"We weren't out trying to identify the next cellphone case; we were looking at alternatives to the plastics and resins that really plague our planet," said McIntyre. Mushrooms were the perfect alternative, because they fit directly into nature's recycling system.
After the class, and a successful project, both Bayer and McIntyre had plans to get out in the working world as engineers.
"We actually both had jobs and full scholarships to be architects as well," said Bayer, who decided to quit his job on the first day because their professor kept at them to drop what they were doing and pursue their business.
Bayer then called McIntyre and said, "I'm not going to work today. We are starting a business."
They began by "boot strapping" their idea, working out of one of their basements and growing the mushrooms under Bayer's bed. But they soon realized they needed to raise capital.
So they went to investors. However, getting others to understand their concept was a struggle. "Our pitch was: We're going to put mushroom insulation into people's homes," said Bayer. "And it just didn't work."