Ourobio is a young synthetic biology and circular economy company. We develop engineered microorganisms to turn industrial byproducts into low-footprint, performance-enhancing biopolymer additives.
Ourobio began as Transfoam, an iGEM research project at the University of Virginia in early 2019 and was spun out in March 2020. Our founders have been working on Ourobio since its inception and have aligned our personal commitments to ocean sustainability and preservation of the outdoors with our company’s commitments to industry and the environment.
In June of 2021, we started building our first rudimentary lab space on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, Virginia. In October 2022, we moved into a shared space in the Indiana Bioscience Research Institute in Indianapolis!
Mission & Vision
Ourobio’s mission is to develop cutting-edge, bio-based technologies to accelerate decarbonization and the creation of a circular economy.
Our vision is for biomaterials to replace toxic, petroleum-derived chemicals & materials that are difficult to recycle and contribute to many of our world’s environmental and human health issues.
What’s the meaning of Ourobio?
Ourobio is inspired by the Ouroboros – an ancient symbol that represents the cyclical nature of life, the unity of opposites, and the eternal return. It is often depicted as a snake or dragon eating its own tail, and is symbolic of the closed-loop systems we hope to create with synthetic biology.
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Alec is a graduate of the University of Virginia, holding a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. Alec has 6 years experience working with startups and small businesses, and is heavily involved in Charlottesville’s synthetic biology, sustainability, and entrepreneurship communities.
In 2019, Alec was elected co-chair of the UVA iGEM synbio research team where he first began working with Transfoam. At Ourobio, Alec oversees long-term technical advancement and strategic outreach to potential partners and industry/trade organizations. Alec also helps to co-manage a nonprofit startup that is tackling furniture waste and furniture poverty in Charlottesville.
Founder & Chief Operations Officer
Kobe is a graduate of the University of Virginia, holding a B.S. in Biochemistry. Kobe has significant experience developing high-throughput experimental methods for improving biosynthetic pathways, as well as organizational and leadership experience, serving on the executive board of the Alpha Chi Sigma UVA chapter, a nationally recognized professional chemical society.
At Ourobio, Kobe manages the day-to-day scientific development (i.e. bioreactor operation, bioprocess optimization, and material analysis techniques, including Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy, Differential-Scanning Calorimetry, and high-throughput fluorometric analysis), as well as general operations and financial management.