The first Founders Project mentor-mentee pairing you’ll meet this year–Gary Hirshberg and Emily Darchuk–speak the common tongue of dairy. Hirshberg co-founded Stonyfield Farm, the pioneering organics company. Darchuk, a food scientist and freshly minted MBA who also helped develop soup for NASA’s astronauts, is launching Wheyward Spirit, which ferments discarded byproducts of cheesemaking to create distinctive alcoholic beverages. The following is an edited excerpt from the first conversation of their yearlong mentoring relationship.
December 27, 2018 | Here’s something to toast: A sippable alcohol made from liquid whey.
For every 10 pounds of milk a cheesemaker brings in, nine pounds will remain as whey, explains Emily Darchuk. The recent University of Oregon grad has been turning that “liquid gold” into a unique spirit that compares to vodka. Darchuk plans to bring the product to market in 2019, selling bottles of Wheyward Spirit to the masses.
December 27, 2018 | Knock knock! Who’s there? Whey! Whey who? There’s a whey better drink to try this holiday season than a candy cane schnapp, that’s who!
Start-up Wheyward Spirit is making headlines of late thanks to its innovative strategy to minimize the toll food waste has on the cheese industry. The brain child of Oregon State University alum Emily Darchuk, Wheyward Spirit is churning out a “farm-to-flask” alcohol drink derived from leftover liquid whey that’s already changing the cheese game.
October 19, 2018 | SEATTLE and PORTLAND, Ore. – The Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator, powered by CleanTech Alliance in Seattle and VertueLab in Portland, has announced cash prizes and awards to four of the eight early-stage cleantech startup companies that participated in the 2018 cohort.
October 2, 2018 | Portland, Ore., — The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) is pleased to announce the winners of its inaugural F&B Showcase, presented October 2 at North Portland’s Leftbank Annex. The Food and Beverage (F&B) Showcase convened food and beverage entrepreneurs and other professionals in the space, as well as investors and service providers.
August 7, 2018 | In the conservation world, we’re always looking for new ways to scale up our work. Lately, some of our best ideas have come from the private sector. One especially promising strategy we’re borrowing from business is early-stage investing in technology start-ups.
Last week I was excited to participate in the official launch of a program that’s putting this strategy to the test—the Techstars Sustainability Accelerator. The Accelerator aims to scale up start-ups with disruptive, commercially viable technologies that can help solve the world’s food, water and climate challenges.
July 16, 2018 | With ten companies arriving today in Denver, Colo. – we are thrilled to announce Techstars Class 145 – the inaugural class of Techstars Sustainability Accelerator in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. Rooted in hope, urgency and action – we are honored to be supporting these companies that wake up everyday to solve for a future where both humans and nature thrive.
June 14, 2018 | SEATTLE and PORTLAND, Ore. — The Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator today announced its 2018 cohort of eight Pacific Northwest clean technology startups that will receive cleantech-specific training in business planning, customer discovery, manufacturing and sustainability planning over the next 15 weeks. The accelerator also announced a rebrand and launched a new website.
April 9, 2018 | ZILA Works has pressed the world’s first snowboard created with industrial hemp oil-based epoxy resin. Funds from our $100,000 EPA grant allowed us to prove viability and create a proof of concept.
September 19, 2017 | SEATTLE– Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $1.6 million in funding for ZILA Works, in Renton, Washington, and 14 other small businesses across the United States to develop technologies that will help protect human health and the environment by detecting chemicals in the air, ensuring cleaner water, and creating greener materials.