Charlottesville, Virginia


    Transfoam’s mission is to develop cutting-edge, bio-based technologies to accelerate decarbonization and eliminate the creation of microplastic pollution.

    Using synthetic biology, we are building a modular platform technology capable of consuming industrial waste to produce high-value, sustainable chemicals. Given the urgent need for better plastic production, use and disposal practices, we’ve focused our platform on the co-production of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) and an all-natural indigoid dye. PHB is a subclass of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), bio-based and biodegradable polyesters, that offer comparable strength, barrier properties and shelf life to petroplastics. We will sell PHB masterbatches to bioplastic molders who use it to create fully biodegradable single and multi-use products.


    To complement our primary manufacturing activities, we plan to maintain a strong research arm to contribute fundamental improvements to the PHB industry and create licensable solutions to support our primary revenue stream of PHB sales.


    Transfoam will position itself as both a PHB manufacturer and licenser of our proprietary, low-footprint biomanufacturing capabilities. We will acquire waste from nearby waste producers and aggregators, and will work with bioplastic compounders and molders to create specialized formulations of our dyed, low-footprint PHB and PHB-based blends.

    By providing increased accessibility to waste remediation and more sustainable materials, Transfoam aims to help upstream and downstream partners meet environmental sustainability goals, and spearhead the necessary transition to a circular economy. As we scale, we will work with customers to engineer PHB-based formulas tailored to different foodservice, agriculture, luxury (cosmetic, textile, etc.) goods, and packaging applications. After our own commercial demonstration, we will continue to expand our own infrastructure and begin to license our tech to provide a supplemental revenue stream and improve the rate of PHB’s widespread adoption.


    Alec is a co-founder and the CEO of Transfoam. Alec is a graduate of the University of Virginia (UVA), 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 Transfoam, Alec oversees long-term technical advancement and strategic outreach to potential partners and industry/trade organizations. In his free time, Alec enjoys spending time outdoors and has recently gotten into longboarding, climbing and trail running. Alec also helps to co-manage a nonprofit startup that is tackling furniture waste and furniture poverty in Charlottesville.