Mycocycle wins 2020 CTO Resiliency Challenge Grant

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Cleantech Open Resiliency Challenge grants issued for COVID19 pivots.

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Now is the time to fund solution-driven innovations, particularly in sectors involving Latinx and Female founders.

From a field of 40 applications, narrowed down to Ten Finalists, the two companies that won cash grants from the Cleantech Open Resiliency Challenge are: Mycocycle, First Place, winning $20,000, and Quatcare, Second Place, winning $15,000.

Mycocycle, a waste-to-resource process, offers mycoremediation of targeted toxin-containing materials being landfilled. Using fungi, their patent pending technology, removes carcinogens and other chemicals of concerns from materials containing asphalt, bitumen, and petrochemical derivatives. The process also sequesters toxic heavy metals. The end result is a non-toxic "mushroom" based biomass available to manufacturers for reuse into new, low-carbon materials.

They were awarded the grant for their proposed pivot of using the existing technology to treat new waste streams that are both higher margin and more readily available during COVID-19. Waste and recycling markets are down for commercial and industrial sectors, while municipal solid waste is up for residential.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted U.S. recycling markets due to handling concerns. These turbulent market fluctuations are leading to unreliable business for many recyclers as well as diminished end use opportunities. Our goal is to lend a process that can allow not only a pivot for our company, but for our customers as well, opening up new avenues of business for them long term," said Joanne Rodriguez, CEO of Mycocycle.

"As an entrepreneur, the pandemic has been difficult at best. It would have been easy for any of my colleagues in the startup ecosystem to quit. What I have found, however, is that nimbleness and resilience have lead to greater successes in solving problems directly related to COVID-19--it has been inspiring. I have great appreciation for the cleantech ecosystem, as a 2019 alum of the Cleantech Open National Accelerator out of LA, as well as my local startup colleagues from 1871 and IHCC's Latinx Incubator. Now is the time to fund solution-driven innovations, particularly in sectors involving Latinx and Female founders. We are honored to have won this and look forward to growing this concept!"

"We were excited to see so many innovative and creative solutions to address real problems faced by our alumni entrepreneurs - who are enduring worsening economic conditions due to the pandemic. Congrats to Joanne Rodriguez of Mycocyle, Mario Mercado from Quatcare, and their colleagues for their optimism, grit and innovation," said Ken Hayes, Executive Director of Cleantech Open.

Mycocycle's goal is to use waste as a resource, minimizing dependence on landfills, to develop a more circular solution set for the future of low-carbon materials.

To learn more about Mycocycle visit and follow them on Twitter @mycocycle
To learn more about the work of the Cleantech Open visit
For more information on the Latinx/IHCC+1871 Incubator visit

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