to its final destination. The second challenge pertains to optimizing the fractionation and blending of biomass feedstocks to produce a variety of feedstocks that yield value-added commodities and inputs into other industries.

The proposed solution is designed to cater to the needs of both producers and buyers. To accomplish this, our objective is to initially develop a robust matching mechanism, essentially a waste biomass commodities platform. This platform will consider various parameters, including geographical region, volume, certifications, regulatory requirements, and notably, it will feature a comprehensive traceability component. The core objective is to accurately predict, locate and source available biomass at a previously impossible scale, which can then be engineered into feedstocks possessing customized properties that align with the diverse requirements of various industries.

The envisioned technology for producing these feedstocks integrates intelligent sampling and analysis for batch treatment and process adjustments, informing precise methods for fractionating distinct biomass types into their constituent components. This allows us to perceive biomass as a mixture of fractions, each with the potential to be distilled into valuable compounds or ingredients. These individual fractions and components can then be strategically (re)combined to fulfil the specific criteria of buyers and users, thereby forming foundational feedstocks for numerous bioeconomy or industrial sectors. We also expect to develop methods to stabilize and preserve certain fractions or waste streams in order to overcome constraints in seasonal availability, ensuring that a summer waste stream is available to be combined with a winter waste stream. Through this approach, we can optimize the energy and costs associated with feedstock sourcing and processing, while maximizing the derived value by aligning the feedstock's end use with its inherent properties and moving towards continuous availability year round.

Conceptually, this idea can be understood as a hybrid digital and physical platform that unlocks the optimal pairing of biomass supply sources with end users. Imagine the potential to blend waste streams from palm oil, banana, and pineapple residues to produce ingredients for industries, spanning from insect farming and biogas plants, to fermentation facilities; or products such as fuel pellets, paper and cardboard fibers, fungi cultivation mediums, animal feed, and construction materials. This approach optimizes biomass usage by ensuring that its components are utilized in their most valuable forms. Moreover, it holds the potential to generate monetary value by facilitating due diligence and loan requirements for biorefinery and bioeconomy projects. On a broader scale, it can function as an ingredient broker within the bioeconomy ecosystem, with the ambition to evolve into a global supplier of macro-ingredients for the bioeconomy sector.

We are seeking two co-founders to build this venture with us: one with expertise in the design and deployment of biomass processing technologies, and a second role for an experienced operator in commodities markets.



We are seeking a commodity-focused co-founder with deep technical experience operating in commodities markets, while a technical grounding in chemical engineering and feedstocks is considered a plus.

The ideal candidate should meet the following requirements:

  1. Comprehensive experience of commodities markets;
  2. Extensive knowledge on agriculture, bioeconomy or sustainable value chains;
  3. Experience in logistics software development is a plus;
  4. Interest for leveraging bioconversion and waste valorisation technologies to enable sustainable value chains for the bioeconomy;
  5. Graduate level knowledge, or equivalent, in an area such as chemical or bioprocess engineering before transitioning to build a career working in commodities (considered a plus).

You have an entrepreneurial mindset and have experience with startups or “intrapreneurial” activities.

You have a strong desire to build a company and a team that will make a huge positive impact on the sustainable bioeconomy and cannot wait to get started!

As this program is created in collaboration with our Partners in Costa Rica (see "About The Tropical Agriculture & Bioeconomy Initiative (TABI) Program" below), candidates that are willing to spend significant time in Costa Rica following incorporation will be highly regarded and considered advantageous during the qualification process.



Deep Science Ventures (DSV) is a science venture builder that is working to create a future in which both humans and the planet can thrive. We build new science start-ups using our venture creation process and recruit impact-driven individuals with specific skill sets to become Founders.

We operate in 4 sectors: Pharmaceuticals, Climate, Agriculture and Computation, tackling the challenges defining those areas by taking a first principles approach and partnering with leading institutions.


By joining DSV, you’ll be joining a team of operators who have founded companies and led translation of science at some of the most respected universities, charities, funds and government agencies. 2/3 of the team have founded or led a company at C-suite and 65% have a PhD. Our team dedicate several hours every week to each Founder or founding team to provide tailored guidance, resources and feedback covering every aspect of what it takes to successfully launch a new venture from both the tech and commercial perspectives:

  • We provide optimised, purpose-built, proprietary tools, resources and processes to help create high-impact ventures from scratch, using our venture creation methodology. Read more about one of our key tools here.
  • We draw on opportunity area specific know-how provided by our network of Partners and Advisors.
  • We offer Co-Founder(s) sourcing and assessment via our proprietary tools, advisory board sourcing, advice on technical and commercial investment milestones, co-development of technical roadmap and go to market strategy, investment readiness pre-launch with further focus on technical and commercial proof, and customer development support.
  • We provide £250k investment governed by our Investment Committee to incorporate the new venture and develop early proof-of-concept data that’s needed to attract high profile non-venture studio VCs. This funding is also key to get grant funding, which most often needs to be matched with private investment;
  • We provide guaranteed income of £4,166 per month paid to each Founder in Residence as a consultancy fee until the company is launched and the pre-seed investment is secured;
  • You and your co-founders will own a majority equity stake in the company;
  • We provide continuous support after post spin-out, including fundraising, commercial partnerships, recruitment and team-building (amongst other things); plus
  • There are dozens of Founders currently at DSV across sectors working collaboratively and supporting one another - a unique resource to draw on.

About The Tropical Agriculture & Bioeconomy Initiative (TABI) Program

The Tropical Agriculture & Bioeconomy Initiative (TABI) is a Costa Rica based DSV program designed to deliver high tech and venture-backable startup companies to realise the vision and principles of Costa Rica’s National Bioeconomy Strategy. Candidates who join this program to start new companies will work with DSV and local Costa Rican partner institutes to create technologies that can accelerate Latin American and tropical agricultural economies toward resilient, decarbonised, regenerative and value-added production systems and circular bioeconomies. Candidates will be expected to relocate to Costa Rica during the program, and base significant operations of their company in the country.

Costa Rica is a world leader in sustainability, agriculture and biodiversity conservation. With deep expertise and human resources in the life sciences, free trade agreements with two thirds of the planet’s population, and 12 microclimates that support 5% of the world’s biodiversity, Central America’s most advanced nation exports over 4000 different agricultural products whilst being largely powered off renewable electricity and having 50% of its land devoted to national parks. Costa Rica offers excellent tax advantages for investors, and free trade zones to support the development of high growth businesses, and frequently ranks as being the happiest country in the world.

In addition to entrepreneurship training from DSV, Founders on the program have access to TABI program partner experts and advisors from leading local institutions: EARTH University and Center of Tropical Agricultural Research and Education (CATIE), as well as the CR BioMed Cluster and Costa Rican lnvestment Promotion Agency (CINDE). The program is generously funded by Fundación CRUSA.

Whilst each Opportunity Area in the program has been inspired by the nation’s National Bioeconomy Strategy, new companies will find rich regional and global markets to tap into to support the expansion of the company's initial operations from Costa Rica to other similar bioeconomies.

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