Big Idea Ventures, the global venture capital fund focused on solving the world’s greatest challenges by supporting the world’s best entrepreneurs, recently launched the New Protein Fund. The fund will invest in and accelerate up to 100 plant-based and cell-based companies globally. Big Idea Ventures runs four accelerator programs annually in New York and Singapore.
“We are glad to have Bühler join Tyson Ventures, Temasek and our other strategic investors in the Big Idea Ventures’ New Protein Fund. Together we can support the growth of the new generation of leading plant-based companies in North America, Asia and ultimately, the planet. Bühler and Big Idea Ventures will work together to build great companies responding to consumer demands for great tasting food that is good for them and good for the planet,” said Andrew D. Ive, founder of Big Idea Ventures.
Bühler is a family owned, 160-year-old company, supplying processing solutions globally and playing a critical role in global food value chains. “Providing safe, nutritious, pleasurable and affordable food to a population of 10 billion people by 2050 and doing that within the planetary boundaries is a formidable challenge,” said Ian Roberts, CTO at Bühler Group. “There is an urgent need for wide-scale collaboration if we are to make an impact on the climate and nutrition challenges within the next decade. Academics, start-ups, and established companies need to come together to innovate and find more sustainable ways to produce food. This is why we are partnering with Big Idea Ventures: to accelerate the journey for promising start-ups, to reinforce partnerships and start-up ecosystems in Singapore and the U.S., and to do this with a clear focus on creating a more sustainable food supply for the future.”
Bühler plays a key role in serving the fast-growing plant-based meat and dairy replacements sector, with value chain coverage from primary processing of pulses, peas and lentils, soy, oats, quinoa and, of course, traditional grains, through to the shaping, forming, texturing, fiber formation and cooling of meat analogues, be they dry or high moisture. “This new partnership benefits from our global network of Food Application Centers across Europe, Asia, and the U.S.,” said Johannes Wick, CEO Grains and Food at Bühler Group. “However, it is particularly timely, given that we are opening our Food Application Center in Minneapolis, Minn., June 19 and introducing new technologies, such as the Filtrex solution, specifically for this sector, and will open our joint innovation facility with Givaudan in Singapore later this year.”
The new Food Application Center in Minneapolis provides a platform for developing new ways to transform peas, beans, corn, pulses, oats, ancient grains and many other crops into new food solutions such as flours, snacks, pasta, cereals and a myriad of extruded products, including plant-based meat analogues. The joint Givaudan Bühler innovation facility in Singapore focuses on sustainable protein-based products. Combining the flavor and formulation know-how of Givaudan with the process know-how and technological capabilities of Bühler, it provides a one-stop shop for development and first scale up of new products for market test.
“We will be pleased to welcome Big Idea Ventures start-ups to benefit from our facilities and capabilities,” added Roberts. “We are excited about this partnership and believe that we can advance our goals for a sustainable food system with Andrew and his team.”