Ara Katz

Ara’s breastfeeding experience led her to the microbiome and inspired a personal mission to explore the importance of microbes and how they can impact the health of our bodies, our children and our planet. A serial entrepreneur, Ara previously Co-Founded and served as CMO of Spring, mobile commerce marketplace. Ara was also on the Founding Team of social commerce company, BeachMint, where she launched six direct-to-consumer, influencer subscription brands.

Ara has been a fellow at the MIT Media Lab’s Center for Future Storytelling and CCA’s DesignMBA program, and was named in Marie Claire’s “The New Guard: The 50 Most Influential Women in America”, listed on Business Insider’s “Silicon Alley Top 100” and “36 Rockstar Women in NYC Tech”, and was recently included in Create + Cultivate’s 100 List for STEM.

Ara also advises various startups across the health, tech, and consumer verticals. She lives in Venice, California with her husband and two-year-old son, Pax–without whom Seed wouldn’t exist. Oh, and she’s the proud owner of several tardigrades who now live at Harvard’s Museum of Natural History.

In conversation with Ara:

Share your life story in six words:
She didn’t always follow the recipe.

When was your first brush with science?
There was a bright flash–my dad’s sperm entered my mom’s egg, which caused a surge of calcium that triggered zinc to shoot out from her egg, which bound to to small molecules that emitted fluorescence to create that first light (not that I remember it well).

What’s your current obsession? In other words, what wakes you up every morning?
How to ignite.

Why do you think bacteria are important?
That’s like asking, “why are we important”.

How do you define science?
Science is a methodology to know ourselves and our world and to uncover what requires more knowing.

What are you currently reading / listening to / watching?
The Universe Within (Neil Shubin), Life at the Edge of Sight (Scott Chimileski, Roberto Kolter), FoundMyFitness (Rhonda Patrick podcast), and GZA ‘The Spark’ from “Dark Matter”, On repeat: Everything Game Trailer by David O’Reilly narrated by philosopher Alan Watts

Favorite microbiome-nurturing food?
Artichokes + garlic.

Scientist, dead or alive, you’d like to have lunch with?
Lynn Margulis.

Microbiome perturbation you’re trying to give up:
Sleep more (if anyone knows how to get a 3 year old to sleep through the night, please message me 🙂

Most mindgasmic thing you’ve learned since being involved with Seed?
Bacteria may solve our planet’s plastic problem.