Vollmar grew up on his family’s farm in Michigan and started an IT consulting business with classmate Brad Koch while in high school. In 2012, they launched FarmLogs. The software helps farmers manage risk while monitoring crops, expenses, profits, weather and prices. The web and mobile apps are used by commercial farms in 50 states and 121 countries.
Micromidas aims to turn trash into plastic. Founder Bissell invented a way to take waste material high in cellulose, like rice hulls, sawdust or cardboard and transform it into paraxylene, the primary feedstock for making polyester and plastic bottles. Chemical companies currently make paraxylene out of crude oil. Bissell has raised $25 million to build a pilot plant in Sacramento, Calif.