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Shot Caller: A Podcast by Shannon Sagawe

Jan 28, 2021

MOGU makes science sexy, luxurious and sustainable!  This is a must listen for anyone interested in mycelium, fungi, architecture and advanced sustainable material science! 

MOGU,  founded in 2014, sits at the intersection of luxurious, interior design and the cutting edge of sustainable, micro intelligence!  Utilizing their proprietary disruptive process, MOGU produces materials by growing selected strains of mycelium on pre-engineered substrates sourced from agro-industrial residues.  (Coffee grounds, rice straw, corn crops, discarded seaweed and clam shells!)

This allows them to create a material from raw materials that would normally be discarded without any economic value.  By using these industrial residues, they create an additional "economic" benefit for their entire value chain and offer a beautiful, sustainable, luxurious product to the consumer.

MOGU's first two commercial products are acoustic panels and industrial flooring

Gianluca Belotti, head of innovation at MOGU, sits down to walk us through their story and their focus on continued innovation into new markets.  Gianluca oversees, PURA, the bio-fabrication unit within MOGU, where they apply their fungal fermentation process to fashion and food innovations!  

Gianluca gives us some insight into one of their most disruptive projects, FUNGAR, the worlds first "smart fungal" living architecture building.  In collaboration with UWE Bristol academics with partners from Denmark (Centre for Information Technology and Architecture), and the Netherlands (Utrecht University)

Using a novel bio-electric system developed by scientists, living fungi grown inside the building's framework structure will act as a sensor detecting changes in light, pollutants and temperature, and computers will analyse the information. When particular changes are recognised, the system will have the potential to respond adaptively by controlling connected devices such as lights and heaters.

MOGU has had funding support from the EU, as well as some private, strategic investors.  They are in discussions with new investors to help support them as they scale up existing products as well to commercialize their new disruptive fashion and food products.


  • They listen to Catalan music in the lab and do NOT have specific "fungi inspired" playlist
  • Mentors
    • His PhD advisor
  • The hardest part of his job is to keep the spirits up in the lab for his team.  They do very challenging and innovative things and it doesn't always lead to immediate success.  He try's to make sure they are inspired and supported.
  • His definition of a wealthy life is- where he runs at least 60km per week!


The Shot Caller Echosystem