Maricel Saenz

As a Costa Rica native, Maricel is passionate about sustainability and coffee, which she melds in her work as a biotech entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Compound Foods, a food-tech startup recreating coffee without coffee beans. “My work is based on trying to create food in a more efficient way to ensure we can have good food for a long time in a way that has less impact on our planet,” she says. “It reflects my values of protecting the planet, challenging the status quo and celebrating and enjoying the little things in life.”

Maricel’s team is mainly composed of other women, because they were the best candidates, and she also spends time mentoring younger women in the field and helping them advance their careers. Maricel has a background in finance and previously co-founded Nextbiotics, a synthetic biology startup addressing antibiotic resistance. She worked in international development in South Africa with local entrepreneurs; in Cambodia with Helen Keller International to empower women; and with Monitor Deloitte in corporate strategy and innovation consultancies.

Now based in San Francisco, Maricel has a bachelor of commerce from The University of British Columbia and attended Singularity University’s Global Solutions Program in 2017.

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