We sat down with Tomas Silicaro, CEO and Co-Founder of BioEutectics. an innovative green chemical company from Argentina. 

They’re on a mission to replace harmful petrochemical solvents with natural, biodegradable alternatives. Imagine, safer solvents in everything from your food to your cosmetics!

This episode gave us a deeper understanding on why research-based companies are considering Indiana as a hub for growth. (Hint: Your alma mater might play a part.)  

Tomas Silicaro is the CEO and Co-Founder of BioEutectics, a company focused on producing natural and biodegradable solvents.

BioEutectics was a Rally IN-Prize finalist in the Ag & Food category. Tomas came to Indianapolis to pitch at Rally in August of 2023. 

This conversation took place at Rally, the Largest Global Cross-Sector Innovation Conference. Rally forges and celebrates cross-sector connections between companies, entrepreneurs, investors and universities from across the globe and features a $5M cash IN-Prize pitch competition, 1:1 investor meetups, a demo arena, content sessions and more. 

Rally 2024 will take place from August 27-29, 2024 in downtown Indianapolis. Register now for early bird prices >> 

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Episode Transcript

Nate: From the crossroads of America in the Hoosier state of Indiana, this is Get IN. The podcast focused on the unfolding stories and extraordinary innovations happening in the heartland today. I’m Nate Spangle and I will be your host for today’s conversation. Today, we have a live recording from Rally, the largest global cross-sector innovation conference that was held right here in Indiana.

On the show today is Tomas Silicaro, co-founder and CEO of Bioeutectics.

Nate: Tomas Silicaro is the co-founder and CEO of Bioeutectics, a company that is working to replace all traditional petrochemical solvents with a green-based alternative.

Please enjoy this live episode of Get IN From Rally

Tomas: My name is Tomas Silicaro. I’m the CEO and co-founder of Bioeutectics. We are a green chemical company from Argentina, and we are developing the new generation of green solvents, purely natural and biodegradable.

Nate: Okay, so dive into that a little bit and explain that for the non science people in the room.

Tomas: Okay, solvents are used everywhere. We eat them, we breathe them, we absorb them every day, even when we don’t want to. The problem is that they are mainly petrochemicals and they damage the environment and they make us sick.

So we need to change that. We need to change the industry for good. As well, they have a lot of CO2 emissions, contamination, and so on. With our company, we developed what is called natural diplodectic technology. That is the technology that allow us to have the type of products that we have that are purely natural and biodegradable solvents that can replace all the existing ones.

And that can even replace some ingredients that are chemicals as well.

Nate: Oh my gosh. So what’s your background in?

Tomas: My background is business. I’ve been working for the last 22 years developing companies and businesses through all Latin America, North America, Europe, and Asia. But I have four amazing founders that are the brains behind all this and the experts behind all this.

Nate: And they’re like the science side of things?

Yes, they are. The four of them are PhD in chemistry, specialized in green chemistry, and Maria Fernanda that is here with me. She’s one of the two most important scientists in the world in this field. And she was named by Stanford University as one of the 2 percent most influential scientists in the world.

Nate: Holy cats. Okay. She should be here, not me. I, that’s the, I dropped the ball on that one with my scheduling. No problem. So can you talk to me a little bit what stage are you guys at in your business?

Tomas: We are just turning from pilot plant scale to industrial scale with the idea to start selling in the first semester of 2024.

Nate: What does that MVP product look like and where would it like finally touch the end consumer like me?

Tomas: Okay, we are in four verticals. Food, personal care and cosmetics, agro tech and gas capturing. And we will be selling the producers of the foods or the personal care items that you use. You will see it on the label of those products.

We will make them greener and safer.

Nate: Nice. Okay. So you’re from Argentina, you said?

Tomas: Yeah, I’m from Argentina.

Nate: So how did you find out about Rally?

Tomas: We were reached out by them by email. And we started a little bit about the event, that it was a very new one and the competition and as well the prices that are involved.

And because we are planning to move to the U. S. in the next six months or so. This was a really nice opportunity for us to know a new city and take advantage of the opportunities that we’re having here as well.

Nate: So you, before Rally or anything they reached out to you, you were already planning on moving to the U.

S.? Yes. So what has been the attracting factors of potentially coming to Indiana then?

Tomas: Oh that’s a really good question. We’ve been all around, honestly, in the U. S. But what we saw is that in Indiana we have a lot of… Synergies with Purdue University, Notre Dame, and all the act tech and food tech activity that is going on here.

And for us, those are the main two verticals that we are focusing now. The first ones that we will be able to start developing products. We already have 27 products ready, but the ones that we will be able to sell and that’s why we thought that it would be a very good opportunity to be here.

We were in New York, we were accelerated by IndieBuy in New York, so we’ve spent there four or five months. We were in Miami as well, for Latins Miami is always a good spot to be. So we would make some research there. We’ve been in Oklahoma, we have a VC there that is very interested in us moving there as well.

And elsewhere as well, San Francisco, San Diego, and some others.

Nate: Is this your first time in Indianapolis?

Yes. Okay, so you touched down, playing lands, what was your first impression of Indiana?

Tomas: It was like, it’s really quiet. It was like, it was really smooth. We in Argentina live in chaos every day, crisis every day.

We like the U. S. and our first market is going to be the U. S. But, once we started talking with people, what we found out is that the community here, it’s awesome, the startup community. And honestly, the people is really great. Everyone is open to help and to give you a contact or reach out or whatever.

For us that’s what’s most important being foreigners or Latins moving to the U. S. to have a network where to display those contacts as well.

Nate: Yeah, and I think you’re talking about connections and just the collaborations I think they call them creative collisions happening at Rally. Besides the pitch competition, what have been some of the most beneficial parts of Rally for you and your business?

Tomas: Honestly, we are trying to touch base with a lot of companies that are doing things here and try to understand how they are managing as well know how the Indiana State is managing the startup landing or soft landing here in Indiana. It’s very good for us as well and all the benefits that they are giving and as well know how the Purdue University and Notre Dame interact with startups because for us, we are a science-based company, and we need to be in touch with all the universities and all the science labs that Indiana has or any state has.

Nate: Yeah, how how big

Tomas: is your team currently? Today we are 12 people. We are five co-founders, four scientists, and myself, I’m the business guy. And we have another seven scientists in the lab.

But the team is really growing a lot. We have an R& D lab in, in Argentina, in Mendoza. And we have an applications lab and pilot plant in New York, in IndieBio. But we are going to add eight more people to the team in the next couple of months.

Nate: Amazing. We are growing fast. I love that.

So here’s just a couple rapid fire quick questions as we wrap up. Okay. What ways do you plan on maximizing the momentum built at this conference in the weeks to come?

Tomas: Oh, that’s a tough one. Honestly, what we want to take advantage of is really getting in the startup network, being part of it.

It’s almost the name of this podcast is called Get IN. I didn’t realize that. Capital

Nate: I, capital N, period, for Get Indiana. But, same thing.

Tomas: Yeah, but that’s what we want. We want to be part of the startup network here and really, if we want or not, be part of it, because we know that we have a lot of synergies to be done.

So I think that momentum of being here and taking advantage of all this Highlights that we are making here. It’s very good for us. I love it

Nate: What’s been the coolest part of your trip to indianapolis so far?

Tomas: Oh I always love pitching. So that’s one and the other one was the event that we have on monday.

It was really nice and cool Was that the high alpha rooftop?

Oh, yeah oh my gosh, I can say that was very good.

Have you ventured to Saint Elmo’s yet? No, we haven’t.

Nate: Oh, it might need to be on your list. The shrimp cocktail there. Oh yeah? Fantastic. We’ll do it then. It’s definitely a bucket list stop when you come to Indianapolis.

First off, good luck in the pitch competition. Thank you. I’m excited. We’re really pumped up to hear the winners tomorrow. But regardless, if listeners are looking to connect with you all, or support you all, or get plugged in, how can they do that?

Tomas: They can connect us through our LinkedIn page in Bioeutectics.

If not, my name, Tomas Silicaro. They can search for me as well in LinkedIn and we can connect. The thing that we like the most is not just to build our business, but to help others. So we are part of this network for that as well.

Nate: Amazing. Thank you so much and best of luck in the pitch competition.

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Matt: This has been Get IN, a Powderkeg production in partnership with Elevate Ventures. And we want to hear from you. If you have suggestions for our guest or segment, reach out to Matt or Nate on LinkedIn or on email.

To discover top tier tech companies outside of Silicon Valley in hubs like Indiana, check out our newsletter at powderkeg.com slash newsletter. And to apply for membership to the powderkeg executive community, check out powderkeg.com slash premium. We’ll catch you next time and next week as we continue to help the world Get IN.

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