While studying at UC San Diego, Kaehms was a tri-athlete and a resident advisor for Eleanor Roosevelt College. In fall 2014, Kaehms founded and led Gecko Project as a participant in the von Liebig NSF I-Corps Program. Though Gecko Projects and BioLoop, Inc. are very different on the surface, Kaehms explains that both are striving to make the world a healthier place.
BioLoop, Inc. addresses the impact of textiles on our environment with a sustainable model that can reduce waste and improve the allocation and use of resources. The production of cotton alone currently uses 67 trillion gallons of water annually, while also requiring the use of pesticides. Kaehms points out that a 300-acre plant can product the same amount of cotton equivalent–synthetic textile as a 600,000-acre cotton farm. After she graduated, Kaehms met her co-founder, Alex Necklemann, at a Berkeley BioLabs meet up.
“Alex had been working on growing cellulose to see if he could grow his own clothes,” Kaehms said. “I found the project to be inspiring and wondered if you could modify cellulose to contain different properties. Later, Alex asked me if I wanted to co-found a company, [and] I said yes.”
For more information on BioLoop, Inc.'s day to day proceedings at Indie.Bio, follow them on Twitter at @jennykaehms or @bioloopinc and @indbio.