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Lori Goff researched various possibilities for sustainability. “A few years ago, I received a beer brewing kit as a birthday present. I was brewing beer in my kitchen and started to look more seriously at the amount of waste produced during the brewing process. I thought: there must be interesting applications for this. By experimenting with different techniques, I came up with the idea that making a transparent, biodegradable foil should be possible. Although a lot of research was still needed afterwards to optimize the recipe, that was the moment I thought: wow, this is possible! 

Lori: “When I was young, I always watched Captain Planet and saw how this superhero saved the environment. This image has always stuck with me. So, it wasn’t strange that I chose to study Biotechnology. I wanted to have the scientific background to successfully complete environmental projects and to be able to give waste a functional destination.” 

I come from Nebraska myself, but the opportunities there are somewhat limited. So I wanted to broaden my horizons. Superuse Studios were looking for participants for a new project at the time. They gave us a tour of BlueCity where they are located. BlueCity is a circular model city in Rotterdam, where circular entrepreneurs and pioneers meet and collaborate. They had space for rent in their laboratory, and It turned out to be the perfect place to start my company.

Outlander Materials, with the help of biotechnology, produces a material that can be further developed into a non-plastic, while serving as a new alternative to plastic.

Lori Goff, Outlander Materials

I love doing business in Rotterdam, there is a lot of talent here. The slogan ‘make it happen’ fits very well. I also feel that energy reflected in other entrepreneurs. There’s a real can-do mentality here.

Up!Rotterdam has given me access to a very good network in the city, so I can gather the right people around me to make my company a success. There are CEO dinners where you can talk to other entrepreneurs about the challenges you face. But also special seminars specifically focused on deeptech, where you can exchange ideas with other entrepreneurs in the field. 

When I have to give a presentation, I often start with some impressive facts about the amount of waste we produce. You often see that people are really shocked by that. It’s my personal mission to change that with Outlander Materials and make the future a little better. That motivates me every day. 

For all new entrepreneurs, I would say: ‘Embrace the suck’. Entrepreneurship is hard work, but if you accept that, you’ll see that it’s actually great.”

Meet the Icons

Lori Goff is one of our Rotterdam Icons. Curious about the other Icons? Click here to meet them!

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