The New York Times ran a profile of Solazyme, a biofuels company that uses algae as its main feedstock, and its interesting longterm strategy for profit. Solazyme was founded in 2003, and in its first decade has begun manufacturing and selling products as diverse as drop-in fuels for jet engines and skin care treatments. The New York Times points out that innovative advanced energy startups like Solazyme can need lots of capital to scale and prove their product. The New York Times points out that Solazyme's development of Algenist, its skincare line, will help to fund the company as it scales even larger:
The big discovery was that algae, depending on the strain, could make oils that, biochemically, looked a lot like others found in nature or already in use in the marketplace. And industries like cosmetics, food and petrochemicals would pay more for each gallon, or milliliter, of output.
Read more here.