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Ele-rino, Emptyland by Jaume Montserrat

Imagine a world where one would not have to convince others to curtail consumption of things like elephant ivory or rhino horn. Instead, one could simply replace illegal, destructive and cruel (yet sought-after) goods with synthesized versions. Enter Pembient, a bioengineering firm with the goal of replacing wildlife products at prices below the levels that induce poaching. CEO Matthew Markus’ goal is to replace the illegal wildlife trade, a $20B black market.

Pembient was recently welcomed into the prestigious biotech accelerator IndieBio. According to IndioBio’s program director Ryan Bethencourt, “…there’s no reason why live animals should be used in any part of our food or goods chain and we’re working to make that a reality.” Pembient plans to unveil its first product in June.