Cultivated caviar, livestock cell lines, and “the new soy” feature in ProVeg Incubator’s latest cohort
26 September 2023
The programme’s 11th cohort reflects the demand for improved functionality and innovation in the alt-protein sector
The ProVeg Incubator today welcomes eight promising new food-tech startups to its 11th cohort, hailing from all over the world and spanning a wide range of products, technologies and solutions.
The new cohort reflects the push for sustainable growth and profitability in the alt-protein sector, and features startups focused on solutions to improve the functionality of alt-protein offerings for end consumers, as well as those helping existing companies to grow and scale faster.
The cohort includes a Brazilian startup for the first time in the incubator’s five-year history, alongside others from Argentina, Spain, Bulgaria, Singapore and the United States.
The startups will take part in the 12-week programme remotely, culminating in a ‘Demo Day’ in December at which each startup will pitch their finely tuned businesses to a panel of investors and a global audience.
The 8 startups joining Cohort 11 at the ProVeg Incubator:
- Allium Bio (Singapore): Founders Jonathan Ho and Albertus Sarwono have developed a novel technology for co-culturing microalgae and mycelium to create functional ingredients for use in a range of plant-based foods. Find out more at alliumbio.com
- Poseidona (Spain): Algal protein is “the new soy”, say founders Sonia Hurtado and Maria Cermeno. They take seaweed by-products and turn them into protein for use in alt-seafood products such as tuna steak. Find out more at poseidona.eu
- Cellva Ingredients (Brazil): Founded by Sergio Pinto and Bibiana Matte, Cellva is the first company in Brazil to develop and produce animal ingredients through cell cultures, starting with a process for the production of cultivated pork fat. Find out more at cellva.com
- Livestock Labs (United States): Founded by Steen Ooi, Livestock Labs is using genetic engineering to create reliable livestock cell lines that provide genetically stable cells capable of cost-efficient growth – attributes that will enable the cultivated meat industry to scale. Find out more about Steen Ooi here
- Food 4 You (Argentina): Founders Antonieta Rodriguez de Olmos and Francisco Gil Garbagnoli are developing new ingredients using unique combinations of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) to ferment plant-based food. Find out more at food4you.bio
- Guimarana (Spain): Founders Antonio García Arnau, Víctor García Montero and Raúl Pageo Casanova have developed a range of natural flavourings in the form of seasoning blends, bouillons and broth powders that taste like meat, fish, seafood, and cheese when added to plant-based dishes. Find out more at guimarana.com
- Ex Seed (Bulgaria): Founder Boyan Kirilov Zahariev is developing a novel technology for the optimal extraction of sunflower protein, which he says is a more wholesome and nutritious alternative to soy and pea proteins, and has a wide range of applications in plant-based foods and supplements. Find out more about Boyan Zahariev here
- Marina’s Bio (Singapore/United States): Allan Leung and Sally Davis use cellular agriculture to produce seafood delicacies, such as caviar, by replicating sturgeon cells. Find out more at marinasbio.com
“For this cohort we were looking for high-impact startups who are innovating with truly unique value propositions, strong technology foundations, strong teams, and tech that is clearly differentiated,” said Antje Rauscher, Co-Head and Partnerships Lead at the ProVeg Incubator.
“These startups are tackling some of the biggest challenges in alternative protein, from taste and nutrition, to pricing and scaling. We have some really exciting products and technology in this new cohort and we’re looking forward to working with them and helping them reach the next level,” she added.
Divya Murthy, Co-Head and Investment Lead at the ProVeg Incubator added: “With the difficult funding climate, we’re seeing a broader correction in the alt-protein space and an increased focus towards innovative technologies and solutions.”
She added: “With the push for sustainable growth and profitability, we’re seeing more startups focused on solutions to improve functionality of alt-protein offerings for end consumers as well as help existing companies grow and scale faster. Our 11th cohort is representative of this and we’re very happy to champion the innovative and seasoned founders of these eight startups. It is great to see our passionate founders take on this structural challenge and work towards solving high-impact issues in the sector.”
About the ProVeg Incubator
The ProVeg Incubator is designed to support mission-driven startups working on plant-based, fermentation, and cultivated-food products, ingredients, technologies, platforms and processes. Startups must have the potential to remove animals from the global food system, either by providing alternatives or with supporting technology.
The ProVeg Incubator, which is based in Berlin, Germany, is particularly interested in startups developing egg, seafood, and chicken alternatives, as well as other meat and dairy alternatives, ingredients and technologies that can help substitute animal-derived staple products on a mass scale. Focus areas include functional ingredients, precision fermentation and biomass fermentation, cell-cultivation and molecular farming, along with the enabling tech, processes, and platforms.
What does the programme include?
Startups that join the ProVeg Incubator are supported with a tailor-made accelerator programme, one-on-one expert mentoring, access to the Incubator’s extensive networks of industry contacts, and up to €300,000 in funding and in-kind services.
Since its launch in late 2018, the ProVeg Incubator has supported more than 90 startups from around the world, including Remilk, Better Nature, Vly Foods, Bosque Foods, Haofood, Omni, Kern Tec, Greenwise, Mushlabs, Formo, Hooked, the Live Green Company, and the Nu Company.
Collectively, the ProVeg Incubator’s alumni have raised more than €300 million, with products stocked in over 15,000 stores worldwide.
ProVeg Incubator facts and figures
- Number 1: ProVeg Incubator was the first incubator for plant-based and cultivated food startups when it began in 2018 and continues to lead the charge
- Mission-driven: ProVeg Incubator is part of the not-for-profit food awareness organisation ProVeg International https://proveg.com/
- Not-for-profit: All funds are reinvested in ProVeg’s overarching mission to reduce global animal consumption by 50% by the year 2040.
- Unique: ProVeg Incubator is the only accelerator programme with a mission to take animals out of the value chain, with all potential gains reinvested in charitable work
- Focused on startups: The team has screened more than 1,000 startups and worked with more than 90 alumni companies from all over the world through its programmes
- More than the sum of its parts: ProVeg Incubator is not just an accelerator, or an investor, but a global organisation with partners across industries, spanning both commercial and not-for-profit
To stay up to date with all the latest news about the ProVeg Incubator, go to our website or follow us @provegincubator on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.
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