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Launching A Unified Cloud-Based Platform for Next Generation Protein Editing

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ZYMVOLVER (Launching A Unified Cloud-Based Platform for Next Generation Protein Editing)

Reporting period: 2018-06-01 to 2018-09-30

Zymvol is a biotech company specialized in the discovery and development of new industrial enzymes through computer simulations. Enzymes are biological catalysts that speed up the production of many of our everyday materials. They are broadly used in food & beverage, animal feed, household products, chemicals, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, pulp & paper and biofuel sectors. However, to meet the very specific industrial operational conditions, enzymes must be custom-designed.
In order to promote the company’s growth we were looking to understand the potential of automating our software as well as expansion into new geographical markets and new sectors. In particular, the feasibility study, within SME Phase 1, aimed to address the following aspects:
- Determine the size and potential of our market
- Study alternative business models
- Risk assessment
- Market expansion
- IP assessment
And finally develop a business strategy that could set the company forward into a successful path.
According to the goals set, we have:
- Been able to quantify the size and potential of our market and determined that it is attractive to our company. Through the incorporation of a new expert business developer we have performed primary research analysis and personally contacted over 60 companies. The information provided was very important not only because it provided a better understanding of our target market but also to identify correct market fit.
- We have thoroughly evaluated different business strategies and confirmed that a fee-for-service was an attractive model for market entry but we now have a five year plan to move into more scalable sources of revenue. In particular, we believe that developing proprietary enzymes is a good direction, since we now have a better understanding of market needs so it will be easier to select a target enzyme. Thanks to our technology we will be able to bring a new product to the market. This will have two important benefits: a new product for the company and also case stories for our marketing campaigns. The latter is particularly important since the work we perform with our customers cannot be used to show our success to new potential customers and as such it is an important limitation.
- Due to the fact that we are entering into an emerging market there are multiple risks that must be taken into consideration. We have analysed and determined that the most important ones are related to the protection of our technology, attracting and maintaining talent and overcoming financial limitations. Another important limitation is operational capacity. We are currently limited by the number of projects we can take on in a given period of time. Automation and incorporation of machine learning techniques will overcome this operative restriction that could jeopardize our business.
- We have studied the potential of new geographical markets and sectors. We found that Europe is an excellent market for entry due to the size and receptiveness of customers to test a new provider. The North American should be our second target and finally Asia for its potential. We have also investigated different sectors and consider chemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics to be the most attractive.
- The difficulties of protecting our software were assessed and we have determined that a change in business model will reduce many treats to our business.
A 5 year business plan was elaborated and set in place.
We have determined that the automation of our software will have a significant effect on the company’s ability to move into new markets and believe that from an economic point of view, our company's contribution to improving productivity is important. Our technology provides added value through the implementation of technological advances, while reducing costs by allowing access to protein engineering to a greater number of users. Zymvol's technological improvements will allow its services not to be contracted exclusively by industrial elites which will have a tremendous impact in smaller companies by allowing them the possibility to develop new product and improve their processes and in such a way improve their margins. From an environmental point of view, the implementation of clean processes, or those that reduce their polluting effects, bring an immediate benefit to the ecosystem as a whole. While biocatalysts currently take years to move from the lab to the market, our technology can reduce these times in 50 to 80% which will lead to a larger number of better biocatalysts being introduced in the market. From a social point of view, the creation of a company in Spain that needs highly qualified personnel will have an impact on the well-know “brain-drainage” that Spain has been experience in the last years.