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Hack To Start
Episode 144

Andrew Pelling

Experimentalist. Breaking things since 1978. Senior @TEDFellow, @SpiderwortBio CTO.

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Music

Andrew Pelling, an award winning Scientist, Professor, TED Senior Fellow and entrepreneur. His work and innovations have been featured in Wired, Motherboard, Scientific American, Popular Science, BBC and more. Andrew directs and manages the Pelling Research Lab, out of the University of Ottawa. The lab uses low-cost, open source materials and methods to explore new technologies and ideas. He has, for instance, created human body parts made from plants and grown living skins on LEGOs – innovations with the potential to replace prohibitively expensive commercial biomaterials. Andrew has also founded pHacktory, a street-level research lab in Ottawa that amplifies community ideas through a potent mixture of craft, serendipity and curiosity. Andrew joins us to share his story, what motivated him to take a completely different approach to research and academics, what it’s been like creating significant impact through his biomaterial innovations, what it’s like building and growing his open source based biomedical research company Spiderwort, what he’s looking to do with pHacktory, and much more!

Main Objectives For This Episode

  • Learn more about how Andrew approached starting his own research lab
  • Learn more about some of Andrew's open source work and how he's turning them into businesses
  • Learn more about pHacktory and why Andrew is taking a new approach to help innovative projects succeed.
  • And more!

Episode Overview

Andrew Pelling, an award winning Scientist, Professor, TED Senior Fellow and entrepreneur.

His work and innovations have been featured in Wired, Motherboard, Scientific American, Popular Science, BBC and more.

Andrew directs and manages the Pelling Research Lab, out of the University of Ottawa. The lab uses low-cost, open source materials and methods to explore new technologies and ideas. He has, for instance, created human body parts made from plants and grown living skins on LEGOs – innovations with the potential to replace prohibitively expensive commercial biomaterials.

Andrew has also founded pHacktory, a street-level research lab in Ottawa that amplifies community ideas through a potent mixture of craft, serendipity and curiosity.

Andrew joins us to share his story, what motivated him to take a completely different approach to research and academics, what it’s been like creating significant impact through his biomaterial innovations, what it’s like building and growing his open source based biomedical research company Spiderwort, what he’s looking to do with pHacktory, and much more!


Some Of The Questions We Ask

2:02
Where are you from and what did you study?

2:59
So how did your passion for research and technology develop?

7:49
You’ve co-founded and are the CTO of a company called Spiderwort. Can you tell us a bit more about this company and what motivated you to start it?

15:45
What have been some of the biggest lessons to come out of this experience? Especially in terms of taking what started as an open source project and turning it into a business?

17:46
What is it about open source platforms in particular that you find interesting?

21:05
You’ve also recently started a street-research lab in Ottawa called pHacktory. What is this organization all about and what motivated you to start it?

32:42
What are some of the most recent apps that you’ve really loved using recently?

35:19
Do you have any last thoughts or personal mottos that you live by that you think others should know about?


Here are some of the most important links and resources mentioned throughout the show.

Twitter Handles & Websites

Andrew Pelling on Twitter
Andrew Pelling on the web
pHacktory on Twitter
pHacktory on the web
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

Devices, Apps, and Books

X.ai

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