Michael Martinez and his company Arctic Biotech Oath won the High North Young Entreprenur award at High North Dialogue 2021. Martinez discovered a way to use microbes to extract rare earth metals without creating toxic byproducts.
High North Young Entrepreneur contest is an international pitch competition of Arctic-related business ideas of young entrepreneurs and start-ups. The overall goal for the contest is to bring attention to the economic potential and special needs of the High North areas and to encourage young people to develop their business ideas.
The contest final is a part of the program of the annual High North Dialogue conference in Bodø. At the final session, three start-ups have an opportunity to pitch their business ideas to 350 conference participants – Arctic experts, and to win financial funding for their business: A check for 50 000 NOK.
Michael Martinez is a University of Alaska Anchorage science student whose mother’s family hails from Kotlik.
“This is a Yup’ik and Indigenous people’s win up here in Alaska,” said Martinez to Alaska Public media. “This not only shows we’re capable of doing the basic research, but this shows that we can impact a great sector. Not only of upcoming technology, but something people are looking forward to in the future.”
Martinez attended the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program in Anchorage.