Currently, Inari is developing and testing its proprietary seeds in greenhouses. The company is focused on three of the biggest staple crops in the world: corn, soy, and wheat. The unsustainable practices used to grow these crops presents a huge opportunity for Inari’s technology. If the company can successfully disrupt the staple crop industry at the seed level, it can introduce the kind of revolutionary global change that Trivisvavet is looking for.

In the face of the tremendous upheaval of 2020, Trivisvavet believes that Inari’s work is more critical than ever. Agriculture has seen little innovation over the last five years. This slow pace will not deliver the major changes needed to address global nutrition and combat climate change. “The system is breaking. You see it every day,” says Trivisvavet. “If [we don’t act] now, when are we going to do it? We just don’t have the luxury to wait anymore.”

We have run out of time to question “if.” The only question that matters now is “how?” How are we going to tackle problems as big as the impending global food shortage and the climate crisis? These challenges may seem overwhelming. But every crisis can be broken down into a series of steps that lead to a solution. For Inari, the first step starts with a single seed.

Subscribe to my weekly synthetic biology newsletter. Thank you to Fiona Rose Mischel for additional research and reporting in this article. I’m the founder of SynBioBeta and the SynBioBeta Global Synthetic Biology Summit.