Sponsored by Eric Aroesty, C’92

Come see the Finalists pitch live at the Startup Showcase!

April 27, 2018

Jon M. Huntsman Hall

Startup Challenge Semifinalist Strella Biotechnology

Strella Biotechnology is developing a biosensing platform that predicts fruit ripeness, thus reducing food spoilage and waste in the supply chain. Packers and distributors will be able monitor produce as it ripens in storage, and always locate the readiest produce for their customers.

How did you come up with this idea?

Katherine has a passion for application based research. In the summer of 2017, she was reading about various scientific fields of inquiry, and stumbled upon a thought: why don’t we use nature’s solutions to solve problems humans can’t? Katherine had read previously about the inefficiencies of the food supply chain, and began to explore how these two seemingly unrelated ideas could work together.

Initially, the project was conceived simply out of curiosity about what could be done with a biotechnological principle. It began to take the shape of a company when packers and distributors expressed great interest in the technology.

How will your venture change the world?

Almost 1/3 of all food is wasted or spoiled before it is consumed. Meanwhile, almost a billion people go hungry, and precious natural resources are lost that were used to produce the food. We hope that Strella’s efforts to optimize the food supply chain will reduce these inefficiencies and aid the global hunger issue.

COMPETING TEAM:

Reginald Lamaute, C’20
Prima Pisuttusarun, GEN’18
Katherine Sizov, C’19
Gauri Srivastava GEN’19
Sanjula Weerawardhena, W’18

Fun Facts:

  • Reginald: I can speak some isiZulu (a click language) owing to study of the language and a homestay in South Africa.
  • Prima: I recently ventured on a camping trip to Iceland over spring break.
  • Katherine: I’m a Division 1 fencer at UPenn.
  • Gauri: I’m scared of dogs!
  • Sanjula: I’m a proud Sri Lankan cricket player.

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