Nine startups, based all around the world, from Santiago to Delhi to London to Berlin, comprise our new cohort at the ProVeg Incubator. The founders of these plant-based and food-tech startups are about to set foot on a path that will lead them closer to achieving their goals.
There is no finishing line in the race towards innovation. And for the new cohort of food startups joining the ProVeg Incubator today (April 7), the pace will only increase.
Over the next 12 weeks, we’ll be supporting nine startups from all over the world on their mission to transform the global food system.
It is this goal that unites the companies – some of which are as far removed from each other in their sector of activity as they are geographically: the goal to pursue innovation in the service of the environment and global health.
Read on to meet each of the startups joining our sixth cohort. You’ll also get an introduction to the inspiring founding teams and their innovative products.
Asanté (Mexico): plant-based food startup championing Mexican cuisine
Based in Mexico City, Asanté is carving out a slice of the ever-growing plant-based meat-and-fish sector in North America. This pioneering company’s range of products, based on traditional Mexican cuisine, including pastor, cochinita, and barbacoa, are already on sale in Mexico and the US.
Iván Jiménez de Sandi and Gabriela Rivera founded Asanté to support more people moving towards a plant-based lifestyle. Backed by a team of scientists specialising in biotechnology and molecular biology, the duo is working on mycelium technology in order to further improve their products and build a resilient and low-cost production platform.
Bifidice (Chile): one of our startups is creating probiotic ice cream
Let’s head further south now, to a startup that is revolutionising one of the world’s favourite treats. Bifidice, based in Santiago, Chile, is a biotech company that creates plant-based ice-cream containing powerful probiotic bacteria that help to fight allergies and chronic diseases. The probiotic – known as Bifidum N1 – is also an effective protector of gut flora.
The company’s name, Bidifice, reflects the fruits of the research into which Anastasia Gutkevich has poured years of her life. Maria Jose Buttazzoni, the CMO of Bifidice with 10 years of experience in the field of child nutrition, completes the team.
EggField (Switzerland): growing plant-based eggs
Zurich-based startup EggField aims to achieve what their name suggests – to grow eggs similarly to how seeds are sown in a field. The plant-based origin of their egg alternatives makes this possible.
By betting on the budding area of plant-based eggs, EggFields aims to do for chickens what plant-based milk is achieving for cows – putting an end to the practice of factory farming.
The founding team behind EggField – Silvan Leibacher and David Ebneter – combine many years of experience in the baking and food-engineering industries in order to develop their cutting-edge products.
Kern Tec (Austria): the food-tech startup upcycling fruit pits
Cherries, apricots, and plums are all delicious fruits that come with rather less delicious pits inside. The pits can bloom into beautiful trees, but how best to use them if we have no plans to take up horticulture?
Enter Kern Tec, a Vienna-based startup that is turning these otherwise unusable by-products into a resource. The company is upcycling discarded fruit pits in order to develop high-value raw materials for dairy and other plant-based alternatives.
Kern Tec’s founding team comprises Michael Beitl, Luca Fichtinger, Sebastian Jeschko, and Fabian Wagesreither.
Kinoko Labs (Germany): mycelium-based meat alternatives
Using mushroom mycelium (the root-like filaments of fungi), Kinoko Labs is producing plant-based alternatives to meat and fish.
By working on a new generation of alt-proteins, the Berlin-based company plans to accelerate the adoption of sustainable protein sources – without compromising on taste or nutrition.
Isabella Iglesias-Musachio is the CEO of Kinoko Labs. Scientific advisor Branden Wolner, along with scientific consultants Pedro Gonçalves and Rafael Philippini, complete the founding team.
NØKO (France): pro-performance supplements for athletes
Plant-based sport supplements are something of a new frontier, and one that French startup Noko is not afraid to explore. Noko promises to prepare the most dedicated of athletes for the toughest challenges, by supplying them with pro-performance, healthy, and sustainably-produced food.
Maxence Damarey, one of the co-founders, stands witness to the products’ effectiveness. He himself is an experienced sportsman – both an undefeated professional boxer and certified personal trainer.
On the other side of the aisle, Maxence’s co-founding partner Olivier Dahan is influential in the French food industry. He has worked with brands like Oreo, Tim-Tam, and Daim.
Omni (UK): plant-based startup innovating the pet-food sector
Based in London, Omni is a pet-food startup that produces nutritionally complete tasty treats that won’t leave dogs wanting for their old kibble. The Omni product range provides a well-balanced, nutritionally complete source of protein, with a laser focus on pet health.
By promoting the transition to sustainable protein sources, Omni also stands to reduce the negative environmental impact of producing factory-farmed meats.
Omni was founded by a team of three. Dr Guy Sandelowsky is a highly experienced veterinary surgeon and biomedical scientist. Shiv Sivakumar, a former investment banker and Jo Barrow, an ex Buzzfeed writer turned marketeer completes the trio.
ProMeat (India): chicken alternatives from indigenous crops
The only meat in this plant-based startup is in the name. ProMeat develops chicken alternatives – burger patties, minced meat, and kebabs – by combining cutting-edge technology with underused, indigenous crops.
The Delhi-based startup is well positioned to capture the attention of the world’s largest flexitarian audience.
CEO Debabrata Das is a food-technology manager with a penchant for the food-processing sector. Pranjuli Garg, COO, has a proven track record in research, quality assurance, and data analysis. Sugriv Gupts, who has expertise in new product development and quality control, completes the founding team.
Root Kitchen (UK): plant-based ready meals
Root Kitchen is bringing all of the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle into frozen, ready-made meals in recyclable packaging. When it comes to alternative-protein, this is an underserved market segment. Root Kitchen wants to change that.
The startup is targeting the D2C meal-subscription and retail markets with affordable, enjoyable products. They have developed numerous meal varieties including Vegan Shepherd’s Pie, Aubergine Al Forno, and Thai Red Curry.
Root Kitchen’s founding team comprises David Beaver and Rishma Remtulla. David heads up marketing, brand management and sales. Rishma Remtulla is also responsible for sales and leads on product development and category analysis.
We will be sharing more information about these startups as they progress through our programme, including Q+As with the founders. We’ll also be posting programme updates so you can read about their progress and achievements.
Supporting food innovators is at the core of what we do at the ProVeg Incubator. If you’re working in plant-based or cultured food innovation, apply now to join our next cohort of startups.