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Arbiom is a Durham-based company looking to create a new source of plant-based proteins from wood.  Arbiom was established in 2011 with the goal of “meeting the sharp increase in global protein requirements with technology that transforms the most sustainable and readily available carbon source in the world – wood – into a natural, economical, traceable, and sustainable protein with enhanced amino acid content for animal feed.”

Located in Durham, NC


What stage of development is the company in?

Arbiom is in the development stage of development; they are scaling up from labs to pilot scale, and are currently scaling up the production process.

What will the company’s impact be?

“Arbiom’s vision is to be a leader in the transformation of our food supply and our food production system with technology,” says Business Development Director Emily Glenn.  They plan on changing the way that protein is consumed by animals and humans, while creating a more sustainable and nutritious option.  Their product will help to increase biodiversity as well as use less water and land.

What are the company’s most concerning challenges? How will they address these challenges?

The most concerning challenges for Arbiom right now are ensuring that the product works well, identifying costs, and dealing with the challenge of time.  “The food industry takes a long time to evaluate and incorporate ingredients,” explains Emily Glenn, “especially when what they have right now works…when the challenges of tomorrow don’t hurt today there’s a lot less emphasis to change.”  Arbiom is working to push their agenda and guarantee that their milestones are met within proper time.

How does the company expect to scale in the next year? In 5 years?

Arbiom follows a concrete commitment plan that maps out the future for the company.  In the next 3-5 years, Arbiom plans on locating and creating a product plant for SylPro, as well as continuing to develop a pipeline of products to follow SylPro.

Describe the company’s approach to the Triple Bottom Line.

Arbiom’s products help to improve the biodiversity, safety, and nutrition of protein products that are put into feeds and foods.  By measuring the entire cradle-to-grave lifecycle of production, they can monitor their environmental impact while investing their profits into back into the company and customers.

Who currently makes up the company’s team?  What gaps, if any, need to be filled?

The team is currently made up of three groups: a research and development team, an engineering team, and a business development team.  There are about 30 employees in total with no current gaps.  The company also has two interns, one in Durham and one in Paris, who work on marketing.