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Our new partnership with KitchenTown 

We are delighted to announce that the ProVeg Incubator is partnering with KitchenTown to accelerate global food innovation. If you haven’t heard of it yet, KitchenTown is an innovation platform that helps to develop impact-driven food products. Read on to learn how we’ll be working together. 

Across the world, there are many people working to transform the global food system – and we think that’s incredible. The more people who are championing new ways of eating and developing solutions to make that happen, the better.

The impact we can have is amplified when we work together in teams, organisations, and partnerships. Collaborating with the right partners can be hugely beneficial. It enables the sharing of knowledge and expertise, for example, and can accelerate projects by bringing more hands on deck.

Shaping the future of food

At the ProVeg Incubator, our mission is to reduce the global consumption of animals by 50% by the year 2040. We believe that the best way to achieve that goal is to offer people affordable, attractive, and widely available alternatives to conventional animal-based products. 

By supporting startups that are working on plant-based, cultivated, and fermented foods — we have become a driving force in getting new, alternative products to market, and, ultimately, into the hands of consumers. 

KitchenTown focuses on sustainable food solutions, tech innovation, and planet-friendly foods.

KitchenTown is also working to support startups in the food space. The innovation platform was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2014 and its hub in Berlin is amplifying the European startup scene. KitchenTown provides a test kitchen and scientific lab equipment to support a startup’s product development. The team focuses on sustainable food solutions, tech innovation, better nutrition, and planet-friendly foods.

This is where we cross over. We are both shaping the future of food and, by working together, we believe we can achieve much more.

A cooperative mindset

By establishing ties of friendship and cooperation, we’re essentially agreeing to help each other out and to use our shared resources to better support our startups. 

The key purpose of the partnership is to accelerate global food innovation. In order to do that, we’ll be promoting one another’s work, sharing insights and industry knowledge, and introducing each other to potential exciting new opportunities.

Moving forward, we hope to establish an ongoing exchange with KitchenTown. As such, we’ll be looking for potential collaborations in terms of investment opportunities, research and development, and new technological business solutions. 

Solving problems that young companies face

Two of the companies that we have incubated at the ProVeg Incubator are now based at KitchenTown in Berlin. 

Zveetz is a plant-based desserts company founded in Germany and the UK, with the aim of reducing sugar consumption. 

Vly Foods has developed a milk alternative from yellow-split peas — you may have seen their products for sale in Edeka supermarkets.

Small batch production at KitchenTown

One aspect of both the ProVeg Incubator and KitchenTown is that the startups find particularly important is the community that is created in an accelerator environment. Of the ProVeg Incubator, Nicolas Hartmann, Co-founder of Vly Foods says, “The network that ProVeg provides is unique and helps to solve all kinds of problems that a young company faces.” 

Of KitchenTown, Hartmann says: “The space is great and the exchange within the community is satisfying us a lot. Working with other exciting startups that also have big plans is a great added value for us.”

Building a collaborative community

The ProVeg Incubator is also partnering with NX-FOOD, a food innovation hub of the wholesaler METRO, as well as a range of investors, media outlets, and other organisations in the food space. 

Having a vast network and supportive partners is one of the key benefits we can offer to startups. It expands the services we have access to and increases the knowledge we can share. It also means that we’re connected with all the right people who can help entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. 

We’re accepting applications right now to join our next cohort of startups. If you’re the founder of an innovative food company, we’d love to receive your online application. Just make sure you get it to us before the deadline of 31 July. Good luck!

The India Smart Protein Innovation Challenge

We are excited to announce that the ProVeg Incubator is one of the organisations partnering with GFI India for the India Smart Protein Innovation Challenge. The purpose of the project is to foster the next generation of alternative protein entrepreneurs. Read on to find out more about it and how to sign up.

The alternative protein market in India is developing and expanding at a significant pace, which is not surprising, given India’s long history of vegetarianism. Demand for plant-based products in this part of the world is increasing, and supporting innovation in this space could have a huge impact on reducing global animal consumption, given that India is the world’s second-most populous country. 

For this to be achieved, of course, there needs to be innovators – people who are passionate about developing new products and sharing them with the masses. That’s why we are extremely excited to be partnering with GFI India to launch the India Smart Protein Innovation Challenge. 

The initiative is the first of its kind on the subcontinent and aims to educate and inspire young talent to enter into the smart-protein sector. 

So, what is the smart-protein sector?

Resource-intensive animal agriculture contributes to several global problems, including food insecurity, climate change, and public health risks, including zoonotic diseases. At the same time, the world’s population is increasing. In order to feed 10 billion people, over one-sixth of whom will be Indian, we need to shift towards a more sustainable and efficient food system.

This means that we need to identify new food sources and viable alternatives to animal-based products such as eggs, meat, and dairy. The plant-based food industry is booming right now. Investors are ploughing cash into products such as plant-based pork and egg alternatives, and consumer demand continues to rise. 

Incubator alumni startups, Mister Veg, is developing plant-based meat and fish in India

There are numerous reports that detail how adopting a plant-based diet can improve human health. A shift to plant-based food production can also be easier on the planet. Plant-based foods result in fewer greenhouse gas emissions, for example. They are also less resource-intensive compared to animal-based products, using less water and less land.

Plant-based foods are not only healthy, they are good for people and the planet. That’s what we mean when we talk about the smart protein sector. It’s protein made smart, and it’s one of the best bets for feeding the world’s growing population.

The India Smart Protein Innovation Challenge

For students, entrepreneurs, researchers, and scientists who are passionate about innovating in this fast-paced sector, the India Smart Protein Innovation Challenge offers an excellent entry point.

Participants will receive support, mentorship, potential investment, and promotion from industry leaders. We are confident that it will be an enriching experience for those looking to have an impact on the alternative-protein landscape.

“This is an opportunity for talented students, researchers, and entrepreneurs to lay the groundwork for a more healthy, sustainable, and just food system”  – Varun Deshpande, GFI India

Applications for the challenge are currently being accepted for plant-based meat, egg, and dairy projects. Up to five finalists will be selected and each one will receive Rs 1 lakh (US$1,290). They will also pitch their business ideas to a panel of investors and food-industry experts. This could be your opportunity to turn an exciting idea into a viable startup!

What are the eligibility criteria

  • The challenge is primarily for Indian citizens. Participation will be considered on a case-by-case basis for citizens of other countries who are working in India.
  • The target audience is students, young professionals, scientists, and researchers. Applicants should have a background in applied and basic sciences, engineering, technology, business, innovation, or entrepreneurship.
  • Applicants must be 28 years old or younger as of August 01, 2020.

Excited to get involved? Sign up now on the India Smart Protein Innovation Challenge website. Good luck!

We are partnering with NX-Food

ProVeg Incubator is delighted to announce a new partnership with NX-Food, to accelerate innovation in the plant-based space!