Bolt Threads’ Dan Widmaier: Reengineering Fashion & Beauty To Restore The Planet

Dan Widmaier is a bioengineer who’s taking on the fashion and beauty industries. As the Co-Founder and CEO of Bolt Threads, he’s ushering in a new era of regenerative lab grown materials that can help us reverse course when it comes to the health of our planet. In this episode Dan and I talked about the science behind Bolt Threads’ patented materials, and how they’re being adopted by big brands like Stella McCartney and Adidas. In what was a fascinating conversation, I heard about his growth strategy, how industry disruption can be used to create social and environmental impact, and why companies that don’t adopt regenerative practices could face existential problems.

This episode of Lead With We was produced and edited by Goal 17 Media and is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. You can also watch episodes on YouTube at WeFirstTV.

Dan Widmaier

Dan has carefully tended Bolt’s growth since 2009, using his passion and expertise to lead the company through technology development, expansion, and financing. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from UC San Francisco, where his graduate research involved designing genetic circuits to control microbial organelles. Dan has grown Bolt Threads from an incubator start-up to a biomaterials platform company with 75 employees. He has led Bolt Threads through multiple fundraising rounds, created lasting partnerships with iconic global brands like Stella McCartney, and launched commercially available materials including MyloTM – a mycelium-based leather alternative – with a select group of partners including adidas, Kering, lululemon, and Stella McCartney.

Simon Mainwaring

Simon Mainwaring is a brand futurist, keynote speaker, and bestselling author. He is best known as the author of We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World and his upcoming book, Lead With We: The Business Revolution That Will Save Our Future; as the Founder and CEO of We First, an award-winning strategic consultancy that works with purpose-led companies to build their brand strategy, company culture, and impact storytelling; and as the author of the influential ‘Purpose At Work’ column in Forbes and host of the podcast, Lead With We.


Learn more about Bolt Threads at

Connect with Dan on LinkedIn:

For case studies and other free resources about purposeful business, go to

Simon’s new book, Lead With We, comes out Nov. 9th and is now available for pre-order on Amazon, Google Books and Barnes & Noble. Check it out!


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