“An Eco-friendly Geotechnical Solution”
A proven, patented and environmentally responsible answer for liquefaction mitigation, fugitive dust mitigation, side slope stabilization, and transmission tower stabilization.
BioCement Back Story
While pursuing their undergraduate careers at University of Idaho, Marshall Piatt and Nick Lodato partnered up with the inventor of BioCement for the 2013 University of Idaho VIEW Business Plan Competition, and won first prize. The pair both went on to graduate with degrees in Business Management and Human Resources. After their graduation, Marshall Piatt and Nick Lodato decided that instead of accepting other job offers, they would go all-in and pursue their start-up business full-time. They went on to form BioCement Technologies, Inc.
BioCement Technologies, Inc. is a soil engineering company using a patented microbial process to stabilize and remediate soil. Their product is a liquid chemical solution that can be mixed with soil to increase the production of calcite, which then increases the strength of the soil. BioCement’s vision is “to utilize native microorganisms to advance the way that soil is engineered, improving the quality of life and reducing human impact on life around us,” said Lodato.
A Revolutionary Product
Their revolutionary product brings to market a differentiated solution to a variety of common geotechnical applications, ranging from stabilizing soil foundations for safer construction and the longevity of buildings to stabilizing unpaved roads and surfaces. BioCement has also been shown to reduce liquefaction potential in soil, the main culprit of damage after an earthquake, by almost 100%. The product can be an eco-friendly substitute to current stabilization technologies and techniques.
BioCement is an eco-friendly solution that can help heal the environment. BioCemented soils have the ability to store carbon that would otherwise enter the atmosphere, reducing the negative environmental impact of the applied sites. Soils treated with BioCement have been shown to reduce the leachability of hazardous materials such as heavy metals. Thanks to the bacteria already existing in the soil itself, BioCemented soils have been shown to be self-healing.
Be The Entrepreneur Bootcamp
A major step in starting their business on the road to where the team is today was participating in the very first Be The Entrepreneur Bootcamp in the summer of 2014. Piatt attended BTE Bootcamp on a scholarship from the office of Tech Transfer at the University of Idaho.
“The thing that helped the most, I think was the business planning canvas model that we did. It helped to fill our initial business model onto one page, and establish a direction and a skeleton of what the business would look like,” said Piatt. “When we first did the bootcamp, we were technically a business but we hadn’t sold anything. We were a corporation with nothing really sustainable behind it. Since BTE we have been working with large national and international companies. We have also been growing our relationships with large technology companies. We have actually sold our product, which we had not done before BTE. We finalized a board of directors and hired a new CEO, and expanded into Seattle. We have also had more of our patents go through and filed additional patents.”
Both Piatt and Lodato recommend the experience to both those who wish to start their own business, or already have their business established. The key aspect to the success of the program? Networking opportunities. “Networking is extremely important to the success of any business and should be one of your number one goals during and after the bootcamp. Campers should view the bootcamp as more than just a learning experience for entrepreneurs, they should also focus heavily on networking with their classmates, teachers and speakers” said Piatt.
Advice To New Entrepreneurs
When asked about their main piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, the pair had great wisdom to share.
“I think the biggest thing is just going for it, jumping all in. At the end of the day, you aren’t going to have all of your questions answered when you’re starting your business, but you need to just go for it” said Lodato. “You see other examples of companies working part time on it, and part time on another job, and they never move as quickly as they’d hope. I think just going for it directly after college, jumping all in, was risky but really made the difference for us.”
The team is currently located in Moscow, ID, with an expansion in the Seattle, WA area. The pair stated that their experience as entrepreneurs on the Palouse has been positive, largely because of the availability of resources here and the high levels of education of the people in the area. “We started here because of the two universities in such close proximity. There are a lot of highly educated people here, a lot of engineers and scientists that have been able to help us significantly. As a tech company, it is important to be around well-educated individuals. In Idaho, this is kind of the epicenter for education.” said Piatt.
Learn more about this team, their revolutionary product, and its other industry-changing applications at their website, biocement.com. You can also follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/BiocementTechnologies.