Algae, mushrooms & cell-cultivation: Meet the ProVeg incubator startups

27 Apr 2022

Seven new food startups from around the world joined ProVeg’s alt-protein accelerator programme this year on April 4 to begin a 12-week course. The new group focusses on the latest technologies, including mushroom-based ingredients, cultured fat, microalgae-based seafood, and a plant-based alternative to the protein found in egg whites.

The seven startups participating are: Fotortec Inc. (Colombia/Chile/USA), OceanTastes Inc. (USA), Biofect Innovations (Canada), Culminate Foods (Germany), Rewild Solutions (India), EatMyPlants (Germany) and Fabumin (Israel). 

Algae, mushrooms & cell-cultivation: Meet the ProVeg incubator startups
©Cultimate Foods

“Our latest cohort of startups leverages cutting-edge ingredients like microalgae and fungi and creates novel ingredients like heme and cow-free dairy proteins for the alt-protein industry. The teams unite the three major approaches in the alternative protein space: plant-based, fermentation, and cultivation,” Albrecht Wolfmeyer, head of the ProVeg Incubator said in a statement. 

Fast-tracking startups to commercial success

OceanTastes is working to produce cultured seafood using cell-line isolation, cost-effective serum-free media and plant-based scaffolding. Biofect Innovations is focussed on bio-engineering microbes and then "teaching" them to produce ingredients using fermentation technology. Culminate Foods is developing a cultured fat ingredient for B2B channels to bring a more “authentic” taste to plant-based alternatives.

Rewild Solutions is working on creating whole-cut meat with the taste, texture and mouthfeel of conventional meat. EatMyPlants is aiming to cook up alt-seafood products that are based on microalgae and produced using fermentation processes. Fabumin is developing a plant-based substitute for albumin, the protein in egg white, which is a major raw material in the global food industry.

The Berlin-based ProVeg Incubator has worked with over 60 startups through a total of eight cohorts since its launch in 2018. Over the past four years, the group has raised over €230 million and fast-tracked several startups into commercial sales. ProVeg said that the companies it has supported are stocked in over 15,000 stores.  

ProVeg is aiming to create the next generation of sustainable foods

The incubator is committed to the mission of reducing the consumption of animals by 50% by the year 2040. To do so, it is supporting nascent companies that are looking to revolutionise the food industry through technology. 

“Once again the ProVeg Incubator is bringing together a powerhouse of young startup founders who aim to create the next generation of sustainable foods – without animals and without compromising on taste, texture or functionality,” said Wolfmeyer.

As part of this programme, each startup is offered tailor-made advice, one-on-one expert mentoring, access to the Incubator’s extensive networks of industry contacts and up to €250,000 in funding and in-kind services.

Previous graduates include the plant-based Swedish fish company Hooked, Omni and one of Russia’s first plant-based meat companies, Greenwise.

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