We caught up with Melian Dott, Founder at BAOM, where we spoke about the world of biotechnology and explored the incredible journey of their innovative startup. BAOM, established in October 2022, who’s focusing on the growth of biofilms out of cellulose for sustainable packaging solutions with a mission to address the urgent issue of plastic pollution caused by single-use packaging.
“As a Biotech startup in South Africa, we have encountered numerous challenges along the way. One of the most significant hurdles has been securing funding and gaining exposure. However, we believe that these challenges have only made us stronger and more resilient. Additionally, the frequent power outages due to loadshedding have posed operational difficulties in our production processes. Despite these obstacles, our passion and dedication to our cause keep us motivated.” says Melian Dott, Founder at BAOM.
Throughout the journey of growing Biofilms from cellulose for sustainable packaging, BOAM has several highlights that have propelled the business forward. One notable accomplishment was receiving a grant from UVU Bio, which provided resources such as Africa’s first open access state-of-the-art laboratory.
“This support has been instrumental in furthering our research and development efforts.” – Melian Dott, Founder at BAOM.
Amongst this, BOAM has found great pride in successfully proving the viability and value of their intellectual property, which has further validated their innovative approach.
Currently, the team is engaged in an exciting project focused on developing single-use refill packaging for the cosmetic industry. By eliminating the need for traditional plastic containers, the aim is to contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable future. This project is a testament to the commitment to finding innovative solutions for the packaging challenges in South Africa.
As we look to the future of biotechnology in South Africa, we asked BOAM Co-Founders where they believe the Biotech industry to be in Five Years:
“We envision a promising future for the biotechnology industry in South Africa. With a vast landscape of untapped potential, the industry is poised for exponential growth and expansion in the next five years. The intersection of scientific advancements, environmental consciousness, and market demand provides fertile ground for Biotech startups like BAOM to thrive and make a significant impact.” says Melian Dott.
We chatted about our achievements, and BAOM has been accepted into five different accelerator programmes. These opportunities have provided invaluable mentorship, resources, and networking possibilities. Furthermore, they received recognition at the regional segment of the prestigious Global Startup Awards for their potential and contribution to the startup ecosystem. They were awarded Best Newcomer. These accolades are a testament to the hard work, dedication, and the value their IP brings to the industry.
At BAOM, inspiration is drawn from the pervasive effects of single-use plastic pollution in our everyday lives. Whether it’s a walk in the mountains or a swim in the sea, plastic waste is ubiquitous and worsening. Witnessing this environmental crisis firsthand fuels, the determination to make a difference.
As BAOM strives to revolutionize the packaging industry, we asked for words they live by, “You can make an impact; the change comes from you.” These words are a reminder that the responsibility to create a sustainable future lies within each one of us. With passion, innovation, and a commitment to the planet, we are confident that BAOM’s biofilm packaging solutions will contribute to a greener world and inspire others to join the movement.
Stay tuned for more updates, breakthroughs, and insights as BAOM continues to lead the charge towards a plastic-free future.
Images of Biofilm created in the UVU Bio Lab, by BAOM