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Join host Paul Shapiro as he talks with some of the leading start-up entrepreneurs and titans of industry alike using their businesses to help solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Apr 1, 2021

Landfills are, well, filling up. We’re running out of places to put our trash, and the trash we’ve landfilled won’t decompose for centuries. 

But, what if we could take a lot of trash and seed it with fungal cultures that would eat it and render it no longer toxic within just a few weeks rather than having to wait centuries? That’s exactly what Mycocycle is planning to do, and we’ve got their CEO, Joanne Rodriguez, on the show to talk about it.

After a decades-long career in construction, Joanne founded Mycocycle and with her team has been training fungi to eat construction trash, especially asphalt, and plan to sell that service to municipalities and landfills. As if that weren’t enough, she then plans to take the fungi mycelium they’ve grown and sell it as a biodegradable packaging material. Pretty cool, huh?

Well, what might be even cooler is that you yourself can invest in Joanne’s company right now! Normally, startups on this show are only seeking funding from deep pocketed venture capital firms. But Mycocycle is taking a different approach, seeking to raise their first round from hundreds of individuals via, with a minimum investment of only $262. 

So take a listen to the company and the mycelium that Joanne is growing. It’s an impressive story, and one that might even involve you!

Discussed in this episode

More about Joanne Rodriguez

Founder and CEO of Mycocycle, Joanne Rodriguez has worked across the construction products industry for 30 years. She is a subject matter expert in sustainable technologies–like zero waste and the circular economy, and she has experience leading diverse teams to unprecedented growth. Leading the sustainability efforts for a major roof manufacturer, Joanne discovered the issue of the unsustainable and growing problems related to disposing of construction and demolition materials. A frequent national speaker, she carries a vast network of contacts across manufacturing, architecture and design, government leadership, and sustainability. She has served on boards with the US EPA, the Constructions Specification Institute, the US Green Building Council, and has served as a subject matter expert at convenings of the United Nations, Clinton Global Initiative, ecoAmerica, GreenBiz, and Resilient Cities Summits. Joanne is a Certified Permaculture Designer, a Construction Documents Specialist, holds a Professional Certificate from Cornell University in Climate Change Communications, and is a LEED Accredited Professional through the US Green Building Council.