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Checkerspot’s Pollinator™ Kit for Renewable Design wins SXSW Innovation Award in the Design Category

The Pollinator™ Kit makes new biobased materials accessible to designers, creators, and innovators of all skill levels

ALAMEDA, Calif. & SALT LAKE CITY, March 15, 2023--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Checkerspot, Inc., a biotechnology company with an award-winning design and innovation lab, announced today that its Pollinator™ Kit for Renewable Design won the distinguished SXSW Innovation Award in the Design category. The SXSW Innovation Awards celebrate the creative achievements, advancements and discoveries made in technologies that foster more positive outcomes for people across the globe.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Nina Reyes and Kela Megorden of Checkerspot accept the 2023 SXSW Innovation Award in the category of Design in Austin, Texas. (Photo: Checkerspot, Inc.)

"We product designers find ourselves in a position where the decisions we make, and the causes we advocate for, have great consequence in the environmental impact of manufactured products. Getting more sustainable and better performing materials into the hands of our fellow designers has been a passion project for myself and the whole Pollinator™ Kit design team. It’s energizing to see that work recognized by the SXSW community," says Mitch Heinrich of What For Design. Mitch led the Pollinator™ Kit design team, which includes Dierdre Shea & Julian Goldman from sustainable design studio Fun Stuff Design, and Rory Smith.

Born from the conviction that designers, artists, hobbyists, and product developers will be the change-agents for widespread adoption of renewable materials, Checkerspot launched the direct-to-designer Pollinator™ Kit, which is both a physical product and a renewable materials call to action. The Pollinator™ Series Cast Polyurethane System is formulated with Checkerspot's Algal Polyol 001, a USDA Certified Biobased Product. Each item made solely from the resin system will be ≥​56% biobased (ASTM D6866). The biobased resin can be used with the same tooling, molding materials, and processes used for fossil fuel-based cast polyurethane formulations, but can lessen the environmental impact. Designers who have utilized the system highlight the performance of the polyurethane itself as well as the thoughtfully designed packaging. Compared to plastic bottles, the pouches containing the A and B-side system use about 5X less plastic, minimize transportation emissions as they ship flat before filling and are lighter, and enable the user easier access to every last resin drop.

About Checkerspot

Checkerspot (Alameda, CA & Salt Lake City, UT) designs materials and ingredients at a molecular level to enable more sustainable and high-performing products. By optimizing microalgae, Checkerspot’s vertically integrated WING™ Platform biomanufactures unique oils that are designed to not only replace commodity oils and petroleum-based inputs, but also improve performance properties in targeted hardgoods, textiles, and personal care products. The award-winning company commercializes performance composites and engineers them into skis and snowboards, which are sold through its outdoor recreation brand WNDR® Alpine, and makes these new materials directly available to designers and hobbyists through the Pollinator™ Kit. Checkerspot also provides algal oil for formulation into miDori® BioWick, a 100% petroleum free wicking textile finish sold by Beyond Surface Technologies. Checkerspot continues to develop new biotech innovations and expand the reach of its commercialized next-generation polyurethanes and algae-derived materials to improve the performance and sustainability of consumer products. For more information, visit

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Nina Reyes