Kalion is an early stage industrial biotech company that will transform the traditional chemical industry by providing low-cost access to glucaric acid and S-3-hydroxybutyrolactone (3-HBL) using traditional, green, fermentation technology. Glucaric acid and 3-HBL were identified as “Top Value Added Chemicals from Biomass” and multi-billion dollar markets for use of the two chemicals are limited by cost and availability (2004 DOE report).
Our board is composed of a diverse set of individuals with broad and relevant experience.
He formerly worked at McKinsey & Co. and several different startups. While at McKinsey, one of his key assignments was to develop a strategy for a key bioengineered product for a Fortune 500 company. The strategy proved widely successful for the company, and for over a decade, has driven billions in profits. He received his MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics while studying at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. He received two S.B.'s from MIT, one in Electrical Engineering and one in Science, Technology and Society. He is a former member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's board of trustees and Great Lakes Industrial Technology Council (GLITeC) Advisory Board.SEND ME AN EMAIL
Kristala Prather is the Theodore T. Miller Career Development Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from MIT in 1994, and a Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1999. At Berkeley, she worked under the supervision of Prof. Jay D. Keasling on the development of expression vectors for metabolic engineering. Prof. Prather joined the faculty of MIT after 4 years in BioProcess Research and Development at Merck Research Labs (Rahway, NJ), first as a Senior Research Biochemical Engineer and then as a Research Fellow. While at Merck, she worked on projects in the areas of biocatalysis for small molecule transformations, high-yield production of plasmids as DNA vaccines, and mammalian cell line development for production of therapeutic proteins. Prof. Prather’s research interests are centered on the design and assembly of recombinant microorganisms for the production of small molecules, with additional efforts in novel bioprocess design approaches. Research combines the traditions of metabolic engineering with the practices of biocatalysis to expand and optimize the biosynthetic capacity of microbial systems. A particular focus is the elucidation of design principles for the production of unnatural organic compounds within the framework of the burgeoning field of synthetic biology.SEND ME AN EMAIL
Joan Zief is an active investor in early stage high growth companies. Joan is a General Partner of Golden Seeds Fund LLC and Golden Seeds Fund 2 LP. Prior to 2008, Joan was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs. Her 40 year career as an equity research analyst specializing in insurance and financial institutions spanned the Wall Street investment banks of Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch as well as several buy side firms. She was highly ranked on the Institutional Investor “All American Research Team” for 10 years. Ms. Zief was a board member of the non-profit First Occupational Center of NJ from 1996-2007 and acted as Treasurer for 6 years. She was appointed in 2008 to the Capital Finance Committee of the Township of Montclair for a four year term. Joan currently serves as a trustee to the Montclair Art Museum. Ms. Zief holds a BA in economics from Smith College and an MBA from NYU Graduate School of Business.
For the past decade Mr. Miniutti has focused on private equity investments and outside board director opportunities. Investment and director skills are augmented by a chemical engineering background (Rensselaer) with engineering and management positions at Milliken (textile manufacturing) and Gentex (military textiles and optical devices). Start-up highlights over the years, include Polymer Solutions Inc (a leader in laser protective cast acrylic sheet), TEAM (a 3D composite textile supplier), Sungate (an innovative lens processing lab sold to Vision Dynamics LLC), Oracle Lens (a manufacturer of polycarbonate ophthalmic lenses sold to SOLA International), Bio Medical Structures (a 3D textile medical device component manufacturer sold to Ampersand Ventures). Acquisitions and turn-around highlights include Vision Dynamics LLC, Co-Optics of America Vision Group. Angel investment highlights include Boston Heart Lab (diagnostic testing lab acquired by Eurofins), Smart Cells (timed-release insulin product sold to Merck), Horizontal (large-object data protocol software sold to AutoDesk) to name just a few. Mr. Miniutti is always an active board member earning him the respect of many businesses owners and private equity firms alike with his direct and focused business mindset.