4 minutes with… Victor Covone, Senior Director of Engineering, Yulex Corporation

January 22, 2015 |

08a8624Tell us about your company and it’s role in the Advanced Bioeconomy.

Yulex is a biopolymer company that creates renewable products from plant-based materials in a zero-waste, sustainable way by producing and converting our own raw material. Our biomaterials provide an alternative to synthetic rubber medical, consumer and industrial products. We are continually looking for ways to introduce more sustainable practi

Tell us about your role and what you are focused on in the next 12 months.

I’m working on developing a new business that is based on our vision and goals as a corporation, and that is also based on our environmentally friendly products. We believe the more products we can launch, the more market acceptance will grow towards bio-technology products. In the next 12 months to 3 years, I will be focused on improving the technology, interacting with marketing and production to ensure we work cohesively as team to achieve success for that product launch.

What do you feel are the most important milestones the industry must achieve in the next 5 years?  

I believe there are three key milestones. 1) A greater emphasis on the commercialization of critical raw materials or reaching a critical mass on the availability of these 2) commercializing critical technologies that will convert those raw materials into goods and devices 3) market acceptance of bio-tech products vs. commodity products.

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the Advanced Bioeconomy, what would you change? 

I would improve the cost of feedstock and acceptance of it worldwide. Farmers need to know they will be protected by local governments if they are to accept more non-conventional crops. Once this happens, feedstock pricing will become more competitive, reducing final product costs, and triggering a higher demand for more sustainable products.

Of all the reasons that influenced you to join the Advanced Bioeconomy industry, what single reason stands out for you as still being compelling and important to you?  

What most compelled me to join this industry was, and still is, the opportunity to lead the world in a new direction. Along with that, coming up with something that has never done before that will revolutionize the industry and surprise the market.

Where are you from? 

I was born in Venezuela and moved to the U.S when I was 26. I was raised and educated in Venezuela, but career and personal desire led me to the U.S.

What was your undergraduate major in college, and where did you attend? Why did you choose that school and that pathway?

My undergraduate degree is in Mechanical Engineering from the Metropolitan University of Caracas, Venezuela. I chose that school because it is academically one of the best schools in Venezuela. I come from a family of engineers, so that’s all I knew. But even my aptitude skill test was very clearly directed towards engineering, physics and math.

Who do you consider your mentors – could be personal, business, or just people you have read about and admire. What have you learned from them?

The most important mentor I have is my dad. He is a manufacturing CEO for a large multi-national company, and he has been a CEO for more than 30 years. He taught me and brother everything we know about business and management.

What’s the biggest lesson you ever learned during a period of adversity?  

Patience has been the most valuable lesson. When you are doing something right and the right way, even when things don’t go the way you planned it, if you are patience and persistent you will overcome and succeed in the end. These obstacles are kind of like tests that destiny gives us, but patience will get you through it.

What hobbies do you pursue, away from your work in the industry?  

I’m a big fan of watersports. I practice wakeboarding and wakesurfing with my family at various lakes around Arizona. We go almost every weekend during the season – before the summer hits and just after before the water gets too cold.

What are 3 books you’d want to have with you, if you were stranded on a desert island

a. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

b. The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump

c. The Soldier, Richard Powell

What books or articles are on your reading list right now, or you just completed and really enjoyed?  

a. I recently read Steve Jobs the biography

b. I’m currently following articles about SpaceX and orbitals, and the European Space Agency’s Philae Lander. Anything related to space travel intrigues me.

What’s your favorite city or place to visit, for a holiday?  

New York. I love Christmas in New York. I think it’s a unique city, though it is very fast paced, there’s no other Christmas environment like what you will experience in New York. If you cannot find it in New York, it probably doesn’t exist. It also has a beautiful urban density that is quite unique.

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Category: Million Minds

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