Yemoja specializes in microalgae technology and the production of microalgae-derived products
Please introduce yourself and your startup Yemoja to our readers!
My name is Erez Ashkenazi, I’m a scion of a pioneer farmers family, which made me connected to the agricultural environment and to the entrepreneurship related to its challenges. My professional journey has always been a personal one too. Simultaneously to entrepreneurial adventures, I always strived to enrich myself on a human point of view. From humanitarian projects in Cambodia to C-level functions in Israeli biotech companies, I am 100% dedicated to support the projects I am involved in, and I truly believe that the best way to consider a situation is by being on the field.
I am a founder of Yemoja Ltd., and currently the COO & President of the company that specializes in microalgae technology and the production of microalgae-derived products, which takes this world several steps forward.
I was also one of the establishers and production site officer of CollPlant Ltd. a biotech NASDAQ-listed company that holds revolutionary plant-based technology which is the only commercially viable technology for mass production of recombinant human Type I collagen (rhCollagen), which is identical to the collagen produced by the human body.
I’m an agronomist in my profession (B.Sc.Agr. The Hebrew University 2004) and hold a Master degree in ‘Philosophy of Science and Technology’ (Tel-Aviv University 2014, Graduated with outstanding honor).
How did you get the idea of Yemoja?
While working in the Microalgae industry We became aware of the the main issues causing the major bottlenecks of the industry which is the lack of reliable and quality production systems that can meet the needs of the target markets.
Why did you decide to start with Yemoja?
Because we believe that with our know-how our company can deliver a significant breakthrough in relieving those bottlenecks and successfully realise the full potential of the microalgae world to be rendered in products and ultimately advance this market for a long time to come.
What is the vision behind Yemoja? To establish a worldwide company that will be a hub for development and production of very high-end customized microalgae based products. Our vision is to source any kind of microalgae to fit any kind of final product and for all kinds of industries.
How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?
Like any production oriented biotech start-up we challenge aspects of biology based business, production issues, heavy regulation, lots of R&D, long sale cycles, etc.. As a platform system company, we deal with difficulties to “educate” potential investors to encourage them to invest in a platform production line and not in specific end-products.
Who is your target audience?
High end Neutriceuticals , cosmeceuticals, cosmetic companies and potentially pharmaceuticals in the future
What is the USP of your startup?
I would say that introducing a new microalgae based molecule for medical application will be it.
Can you describe your typical workday ?
Starts in the morning and ends in the late night. During that time you may find me doing everything from dealing with mechanical issue to meeting with investors, or from leading a team meeting to working on new system-part engineering design.
Where do you see yourself and your startup Yemoja in five years?
We aspire to become a global leader in the production of high quality microalgae and to be recognized as an advanced microalgae company worldwide – no doubt.
What 3 tips would you give to founders?
1. Bringing your start -up idea to fruition is a long journey that demands patience so enjoy the adventure and don’t be too hard with yourself.
2. Understand that no one understands your technology or your idea better than you do so do it your way
3. Find the best people to accompany you and your idea to the final outcome and who respect and share your vision for the company.
More information you will find here
Thank you Erez Ashkenazi for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.