First time accepted submitter overmod writes "Browsing on a completely unrelated subject, I came across this New York Times description of Solazyme. From the article: '...in 2003, Mr. Wolfson packed up and moved from New York to Palo Alto, Calif., where Mr. Dillon lived. They started a company called Solazyme. In mythical Valley tradition, they worked in Mr. Dillon’s garage, growing algae in test tubes. And they found a small knot of investors attracted by the prospect of compressing a multimillion-year process into a matter of days.
Now, a decade later, they have released into the marketplace their very first algae-derived oil produced at a commercial scale. Yet the destination for this oil — pale, odorless and dispensed from a small matte-gold bottle with an eyedropper — is not gas tanks, but the faces of women worried about their aging skin.' What I find interesting is the model they've adopted for short-term growth, which I would not have seen coming from a technology oriented toward biofuel production. Leads me to wonder what other nominally-green technologies that would otherwise be slow if not impossible to scale to workable businesses might have 'niche' applications, with high perceived marginal value, that could be used to boost capital, rather than relying on donations, grants, or nebulous save-the-planet goodwill."