BLOCK71 x Mycotech
Interview with Adi Reza, CEO and Co-founder
BLOCK71 Bandung brings back our second feature of the Founder’s Story! In this story, we follow Adi Reza, CEO and Co-founder of Mycotech as he brings us along his journey of creating a more sustainable vision of the world by harnessing mushrooms. Mycotech started out in 2012 when the team discovered the potential of mushrooms in creating eco-friendly materials in a humble kitchen. Since then, Mycotech’s access to production labs has expanded across the globe.
The motivation to establish Mycotech comes from Adi and the Mycotech’s team love for the environment, as well as concern over the sustainability of producing leather. Cow-based leather production is unsustainable in terms of production and procession as the chemical treatment can heavily pollute water bodies if not done properly. In addition, Adi added that rearing cows make up the third largest contributor of global emissions. This calls for a new solution for leather replacement that is not only sustainable, but also affordable. And this is exactly what Mycotech is about - creating bio-based materials that can positively impact the environment.
Besides the environmental aspect, Mycotech has also been making social change by empowering mushroom farmers. The CEO and founder of Mycotech highlights that there are as much as 43,000 mushroom farmers across Indonesia. By partnering up with these farmers to obtain their initial materials, Mycotech not only provides them with additional income, the company itself also saves on investment cost.
The journey of Mycotech has been an extremely interesting one. It is also an unexpected story of discovery and learning. Mycotech started out as a food gourmet company that sells mushrooms as snacks. However, with the discovery of mycelium technology, the co-founders decided to save the profits from the gourmet business and invest them into research. A year of testing in Adi’s mom’s pantry did not work out as smoothly as they had planned. However, like many successful entrepreneurs, Adi and team learnt from their mistakes fast. Access to international labs, as well as joint research projects helped greatly in expediting the technology improvement process.
When asked about his biggest inspiration, Adi pointed to his wife as the biggest influence in his care for sustainability. Her eco-consciousness encouraged Adi and the Mycotech team to solve environmental problems using technology. Seeing his clients share the same vision of wanting to make a positive environmental impact is also a huge source of motivation for him.
Now, Mycotech’s technology is spreading quickly across the region. Just recently, Mycotech exhibited at the SG Innovfest Unbound 2019, where more than 100+ startups, brands, entrepreneurs, investors and corporates met for an exchange of ideas. As Mycotech propels onto the global platform, BLOCK71 is excited to follow their journey ahead.
Find Mycotech on Instagram at: @mycotech