In the Best Of episode, we look back at Dan Wideaier of Bolt Threads. Dan Widmaier is a bioengineer who’s taking on the fashion and beauty industries. As the Co-Founder and CEO of Bolt Threads, he’s ushering in a new era of regenerative lab grown materials that can help us reverse course when it comes to the health of our planet. In this episode Dan and I talked about the science behind Bolt Threads’ patented materials, and how they’re being adopted by big brands like Stella McCartney and Adidas. In what was a fascinating conversation, I heard about his growth strategy, how industry disruption can be used to create social and environmental impact, and why companies that don’t adopt regenerative practices could face existential problems.
Dan has carefully tended Bolt’s growth since 2009, using his passion and expertise to lead the company through technology development, expansion, and financing. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from UC San Francisco, where his graduate research involved designing genetic circuits to control microbial organelles. Dan has grown Bolt Threads from an incubator start-up to a biomaterials platform company with 75 employees. He has led Bolt Threads through multiple fundraising rounds, created lasting partnerships with iconic global brands like Stella McCartney, and launched commercially available materials including MyloTM – a mycelium-based leather alternative – with a select group of partners including adidas, Kering, lululemon, and Stella McCartney.
You can also watch episodes on YouTube at WeFirstTV.