We are celebrating our second birthday!
Today (1 November) the ProVeg Incubator turns two years old. Since launching, we have reached many milestones on our mission to transform the global food system. To celebrate our second birthday, we’d like to share some of the highlights with you.
On World Vegan Day 2018, the ProVeg Incubator officially opened its doors for the first time. The months have whizzed by since then, and, somehow, we’re already celebrating our second birthday!
The ProVeg Incubator was launched by ProVeg as part of its mission to reduce the global consumption of animals. It was the world’s first incubator to exclusively support startups producing alternatives to animal-based foods.
If people are to adopt a more plant-based lifestyle, we strongly believe that they need to be provided with products they will love. Consumers will eat fewer eggs and less seafood, for example, when they can purchase attractive, accessible, affordable alternatives. That’s where our startups come in.
We are supporting the companies at the forefront of innovation. Our alumni have developed a whole range of plant-based and cultured-food products, ingredients, and supporting technologies. In the last two years, we’ve achieved a lot together. Let’s take a look at the highlights…
We’ve built a startup community
To date, the ProVeg Incubator has supported more than 45 startups from around the world. We’ve worked with plant-based meat companies in Russia, fermented dairy startups out of Israel and Germany, and cultured food companies from Latin America to Australia.
Over 100 entrepreneurs have participated in the ProVeg Incubator programme. They have gone on to continue building thriving businesses and we’re proud to be helping them along that journey.
However, this is also much bigger than any one individual’s success. What we’ve built is a life-long startup community. A collective, collaborative hub of entrepreneurs that continue to share knowledge, advise one another, and help each other tackle challenges.
We are funding startups
Running out of money is one of the top reasons for the failure of new companies, so securing funding is crucial for a startup’s success and sustainability. At the start of 2020, the ProVeg Incubator announced it would be expanding its support package to startups by including grants and financial investment.
Every startup that joins the programme now receives a grant of 20,000 Euros. There is also the option for follow-up investment of up to 180,000 Euros following the completion of the programme. In addition, we connect founders with investors from our network in order to help them secure the funds they need to build their companies.
We are supporting female entrepreneurs
The food industry remains male-dominated. However, more and more female entrepreneurs and scientists are moving into this sector and choosing to start their own companies.
With every call for entries that we launch, we are receiving increasing numbers of applications from startups with women in leading roles. In fact, the majority of the entrepreneurs in our latest cohort, which kicked off last week, are women.
We’re helping startups to get their products onto shelves
Our alumni have launched over 40 products onto the retail market. That means that the foods they are producing are out there in the world, being purchased by consumers as alternatives to conventional meat, dairy, and animal-based snacks.
Greenwise, for example, is selling its plant-based meat in more than 2,000 stores in Russia. You can find the Nu Company’s chocolate bars in 16 countries worldwide. Better Nature’s tempeh products are available in UK supermarkets and online via Amazon. And in Germany, you’ll find Vly Foods, Mondarella, Cashewbert, and Von Georgia products stocked in supermarkets, drug stores, and cafes.
And those are just the plant-based examples. Food tech companies such as Mushlabs and Legendairy Foods that are working on fermentation, require more time before they can launch tangible products to the public. However, when they – and others – do, it’s likely to change the face of the food sector fundamentally.
We stood together against corona
Companies, big and small around the world, have been rocked by the coronavirus pandemic. When the first lockdown was announced in March, we were just weeks away from launching our first startup cohort of 2020.
We decided to stand up for startups in these trying times and swiftly moved our whole programme online. By the end of this year, we will have hosted two full cohorts of startups digitally.
Our job is to support and accelerate startups. We’re proud to have been able to continue to do that, even under particularly tricky circumstances.