Announcing the Innovators in Big Idea Ventures’ Latest Accelerator Cohorts

November 22, 2021 - 7 min read

17 startups launching innovative solutions to feed the world

November 22, 2021 — Big Idea Ventures, global leader in early stage investing in the food technology sector, revealed its latest accelerator cohorts today.

Seventeen early-stage startups were selected for pre-seed investment as part of Big Idea Ventures’ bi-annual accelerator program. Investments were made through the firm’s New York and Singapore offices and the firm’s newest office in Paris, which opened early 2021. Big Idea Ventures’ accelerator is part of its New Protein Fund ($50M+ AUM), dedicated to early stage investments in alternative protein products, ingredients and technologies.

“Innovation in alternative proteins continues to advance globally,” said Andrew D. Ive, Founder and Managing General Partner of Big Idea Ventures, “helping to solve big challenges with big ideas. The entrepreneurs we support have real solutions to climate and food challenges, Big Idea Ventures is investing in the best companies around the world, and these developments could not arrive at a more critical moment for us all.”

The seventeen companies in Big Idea Ventures’ latest accelerator cohorts are developing and improving on protein alternatives across the value chain:

New York Accelerator -- Cohort 4

“This year, we’re seeing smart solutions to improve current alternatives and expedite their time to market. Each company in our New York program is addressing at least one barrier to mass-market commercialization, from price and scalability to performance and nutritional content.” — Mia Medicus, Program Director, BIV New York

  • Fybraworks Foods — will disrupt the $1.4 trillion traditional ag-based meat market by growing real animal meat proteins via microbes that are cheaper to produce and free of hormones and antibiotics. Fybraworks is the world’s first company to develop recombinant muscle protein for food applications.
  • De Novo Dairy — is the first African company to use precision fermentation technology to produce nature identical, animal-free dairy proteins that replicate dairy in function and nutrition allowing for the creation of animal-free cheese, yoghurt and ice cream.
  • Prosel Biosciences — leverages high-performance computing to unlock the potential of microalgae to sustainably produce bioidentical food proteins and selenoprotein-modified industrial enzymes. Prosel's platform technologies are able to express proteins with up to 10x higher yields compared to wild type yields.
  • BetterMilk — makes whole milk with mammary cells. BetterMilk’s innovative genetic engineering platform allows for the dramatic reduction in the cost of lactation hormones and growth medium to bring their milk to price parity at launch. They are a B2B company who will sell their milk and milk ingredients to companies from the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry.
  • Liven Proteins — produces animal-free, functional protein ingredients by fermenting agriculture and food industry by-products, bringing a circular economy in the food value chain. Liven is developing a platform technology, with gelatin as the first product.
  • Maya Milk — uses precision fermentation to produce animal origin-free dairy proteins and fats. Maya Milk's mission is to create dairy products structurally similar to animal derived counterparts, without compromising the sensory experience that consumers are accustomed to.

Singapore Accelerator -- Cohort 4

“Singapore is at the forefront for regulatory approvals and commercialisation of cell-based meats and alternative protein. Our cohort is leading with cutting-edge innovations from indulgent foods, cultivated exotic meat and surimi and a multitude of fermentation solutions to produce sustainable protein.” — Dr. Dalal AlGhawas, Program Director, BIV Singapore

  • Phyx44 — is a cellular agriculture startup creating dairy alternatives using precision fermentation. Phyx44 is producing nature-identical, animal free dairy proteins & fats to recreate milk and its derivatives - same taste, healthier & lower carbon footprint.
  • LILO — is a New Zealand fruit technology company creating permissibly indulgent snacks from low grade and waste fruit. LILO's hero product is a ready to eat plant based and gluten free cheesecake that is every bit as indulgent as it's dairy counterpart. LILO is working directly with New Zealand orchardists and strategic partners  the potential in unused produce and create a range of nutritionally superior products for on the go lifestyles.
  • Fisheroo — is Southeast Asia’s first cell-based fish company focusing on the $5 billion huge surimi industry, and aims to create surimi at scale and sell it as an ingredient to existing surimi product manufacturers and potentially integrating with innovative plant-based companies. Fisheroo has  their proprietary cell line within their state-of-the-art facility based in Singapore and are on track to deliver a prototype within 2022.
  • Mogale Meat —  is Africa’s first cultivated game meat company, is developing real meat products from southern Africa’s antelope, poultry and free-roaming cattle species, using advanced cellular agriculture technologies. Their proprietary biobank of stem and satellite cell lines is sourced from free-range livestock and wild antelope and poultry species, each valued for their unique flavour and health benefits. By investing in southern Africa’s rich biodiversity with minimal impact, Mogale Meat Co distinguishes itself from existing competitors by expanding culinary diversity of cell cultured meat.

Paris Accelerator -- Cohort 1

“The alternative protein industry is growing rapidly in Europe, and we were impressed by the number of quality applicants for Big Idea Ventures first cohort in Paris. From plant-based innovators to novel fatty acid and cell-based technologies, the Paris cohort is a great example of the food innovation coming from Europe.” — Henrietta Hearth, Program Director, BIV Paris

  • Bright Biotech — is using cutting edge science to de-bottleneck the supply and reduce the cost of growth factors to speed up the delivery of cell-based meat to our dinner plates. They have developed a robust and scalable plant-based technology that uses chloroplasts as chassis to manufacture large amounts and cost-efficient growth factors.
  • Green-On — makes ultra-sustainable saturated fat and fatty acids with their power to food technology, using only carbon dioxide, electricity and a small amount of water. Initially focusing on replacing palm oil to produce chocolate, ready meals and other food products, the technology can be adapted to replace other fats.      
  • Little Bandits — is the first dairy and soy-free brand for children in the UK. They make life easier for parents and kids by developing products that are always nutritious, delicious and fun. Their yogurts have at least 25% more calcium but 50% less sugar than leading kids dairy yogurts. They are also the first kids yogurts to market to be fortified with calcium, vitamins D2, B12 and iodine.                 
  • Luyef Biotechnologies — is a cell-based meat company using molecular biology and photonics to produce the next generation of cell-based meat. They have already developed a myoglobin protein which delivers the flavour and aroma of real meat for plant-based meat. They are also working on a scaffolding for real cultured minced meat using a macro-algae only found in Chile and are using state-of-the-art neuroscience to produce juicy, three-dimensional cultured meat steaks.
  • The VERY Food co. — are enabling change without changing people's habits in the kitchen by delivering quality plant-based ingredients for cooking: eggs, butter and cream. We address the barriers to switching to an animal-free diet by replicating the taste, texture and appearance of animal-based ingredients used in professional and everyday cooking.
  • YOFI — is a French food-tech startup offering a delicious range of organic milk alternatives using sustainable, nutritious and tasty peas to offer good quality drinks with high nutritional value. The use of peas instead of other traditional plant-based ingredients entails a higher amount of proteins, amino acids and unsaturated fatty acids.
  • MOA foodtech (France / Singapore Offices) — combines biotechnology and artificial intelligence to transform waste and by-products of the agrifood industry into a ''next generation protein '' with high nutritional value and 100% sustainability. MOA’s technology offers high nutritional proteins based on the valorization of food industry by-products thanks to biotechnology and fermentation processes.

About Big Idea Ventures
Big Idea Ventures (BIV) is solving the world's greatest challenges by supporting the world’s best entrepreneurs. Its first fund, the New Protein Fund ($50M+ AUM) invests in global alternative protein companies at the pre-seed stage via its accelerator program and seed to series A via direct investment. New Protein Fund I is backed by leading food corporations including AAK, Avril, Bel Group, Bühler Group, Givaudan, NR Instant Produce, Meiji, Tyson Ventures, and Temasek Holdings. To date, Big Idea Ventures has invested in more than 65 alternative protein companies across 17 countries.

Big Idea Ventures is currently accepting applications to its next accelerator cohorts in New York, Paris and Singapore, beginning in early 2022:

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