At Pyran, Kevin Barnett is out to replace petroleum with plants

Kevin Barnett was in his fourth year of chemical engineering grad school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison when it hit him.

He was sitting in a room of around 80 engineering grad students at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp, and the instructor had just asked the group to raise their hands if they’d ever started a company.

Somewhere between six and a dozen hands shot up.

“I just looked around, and I thought to myself, ‘What? People are starting companies out of grad school?’”

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