Skip to Content

Tim Schnabel

Demo Day 2023

Founder and CEO | Switch Bioworks

Tim Schnabel Headshot

Scientist, bioengineer, and social entrepreneur Tim Schnabel is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Switch Bioworks. His doctoral work on engineering ammonia production from symbiotic microbes is published in two single-author papers (patents pending), and his undergraduate thesis on biological production of hydrogen fuel from sunlight received Stanford’s Kennedy Thesis Prize, the university’s highest recognition for undergraduate research. Tim’s work has also been recognized with the Stanford President’s Award, Terman Engineering Award, Firestone Medal, and BioX Bowes Fellowship. Originally from Germany and Namibia, he came to the U.S. to study Chemical Engineering and Economics at Stanford, where he earned a BS followed by an MS and a PhD in Bioengineering. His other interests include beekeeping and spirituality; Tim is the author of Wake up! A Young Person’s Guide to Spirituality.


About Switch Bioworks

Switch Bioworks is engineering microbes to produce climate-smart nitrogen “biofertilizer” directly on the roots of plants. Switch’s next-generation technology leverages synthetic biology and nature to replace current fossil-fuel-based fertilizers that 4 billion people depend on for food. The solution has the potential to eliminate more than a gigaton equivalent of planet-warming CO2 emissions while also averting pollution and runoff, and being more affordable for farmers.