Founder and CEO, Marrone Bio Innovations
Marrone Bio Innovations (MBI) is co-sponsoring the 2020 Big Bang! Business Competition’s First Place Award, given to the top innovation across all categories.
Pam Marrone founded MBI in 2006 to discover and develop effective and environmentally responsible, biologically based products for pest management and plant health. In August 2013 she led the company IPO on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
Give us the elevator pitch for your business.
Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. (NASDAQ: MBII) strives to lead the movement to more a sustainable world through the discovery, development and sale of innovative biological products for pest management and plant health. Through our advanced microbial screening technology, superior natural product chemistry and commercialization engine, MBI has rapidly brought seven patented products to market. Supported by a robust portfolio of more than 400 issued and pending patents, and with ground-breaking bioherbicides in development, MBI is well positioned to be a significant biologicals leader in the $60 billion crop protection and plant health industry.
What was the most important advice you received when starting your business?
When starting the business you’ll meet a lot of naysayers and everyone wants to give you advice. Find ways to filter the good from the bad to constantly improve your pitch and business plan.
If someone believes wholeheartedly in their idea and has resilience, adaptability and determination, they will make it happen.
What major opportunities and challenges do you foresee in your field/industry in the coming years?
Ag biologicals is the fastest-growth segment of all crop inputs. Increasingly, growers are asked to improve the sustainability of their programs and we can help them be more sustainable while increasing their ROI. The challenge is that there is low awareness and education of growers about biologicals and how to use them.
Give us the elevator pitch for your sponsored prize.
We are looking for passionate teams with cutting-edge solutions to important problems who can communicate their vision for a world-changing business.
What prompted you/your company to support the Big Bang?
We always love to support entrepreneurs and innovation for the benefit of the regional economy.
And, what is most exciting to you, on a personal level, about being involved in the Big Bang?
I get excited when I see entrepreneurs who have passion and enthusiasm about their ideas and businesses. The more companies that get started, the further our region is on the road to being recognized as an entrepreneurial leader.
What has your involvement in the Big Bang!—and as a mentor at the Food, Ag + Health Entrepreneurship Academy—taught you about young innovators and their new ideas?
I was around when the Big Bang! started many years ago and have judged, presented to and mentored teams through the years. I have also have mentored entrepreneurship academy and Ignite participants and was the featured speaker at at the Central Valley Entrepreneurship Academy in fall 2018.
Being involved with aspiring entrepreneurs over the last two and a half decades gives me optimism that entrepreneurship is what makes a region or country special. If someone believes wholeheartedly in their idea and has resilience, adaptability and determination, they will make it happen.
What is your top advice for the aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs participating in the Big Bang?
Communicate your passion and drive. Be yourself. Capture the imagination. Pick your partners carefully: Find partners who share your vision and values and will fit with the culture you intend to build around those vision and values.
How (else) do you support innovation in your field or industry?
I mentor a number of early-stage entrepreneurs and do a lot of speaking to aspiring entrepreneurs. We have an intern/extern program that has students shadow me or other executives to learn about starting and running a company.