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Nirmal Nair

Sempera Organics wins Dell startup contest

Nirmal Nair, founder and CEO of Sempera Organics, was really pleased to win the Dell Startup contest held May 7 during TiEcon, the annual conference hosted by TiE Silicon Valley. It was particularly encouraging because it was the first time he was attending the event.

Dell gives early startups advice, equipment, and $25K in Dell products and services. Nair said he was thankful to TiE for giving back to the community by providing a lot of support through investment and advice.

Born in India, he earned an engineering degree at the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu. He came to the US in 1992 to pursue Masters’s in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1995.

A serial entrepreneur Nair founded PepperMob and was part of the founding team at Skyfire and Grokr.

Speaking of his company, Nair said the Morgan Hill-based Sempera Organics aims to use mushrooms and other fungi to help people, pets, and the planet.

He pointed out that mushrooms have been consumed for thousands of years for claimed benefits ranging from immunity, mental clarity, de-stressing and general body and mind wellness. Combined with their known culinary applications and because they are a natural source of umami, there is a lot that fungi have to offer, he said.

“We have created a biological manufacturing platform to sustainably grow fungi at scale. That enables us to rapidly meet these large global [demands],” he said the company is based in San Jose. A B2B company, so sells in large quantities to brands and distributors

He went back to the association that mushrooms – or fungi in general – had with immunity. He said there is a direct preventative aspect of consuming medicinal mushrooms during these times when infections are a concern. With the attention on that aspect of health, awareness has increased about the benefits of mushrooms. Read more:

Anand Vaid

Sempera Organics' staff writer seeks out all the latest mushroom news to keep you informed and up-to-date.