Cultivated black sea bass, microalgae and mycelium feature in our latest cohort

Five pioneering, impact-driven startups have joined the ProVeg Incubator for the 12th edition of its world-renowned accelerator programme for alt-protein startups driving food system transformation.

The five startups are developing a range of products and solutions, including cultivated wild-caught marine white fish, a novel mycelium-delivery platform, enabling technologies for the cultivated meat and seafood industry, pet food featuring cultivated ingredients, and B2B protein ingredients made with microalgae and water lentils.

The ProVeg Incubator has revamped its programme this year to give participants more support, more mentoring, and more opportunities to take their business to the next level. The programme has been extended from 12 weeks to 20 weeks, and it now features a kick-off week in Berlin for the founders to meet and attend workshops and events in-person.

“We’re delighted to introduce this new-look programme for our 12th cohort. The new approach allows us to spend more time working with each startup, and really leverage our resources to bring more value to each of them. The companies will also have more time to apply their learnings and build relationships with their mentors and the incubator’s network,” explains Antje Räuscher, Co-head at the ProVeg Incubator.

“We’ve been continuously improving and evolving the programme over the past five years. These changes further underpin our commitment to offering the best experience for our startups,” she added.

Cohort 12:

  • Atlantic Fish Co (United States): Founders Doug Grant and Trevor Ham, established Atlantic Fish Co in 2022 to develop cultivated seafood with a focus on wild-caught marine white fish such as sea bass, snapper, flounder, and grouper. In April 2024, they unveiled the “world’s first” cultivated black sea bass.
  • Fisheroo (Singapore): Founder Aaron Chua Yu Xiang is a biotechnologist by training and worked in the cultivated industry for three years. Inspired by this, he established Fisheroo to develop enabling technologies for manufacturing companies to cultivate meat and seafood from cells in a more efficient and economical way.
  • Optimized Foods (United States): Founders Zane Starkewolfe, Cody Yothers, Minami Ogawa, Maja Segerman Nielsen, and Lynn Hanson, have developed a proprietary platform for mycelium-based ingredient encapsulation and stabilisation. This allows them to tune the texture, taste, and nutritional value of alternative protein products by encapsulating fats, flavours and nutrients.
  • AlProtein (Egypt/United States): Omar Zaghloul and Mohamed Almoatasem founded AlProtein to develop protein ingredients using microalgae and water lentils, for use by plant-based meat and cheese manufacturers. Their AI-powered biomanufacturing technology produces high-quality proteins at scale, replacing synthetic additives and binders, without using any fresh water or arable land.
  • Friends & Family Pet Food Company (United States): Founders Joshua Errett, Jonny Cruz and Dr Sarah Dodd are developing a new generation of pet food using yeast and cultivated ingredients. With a strong emphasis on nutrition, the products are designed to meet the protein requirements for both cats and dogs, containing essential amino acids and other benefits. 

The programme culminates in a Demo Day in September

The startups will take part in a series of workshops, fireside chats and speaker-led sessions throughout the course of the 20-week programme.

The programme will culminate in an investor-focused Demo Day on Tuesday, 3 September 2024, at ProVeg International’s annual New Food Conference in Berlin. 

The startups will pitch on stage to an audience of investors, media, retailers, distributors and other food-tech industry professionals from all over the world. Some of the Incubator’s alumni startups will also pitch on stage at the event.

Get your free ticket to Demo Day at the New Food Conference in Berlin

This year’s Demo Day will be held at ProVeg International’s annual New Food Conference (NFC), Europe’s first and biggest conference on new protein solutions.

The ProVeg Incubator Demo Day will be an in-person event at the NFC conference in Berlin, but it will also be available to attend online. 

Those who attend will get to watch these food-tech startups pitch to a panel of investors, vote for their favourite startup, see who wins the Judges Award and Audience Award, and connect with others in the food-tech space. 

Those who attend the event in-person will also get to stay for food and drinks at the New Food Conference networking event, meet some of the ProVeg Incubator’s founders from all over the world, watch some of its alumni pitch on stage, and network with investors, corporates and other industry professionals from the global communities of both the ProVeg Incubator and New Food Conference.

For more information and to book a free ticket, visit new-food-conference.com/berlin/demo-day

 

Alt-protein industry trends and insights

The ProVeg Incubator has been operating for more than five years and has worked with more than 100 startups. To mark this milestone, they published a report in April sharing trends, insights and an outlook for the future of the alt-protein industry. 

Read the report at provegincubator.com/100-startups

 

About the ProVeg Incubator

The ProVeg Incubator is the world’s first and leading accelerator programme for food-tech startups working in the alternative-protein space. It works with pioneering founders from around the world to transform our food systems and build a fairer, healthier, and more resilient future for all.

The team supports startups that are working on new products, ingredients and enabling technologies that can help to accelerate this transition at scale. Their unique impact focus and reinvestment model supports its parent organisation, ProVeg International’s, global mission to replace 50% of animal-based products with plant-based and cultivated foods by 2040.

Since its launch in late 2018, the ProVeg Incubator has supported more than 100 startups from around the world, including Remilk, Better Nature, Vly Foods, Bosque Foods, Haofood, Omni, Kern Tec, Greenwise, Mushlabs, Formo, Hooked, the Live Green Company, and the Nu Company.

Collectively, the ProVeg Incubator’s alumni have raised more than $400 million, with products stocked in over 15,000 stores worldwide.

Startups that join the ProVeg Incubator are supported with a tailor-made accelerator programme, one-on-one expert mentoring, access to the Incubator’s extensive networks of industry contacts, and up to €300,000 in funding and in-kind services.

In 2023 it launched Kickstarting for Good, a new incubator and accelerator programme for new nonprofits and impact initiatives in the food transformation and advocacy space. Find out more about this new programme at kickstartingforgood.org

 

Ends 

To stay up to date with all the latest news about the ProVeg Incubator, go to provegincubator.com and follow us @provegincubator on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. 

Contact:

For further information, please contact Vicki Sagar, Senior Marketing & Communications Manager, ProVeg Incubator, at [email protected]

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