What does your startup do and what is your mission?
Tomas: Today’s reality is that animal-based dairy production causes significant levels of global greenhouse gas emissions. Plant-based alternatives, although gaining traction, don’t appeal to all consumers. One of the reasons for this is that they often lack the creaminess – of which fat is a key component.
At Cultivated Biosciences, we want to fix this. We are developing a fat ingredient from oleaginous yeast, which offers the creaminess needed for plant-based dairy. The ingredient is clean label, and uses a sustainable production process.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
Tomas: A wonderful combination of two events.
- Unsuccessfully trying to convince my parents to eat plant-based yogurts, and their reaction being “It’s not the same thing. I prefer my classic yogurt”.
- The publication of the Good Food Institute database on ‘Advancing Solutions for Alternative Proteins’. It contained so many great solutions for the alternative-protein sector and is a real goldmine for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Thanks to these two events, I jumped on the idea of producing animal fats using oleaginous yeast, concentrating on applications for plant-based dairy. As I learned from my parents, there is an urgent need.
Tell us about your team. Why are you the right people for the project?
Tomas and Dimitri: We have been friends since our university days.
Tomas: Since then, Dimitri has worked for several startups and brings his perspective on how to develop efficient internal processes and team culture.
Dimitri: Tomas has worked on alternative protein topics for two and a half years. He has developed an extensive network in the field and has the capacity to bring together stakeholders to create amazing partnerships.
What are your favourite parts about building your business?
Dimitri: Unlocking knowledge. So many people and companies have incredible resources – but in their own silos. The moments when we are able to build a bridge between our solution and the know-how of another person or institution is one of the most satisfying feelings.