Winner of 2021 Female Leadership Award

Dr. Kaplan is honored to receive the 2021 Female Leadership Award by Thrive Ag Food Accelerator by SVG Ventures at the Forbes Thrive Future of Food summit.

During Demo Day, twelve global startups handpicked from an applicant pool of almost 700 companies across 78 countries pitched in front of a record-setting crowd of 2,500 top agriculture food and technology corporations, entrepreneurs, universities, and investors for startup funding. Keep Reading

Startup Happy Hour with FourthWave and Funded Female Founders

Dr. Kaplan, CEO of Pheronym, is honored to be a panelist at the FourthWave, an accelerator for high potential, women-led technology businesses.

Startup Happy Hour with FourthWave and Funded Female Founders

Join us on Tue, June 22, 2021, at 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM PDT.  Register

This event will feature a panel of female founders and will be moderated by Cheryl Beninga, cofounder of FourthWave. The focus of the discussion will be on raising pre-seed and seed funding. Seed funding relies heavily on relationship building and appealing to the goals of angel investors. Join us for an engaging discussion that will educate and enlighten all.


  • Anna Straus – CEO, Sparck
  • Fatma Kaplan – CEO, Pheronym
  • Kate Duggento Cordell, PhD, MPH – CEO, Opeeka


Cyclotron Road Announces Newest Cohort of Entrepreneurial Fellows

Fellows will embed for two years at Berkeley Lab developing new commercial solutions to the world’s most pressing scientific challenges

Pheronym’s founders, Dr. Fatma Kaplan and Mr. Karl Cameron Schiller, are honored to be Cyclotron Road fellows.

Cyclotron Road fellows 2021
2021 Cyclotron Road fellows: (top row) Antonio Baclig, Kezi Cheng, Jae Cho, Pete Christensen, Sam Green, Aaron Hall; (bottom row) Ben Jenett, Fatma Kaplan, David Mackanic, Ahmet Ozcan, Jimmy Rojas, Karl Cameron Schiller. (Courtesy of Cyclotron Road)

This month a dozen scientists and engineers will join the prestigious two-year fellowship program at Cyclotron Road based at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley.

Selected from a record pool of 300 applicants, these 12 individuals will make up Cohort 2021 of Cyclotron Road. As part of their two-year fellowship they will work to bring to market innovative, research-driven products to improve the sustainability and scalability of modern energy systems. The projects, listed below, include development of low-cost energy storage, nontoxic agricultural pest management and next-generation plastics designed for longevity and infinite recyclabilityKeep Reading

Yolo County ag-tech startup Pheronym selected for Berkeley fellowship program

By Emily Hamann, Sacramento Business Journal

Yolo County ag-tech startup Pheronym has been selected for a Berkeley fellowship program aimed at helping scientists turn research into products ready for the market.

Pheronym co-founders Karl Cameron Schiller and Fatma Kaplan have been selected for the Activate Fellowship program hosted out of the Cyclotron Road division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Keep reading.

Our founders are Activate-Berkeley 2021 fellows


Dr. Kaplan and Mr. Schiller are honored to be part of the Activate-Berkeley cohort 2021. This proven path for science entrepreneurs to move their breakthrough research into the market.


The two-year Activate Fellowship is a proven path for science entrepreneurs to move their breakthrough research into the market. It provides fellows the time, resources, and guidance to develop as leaders and mature their ideas. Unlike startup accelerators, the fellowship takes no equity stake in fellows’ companies. Keep reading

Farmers needed a solution to control plant-specific nematodes

As the daughter of specialty crop farmers in Turkey, Dr. Kaplan had planned for a career as an academic and scientist in horticulture. As Kaplan writes in a Science magazine column, “For years, I had been committed to pursuing the traditional academic path because I wanted to run an independent research program and teach. I thought a tenure-track faculty position was the one job that offered both.”

Controlling insect pests with pheromones was already being done on farms, but controlling nematodes with pheromones was new territory. Keep reading

Women in agtech: Fatma Kaplan


by Amy Wu

King City Rustler

Editor’s Note: The following profile is an excerpt from Amy Wu’s book, “From Farms to Incubators: Women Innovators Revolutionizing How Our Food is Grown,” which tells the stories of women entrepreneurs who are transforming agriculture through high technology.

Fatma Kaplan’s advice to her younger self is fairly straightforward. “Skip the postdoc and start a company,” she says matter-of-factly. Kaplan’s journey from scientist to business entrepreneur was unplanned, but if she were to do it again, she says she’d focus on commercializing products rather than limiting them to laboratories. Keep reading.