Article originally published in the Philadelphia Business Journal on March 16, 2015
On rare occasions, one meets an individual whose passion is driven by wanting to make a real difference in this world, and is on a journey to do so.
Last March, I meet such an individual on my trip to Silicon Valley with Donna De Carolis, the founding dean of Drexel University’s Close School of Entrepreneurship, her staff and 16 of her students. One of those students was entrepreneur Collin Cavote, at the time a Drexel junior, and founder and CEO of Biome, a firm whose mission is to improve the quality of the air that we breathe.
Biome is developing a modular biowall consisting of various types of plants that can be hung in homes and offices. In addition to the esthetics that a biowall provides, plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, refreshing the environment. Research by NASA has indicated that plants also serve as purifiers by absorbing toxins in the air.
To uncover the root of his passion, I asked Cavote, “What matters to you, and why?” He paused for a moment and then shared his journey. A number of years ago, Cavote left Temple University and “went off the grid” to explore minimalist living. He states, “I was studying business, … [but] I really didn’t see people creating legitimate value. Society was using up resources, creating a high social and environmental cost. I didn’t want to contribute to that.”