Startups

Helping plant-based food startups become viable alternatives to popular consumer foods

1st cohort startups

Vly develops and markets plant protein food products. Since protein is an essential part of the human diet, Vly sees a need to radically change our sources for it in order to improve human health and cause less harm to animals and the planet. Vly’s mission is to apply the latest scientific advances to plant-based food development in order to become Europe’s number one plant-based food player, beginning with dairy.

Founders: Nicolas Hartmann, Niklas Katter

Yeap! is developing a processing technology that uses yeast as the main source of protein for their line of animal substitute food products. Yeast is readily available, has more than 50% protein, is high on fibre and non-allergenic, has a meaty taste, is low in fat content, inexpensive, and has a good essential amino acid profile. The first product launch is a chicken nugget analogue.

Founders: Leonardo Marcovitz, Didier Toubia

Serotonina is an artisanal cheese manufacturer that produces first-rate vegan equivalents of traditional cheeses. Based on cashews, coconut oil, and soybeans, their products contain pro-health bacterial cultures. The company produces a range of cheeses – from soft and spreadable to heavily matured and cheeses with a noble mould. Serotonina currently delivers to multiple countries around Europe and intends expanding and developing their distribution network.

Founders: Piotr Poleszczuk, Paula Kowalczyk, Jaroslaw Kulinski, Marzena Gabryk

Cheese the Queen produces cheese products that are organic, probiotic, 100% plant-based, gluten-free, and soy-free. Authentic production methods are used to ensure that the products are naturally matured and loaded with Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Lactobacillus Bulgaricus cultures. Their cheeses are aged naturally, making them stronger, healthier, and tastier with time.

Founders: Vera Tinkova, Hristina Tancheva, Boyan Tanchev

ClearMeat is on a journey to produce the world’s first clean-chicken keema (popular Indian minced chicken meat dish) and create products such as tandoori chicken and chicken tikka masala specialized for the Indian market. Their vision is to create a world where animals are not butchered for food. Their product line will be humane, nutritious, and sustainable and provide a safe protein source that will help solve nutritional, environmental, and animal welfare challenges in India.

Founders: Dr. Pawan Dhar, Kartik Dixit, Dr. Siddharth Manvati

The nu+company is a purpose-driven company that intends reinventing FMCG categories, beginning with nu+cao, a healthy vegan chocolate bar, and nu+pro, a plant-based protein shake. For each product sold, nu+ plants a tree in Madagascar. Nu+cao is a low-carb vegan snack based on hemp seeds and raw cacao, while nu+pro is a plant-based protein shake including all essential amino acids. Nu+ also focuses on ensuring that their packaging is completely biodegradable.

Founders: Mathias Tholey, Christian Fenner, Thomas Stoffels

Cashewbert is a vegan cheese alternative made with aged cashews and almonds, using traditional fermentation methods to create a taste experience that is remarkably similar to the analogue original. Based in Berlin, Cashewbert focuses on camembert and blue cheese, and intends creating a bigger production line in order to expand to other regions.

Founder: Anderson Santos

Mighty Might produces sustainable, plant-based meat to busy professionals based in urban areas who care about their well-being, the environment and animal welfare. By 2025 they aim to join the leading plant-based meat chicken equivalents by being present in 2000 supermarket stores, and having franchised Mighty Meat sandwich outlets in 300 locations around the world.

Founder: George Vou, Co-founder: Sangeeta Khanna

MushLabs is a biotech startup using fermentation to develop the next generation of sustainable foods from the roots of mushrooms. Our technology platform mimics the natural surroundings of mycelium using food and agricultural side streams. The outcome is a protein-, fiber-, and micronutrient-rich ingredient that requires a fraction of the the water, land, feed, and logistical needs of existing plant proteins.

Founder: Mazen Rizk

2nd cohort startups

Better Nature is radically innovating the process of tempeh fermentation in order to produce the most nutritious and delicious tempeh-based products. By applying a 21st century scientific lens to an ancient food, they can increase its protein content using naturally processes so that it surpasses that of beef in quantity and quality. Better Nature’s approach also improves the texture and taste of tempeh as well making it the world’s richest plant-based source of vitamin B12. Moreover, this approach can produce tempeh products using almost any bean, legume, nut, or grain. As a result, they can produce affordable, nutritious, and sustainable food products that are healthy, tasty, and minimally processed. Their aim is to be the UK’s first food-tech unicorn and to be the company that is responsible for making tempeh a mainstream food, consumed more widely than tofu and other plant-based foods.

Blue Farm’s aim is to provide the freshest, healthiest, and most sustainable milk alternatives on the market. This is achieved by only choosing the best ingredients, cutting out additives, and delivering the product in innovative packaging for on-demand home preparation, as well as selling it in reusable glass bottles in-store.

Cellular Agriculture Ltd was founded in early 2016 as the first UK startup in the cell-based meat sector. The founders combine a unique partnership within bioprocess design and sustainable food production. CTO Dr Marianne Ellis is the UK’s leading academic working within the space, while CEO Illtud Dunsford has worked extensively in primary agriculture and food manufacturing. Together, they have designed an industrial bioprocess that will deliver a scaled technology platform for multi-species cell-based meat technology. In 2018, funding from InnovateUK allowed a lab-scale proof of concept to be built and Cellular Agriculture is now seeking funding to develop their designs to pilot-plant stage. Partnerships with international companies from across the agricultural and food-manufacturing value chain are already being established, and advanced negotiations with first customers in pioneering cell-based meat companies are already underway.

At DuJa Vegan, science is used to replicate the flavour profile of traditional meat-based foods in order to authentically recreate the flavor profiles for those on a plant-based diet. DuJa Vegan are fanatical about taste and recreating the meat-based flavors that people love, using the most ethically sourced, all-natural, and highest-quality plant-based ingredients available. Their business model targets three market segments: institutional buyers, licensing, and direct to consumer.

Greenwise is one of the first Russian producers of plant-based meat alternatives. Creating vegan meat substitutes that fully imitate meat flavor and texture, their mission is to allow people to enjoy their favorite dishes without harming living creatures and the natural environment. Greenwise’s sales strategy for the next year is to establish relationships with several large European food distributors in order to be present in 1,000 chain stores in Germany (such as Tegut, Alnatura, Rewe, and Aldi). They are considering entering the market under both the Greenwise brand and under a private label.

LegenDairy Foods GmbH is Europe’s first clean-dairy company. They are headquartered in Berlin, Germany. The venture was founded by CSO Dr Britta Winterberg and CEO Raffael Wohlgensinger, who are on a mission to lower the bar for ethical and sustainable consumption of dairy products. People don’t want to compromise on taste, texture, or functionality when it comes to the foods they love, which is why LegenDairy develop solutions to produce real dairy without the use of cows. In order to build a holistic innovation approach that will allow them to reap the benefits of this new technology, they are designing a platform that enables seamless integration of microbiology, biotechnology, and food science in order to accelerate the transition towards a better food system.

Mondarella is a visionary company that is focused on sustainable methods of creating innovative, plant-based products for the international market. Their goal is to create typical Italian dairy products that are exclusively plant-based. They are based in Sardinia, Italy, and their business operates as a private limited company under Italian law. The company was founded by owners Pietro Brunetti, Massimiliano Muscogiuri, and Mirwais Barak.

Panvega presents the worldwide first non-GMO vitamin B12 for organic-certified food. Based in Zürich, Switzerland, the company was founded in 2016 by Andreas Schenzle along with three partners. Panvega has developed technologies for the production of vitamin B12 using non-GMO bacteria. The GMO-free biomass is available for use in organic and vegan-certified food products. Their target group is food manufacturers that are interested in jointly developing and marketing new organic vegan products. The brand veg’ N co represents food products that contain the recommended daily dose of Panvega’s vitamin B12 per portion. The target groups for veg’ N co are vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians, who are susceptible to developing a vitamin B12 deficiency, as well as grocery stores.

Plant B is a plant-based protein innovator that is developing a deli slice range without soy, gluten, or artificial additives. Their unique food formulation allows for the use of ingredients that are nutrition-dense: minerals and resistant starches from green-banana flour, omega-3 from linseed, and protein from peas. Their entry target market is educated millennials living in metropolitan areas, including young parents, professionals, and on-the-go convenience seekers. They will first sell through supermarkets and, after initial customer acceptance, begin distribution in the food-service sector, including fast-food chains. Plant B’s founders are from Hungary and New Zealand. Together, they are building a global brand that will transform the world one bite at a time.

Terra Vegane combines years of experience in the kitchen with culinary curiosity and their desire to make the world a little bit better for all of its inhabitants. The company blends their understanding of nutrition and the need for a lip-smacking taste with grains, beans, seeds, and love. The result is perfectly balanced meat, cheese, and egg alternatives that leave animals out of the mix. Their Quarter-Pounder Black Bean Burgers, Egg-Free Omelette Mix, and Mac & Cheez, along with 16 other products, are familiar foods produced with with a compassionate twist. Terra Vegane is handmade in Berlin.

YouPeas is the first range of breakfast cookies and soft cakes made from chickpeas. Say hello to the new breakfast – delicious, healthy, and nutritious thanks to the superpowers of chickpeas. YouPeas’ goal is to launch in French retailers in May and to spread rapidly throughout the European market. YouPeas addresses consumers’ need for transparency, nutrition, and deliciousness with plant-based products that have minimal ingredients and which are naturally gluten-free and organic. The company is currently based in Lille, France, and is run by Camille Topat and Flora Barin. Camille founded YouPeas after several experiences in business development and Flora, an experienced food engineer, joined soon afterwards.