Olympia Yarger, Founder & CEO, Goterra

27 February, 2024

E173 – Olympia Yarger, CEO & Founder, Goterra

Proud Canberran and past North Carolina coleslaw wrestling competitor, Olympia Yarger is an incredibly resilient, dedicated, inspiring and super hands-on Founder & CEO of Goterra, a waste management technology company that uses autonomous robotic systems to process food waste using insects. The company enables a circular economy by creating agricultural commodities from the waste stream. 

Goterra is paving the way for a circular economy by transforming waste into agricultural commodities, all while significantly reducing truck movement and processing costs. Learn about the remarkable environmental impact of Goterra’s technology, which eliminates noxious gasses and slashes emissions by an impressive 97%.

Having spoken to her on the podcast 3 years ago, it was our pleasure to touch base with Olympia again on her fascinating journey from sheep farmer to maggot farmer, the incredible growth Goterra has had over the past 3 years while being incredibly efficient with the capital they have raised (just $20M since 2019) all with a laser focus on Goterra’s mission to redefine waste management for a more sustainable future. 

On the topic of mental health, Olympia has been working from home more frequently to limit distractions and, after a tough year personally in 2023, has made a commitment to ride her horse at least 5 times a week. As part of Innovation Bay’s Summit community, Olympia has had some of her most meaningful experiences at Summit events. Though it can be difficult to get to the events amongst the day to day commitments of running the business, each time she’s gone she mentions it refills the bucket and gains perspective from other founders doing the same thing.  

Olympia and Ian also spend some time unravelling the State of Australian Startup Funding report, particularly around the pressing issues of gender inequality and diversity in the ecosystem that the report reveals. Olympia says, “It’s disgusting and we should be ashamed.” She calls out that as an industry we shouldn’t be using any female founder as an example because the number of female founders receiving funding is still far too low and this needs to change. With deeptech, an even more polarising sector of the industry, Olympia adds: “The sheer limited number of women “making it” are an anomaly, not an attribute and we’ve got to change something.”

Quickfire Round: 
Book: Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Podcast: Agtech So What 
News Source: Al-Jazeera
Productivity Tool: Notion 
CEO: Tom Loeffler or Keaton Okkonen 
App: Instagram 
TV Show: Yellowstone, Vikings 
TEDTalk Topic: What building climate tech means 

Connect with Olympia Yarger and visit Goterra

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