An outer-borough biotech with a Long Island lineage is racing to the head of the organic-fertilizer field.
Re-Nuble Inc., founded by scientifically oriented business IT specialist Tinia Pina, has snagged a 2017 American Entrepreneurship Award and the $25,000 interest-free loan that accompanies it – the latest feathers in the cap of a 2015 startup that transforms food waste into fresh produce.
The American Entrepreneurship accolades are doled out by the Libra Group, an international business group containing 30 subsidiaries across several core sectors, including finance, energy, real estate and shipping. The awards program is exclusive to the borough of the Bronx and Florida’s Miami-Dade County, communities that “face disproportionate lack of opportunity,” according to the program website.
That’s similar thinking to the mindset that first set Re-Nuble in motion. Concerned equally by chemical fertilization, the massive waste of “leftover” food and the poor nutritional choices available in Harlem, where she taught an SAT prep class, Pina began researching anaerobic digesters, biological processes in which microorganisms break down biodegradable materials.
That creates both harvestable energy and a residue goop that turns out to be a plus-grade fertilizer – and a super-effective hydroponics growth accelerant.
The leftover liquid is also a rocket fuel for Pina’s primary mission to convert individual communities’ leftover consumables into a renewability-focused product promoting healthier eating within that community, all with zero environmental effect.
The innovator and her research teams have fine-tuned the science as a “virtual tenant” of Stony Brook University’s Clean Energy Business Incubator Program and an actual tenant of the Harlem Biospace biotechnology incubator. Re-Nuble outgrew the uptown incubator in the fall of 2015 and split its operations in two – formulation in a large Long Island City-based shipping container, front office in the Brooklyn Navy Yard industrial park.
Neither of those locations are in the Bronx, obviously, but Re-Nuble was close enough: The $25,000 capital infusion will be used primarily to deepen the biotech’s longtime connection with Baldor Specialty Foods, a regional distributor based in the South Bronx’s Hunts Point section....