In this episode of Where We Grow From Here, we are joined by Aidan Mouat, co-founder and CEO at Hazel Technologies and Matthew Walker, Managing Director at S2G. We explore the issue of food waste across the supply chain, talk about how we can combat it and make the food system more efficient, and discuss some of the adjacent benefits that efficiency will provide for the environment and the economy.
Co-Founder and CEO
Aidan is the CEO and a co-founder of Hazel Technologies, a USDA-funded company developing new biochemical solutions to extend produce shelf life and reduce food waste in the global supply chain. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University, where his doctoral work focused techniques to design and synthesize highly efficient catalysts for transformations of renewables. He was a member of the Institute for Atom-Efficient Catalytic Transformations and the Institute for Catalytic Energy Processes. His interest in catalysis and energy led him to accept a role as the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN) chemistry fellow for 2014 – 2015. He developed an interest in applying his chemistry knowledge to agriscience, co-founding Hazel Technologies before completing his Ph.D. Aidan is one of the inventors of the Hazel® technology platform and a co-author on 20+ papers, patents, and filings. Under Aidan’s leadership, Hazel Technologies has received numerous awards and accolades, including winning the Clean Energy Challenge (2016), receiving the VentureWell Sustainable Practice Impact Award (2019), and the World Food Innovation Award in Best Sustainable Packaging (2020). Aidan was named to ChicagoInno’s 50 on Fire list (2019) and Hazel Technologies is a THRIVE Top 50 company (2020). Overall, Aidan has raised more than $18 million in private equity for Hazel and helped Hazel obtain nearly $1 million in grant funding from ISEN, VentureWell, and the USDA. In its most recent financing, the company completed its Series B finance round with lead investors Pangaea Ventures and S2G Ventures, featuring additional investments from Asahi Kasei Ventures and The Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust. Other investors in Hazel include Rhapsody Venture Partners, Serra Ventures, and Valley Oak Investments. Hazel Technologies works with more than 150 grower/packer partners in more than 12 countries to date, and will treat more than 3 billion pounds of food in 2020, saving an estimated 500 million pounds from going to waste. In addition to his company duties, Aidan serves as an Advisory Board member at the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship at Northwestern, and as a member of the Board of Advisors for Lilac Solutions.