Big Idea Ventures, global leader in early-stage investments in the alternative protein sector, revealed its latest accelerator cohort today.
Seventeen early-stage startups were selected for pre-seed investment as part of Big Idea Ventures’ bi-annual new protein accelerator program. Investments were made through the firm’s three offices in New York, Paris and Singapore and the firm’s first fund – New Protein Fund I ($50M+ AUM).
“The 17 companies in our latest cohort are all working to solve key challenges in the alternative protein industry today. From new extraction and fermentation methods to AI-enabled micro fluids, connected bioreactors, and cell-based fats, these companies offer compelling solutions to scale production, cut costs and improve both the nutrition and taste profiles of alternative protein products.
I encourage investors, corporate leaders, and partners to reach out to the founders of the companies that most excite them and find out more about the innovative technologies and applications they are developing,” said Andrew D. Ive, Founder and Managing General Partner of Big Idea Ventures.
New York Accelerator
“For the 6th cohort working with our New York team, we are excited to welcome a collaborative minded group of founders from diverse backgrounds, spanning multiple countries,” said Caroline Mak, Big Idea Venture’s Program Director in New York.
“From cultivated fats to manufacturing support, we continue to see trends towards creating technical innovations that we believe will drive and support the ecosystem of alternative proteins as a whole.”
- Cultimate Foods (Germany) — a cellular agriculture company that creates alternative fat ingredients for plant-based meat products. Unlike other fat alternatives, this company replicates the structure of animal fat tissue. Their technological approach of combining fat cells and plant-based proteins creates the structure of their ingredient while reducing costs.
- Extracellular (UK) — channels biology, digitalisation and biomanufacturing expertise to accelerate cultivated meat development. They use their scale up experience and deep insights into cellular behavior to produce biomass for cultivated meat companies more efficiently, and to develop licensable technological advancements. They’re digitizing process development, pulling together huge quantities of data to make better decisions faster and at scale.
- Genuine Taste (Canada) — cell-based agriculture startup that produces cultivated fat to improve the taste, texture, aroma, and nutrition of alternative protein products. Their patent-pending scaffolding technology enables the cultivation of fat cells in the exact microenvironment they naturally grow in. This results in significant increases in cell proliferation, cell viability, and higher cell-per-volume yields compared to conventional cell culturing methods.
- NouBio (US) — a biotech company focusing on the development of sustainable, cost-effective, and animal-free products for scalable cell culture in cultivated meat, cell therapy, and vaccine production businesses. Their fetal bovine serum (FBS) replacement is 95% more cost-effective than traditional FBS. In addition, they provide an edible and biodegradable microcarrier for scalable cell growth in bioreactors.
- Thrilling Foods (US) — manufactures and sells Bakon, a patented bacon alternative made from soy milk that is traditionally salt cured and hardwood smoked, both DTC on their website and B2B to grocery stores and restaurants. Bakon is composed of both fatty and lean layers that constitute a very similar texture and macronutrient values as traditional pork bacon, which along with the traditional cure, make it more bacon-like than competing products.
“In alignment with Singapore’s development of advanced infrastructure for alternative protein, our 6th cohort spans innovative solutions for both upstream and downstream processes of fermentation and cellular agriculture. From bioreactors to cell lines and even microcarriers, supporting these auxiliary services will bring us closer to commercialisation and price parity,” said Dr. Dalal AlGhawas, Big Idea Venture’s Program Director in Singapore.
- ImpacFat (Singapore) — specializes in the production of cultivated fat to greatly enhance the flavor, texture, aroma and nutrition of alternative protein products. This is the first company with a focus on fish cell-based fat. The team has filed IP for their technology and currently works on scale-up manufacturing and optimisation of the taste and nutritional values of novel foods.
- Smart MCs (Australia) — focused on making texturized cultivated meat a commercially viable food source by providing cell type-specific microcarriers and complementary solutions. Additionally, their microcarrier technology is being adapted across the pharmaceutical industry to lower cellular therapeutic costs. Their business model revolves around offering customer-specific microcarriers rather than the conventional “one size fits all” approach.
- Dynacyte (Singapore) — focuses on expanding the reach of biotech by creating smart, and modular bioreactors that have IoT, artificial intelligence, state-of-the-art microelectronics and wetware incorporated into them. The company designs intelligent electronic, thermal, kinetic, optical, sensor/telemetric systems and sleek UI/UX experiences from the ground up, so they have a long-term strategy of owning and controlling the key technologies behind the products they make.
- Mycosortia (Singapore) — specializes in turning food side streams that are unfit for human consumption into edible alternative protein products using microbial consortia fermentation. They supply microbial fermented and plant-based proteins as green labeled food ingredients via B2B partnerships. They also formulate and supply alternative protein food products to customers using upcycled food ingredients via B2B and B2B2C sales.
- Sono Biosciences (Singapore) — a life science company developing the next generation fish cell culture media that are free of animal derived growth factors, as well as fish cell lines that are immortal and traceable. They hope to reduce the cost of producing lab cultured fish by genetically modifying cell lines using CRISPR and bringing the serum-free cell culture technology used in the pharmaceutical industry to producing cultured fish.
- Algrow Biosciences (Singapore) – creates dairy alternatives with one of the world’s most sustainable, nutritious and abundant ingredients – microalgae. Their technology tackles target molecules in microalgae linked to offnotes and green pigment. The “full stack” solution spans from proprietary strain, bioprocess design to formulation. Algrow’s dairy satiates and nourishes consumers with complete proteins, Omega-3, iron and other essential nutrients.
“With our 6th cohort, it is inspiring that we continue to see a strong trend of advanced technical achievements with start-ups that are IP driven,” said Henrietta Hearth, Vice President at Big Idea Ventures.
“We have also seen more and more companies focusing on alternative seafood as consumers start to understand the environmental impacts of fish consumption.”
- Esencia (Germany) — Esencia Foods is Europe’s first company building fish and seafood alternatives based on mushroom mycelium, using solid state fermentation. Its mission is to accelerate the world’s transition toward a (sea-)food system that provides accessible and affordable nutrition for everyone by building a technology platform to recreate different fish and seafood types from mycelium. Esencia Foods pursues a vertically integrated business model, ‘from lab to fork’.
- Loki Foods (Iceland) — specializes in using 100% renewable energy to produce plant-based alternative-seafood products in Iceland, the seafood capital of the world. They will launch plant-based white fish (analogue of Atlantic Cod) in 2023, as well as a line of seafood products to replace conventional seafoods.
- Food Squared (UK) — a plant based company who formulate whole cut fish alternatives using novel 3D printing. Their biomimicry technology enables higher precision and quicker throughput than conventional whole cut manufacturing methods and has the potential to be fully tunable which can be adapted to create models for different species with different taste, texture and nutrition profiles. They also utilize ingredients with a lower carbon footprint to offer new and better tastes and textures.
- Niskus Biotec (Ireland) — leverages its scaled up solid state fermentation process to provide food companies a new generation of sustainable functional food ingredients that are nutritious, healthy & natural. Their first ingredient product range is MycoGrain, a gourmet mushroom mycelium-based protein rich flour suitable to use as a base ingredient for a broad range of food products. It can be tailored to provide additional taste, texture, aroma, and nutraceuticals by changing the mushroom species in the fermenter.
- The Good Pulse Co. (UK) — develops natural, functional proteins and ingredients from pulses for use in plant-based foods and supplements. Their mission is to power the transition to plant-based foods by providing sustainable and minimally processed ingredients that make it easier and cheaper for food companies to create more nutritious dairy and meat alternatives. Their unique processes focus on maximizing functionality, nutrition, and re-valorisation of all components extracted from pulse seeds.
- Shoken (UK) — a London-based gourmet vegan meat manufacturer focusing on deli slices and pizza toppings like pepperoni. The company’s roadmap is built for speed and maximum impact. Their strategy focuses on key global partnerships and high volume accounts in the foodservice and pizza sectors. Backed with Michelin credentials and skills, they have the expertise to create indulgent, taste addictive flavor formulas.
For the Media Kit, including company logos and pictures, click here.
About Big Idea Ventures
Big Idea Ventures is a venture firm focused on solving the world’s greatest challenges by backing the world’s best entrepreneurs, scientists and engineers. Through its three funds – the New Protein Fund, the Generation Food Rural Partners fund and the Strategic Opportunities fund – Big Idea Ventures invests in the best food, food technology and agritech companies globally. The firm has offices in New York, Paris and Singapore and has already invested in more than 100 companies across 22 countries. For more visit www.bigideaventures.com
New Protein Fund (NPF)
With the New Protein Fund, Big Idea Ventures invests in the best plant-based, cell-based and fermentation-enabled food, ingredient and technology companies. NPF I is backed by leading food corporations including AAK, Avril, Bel, Bühler, Givaudan, Meiji, Temasek Holdings, and Tyson Foods.
NPF II will be available in Q4 2022 and will build on the learnings of NPF I, allowing Big Idea Ventures to continue to invest in the most exciting alternative protein companies globally. For more information, visit https://bigideaventures.com/new-protein-fund/
NPF accelerator application
To join the Big Idea Ventures community, receive an investment package of US$200,000, and access our extensive network of partners and investors, submit your application here. To find out more about our accelerator program, visit https://bigideaventures.com/accelerator-home/
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