Modern Agriculture Foundation Celebrates Success of Alt-Protein Cohorts in MassChallenge Israel Accelerator

July 23, 2022 - 3 min read

(MODIIN, Israel) – The Modern Agriculture Foundation, an Israeli non-profit which promotes entrepreneurship and innovation in the alternative protein industry in Israel and globally, celebrates the sweeping success of its Better Plate alternative protein track within MassChallenge Israel’s 2022 Accelerator program.

Early-stage Israeli startups PoLoPo, which pioneered a game-changing method to grow egg protein from plants, and AlgaHealth, which addresses food production and nutritional challenges through the revolutionary use of microalgae, were the two Better Plate cohorts selected to participate in a MassChallenge roadshow to New York and Boston, granting them audiences with major investors, officials and business leaders.

“The outsized success of Better Plate cohorts reflects the tremendous potential of AgriFoodTech in general, and alternative proteins in particular, to mitigate major global challenges including global food security, environmental crises and supply chain issues,” said Levana Shifman, executive director of the Modern Agriculture Foundation. Better Plate cohorts represent just five out of 42 total MC Israel cohorts (or 12 percent), and yet they snagged two of 10 (20 percent) of the coveted spots in the upcoming roadshow.

“MassChallenge Israel is laser focused on creating positive impact and is committed to further developing our vibrant innovation ecosystem,” remarked Aaron Zucker, executive director of MC Israel. “Alternative protein innovation has far-reaching implications for our planet and humanity, and impact investors are increasingly cognizant of that fact.”

In its first year, the Better Plate track is the only accelerator in the Middle East specifically tailored to the needs of high-impact alternative protein startups.

“Better Plate engaged phenomenal mentors and experts,” said Eran Itzkovitch, CEO of AlgaHealth, who received his award from MAF’s Shifman. “Working closely with such a strong group brought us one big step closer to a better, healthier world.”

“We couldn’t have asked for a more excellent program. We were privileged to be part of the 2022 cohort, among so many amazing startups,” emphasized PoLoPo co-founders Maya Sapir-Mir and Raya Liberman Aloni, who accepted their award from MC Israel’s Zucker along with his predecessor Yonit Serkin.

Hundreds convened at Jerusalem’s Shalem College July 20 for the announcement of the roadshow winners at the celebratory culmination of the accelerator, which included warm greetings from Mayor Moshe Leon.

“MAF is deeply grateful to its indispensable partners for their invaluable support, ensuring the track’s success and enabling our promising startups to soar,” remarked Shifman, praising InNegev, a unique technology incubator in Israel’s Negev region; Reinhold Cohn Group, a leading Israeli patent firm; Proveg International and Animal Charity Evaluators.

The Modern Agriculture Foundation is an Israeli non-profit which promotes innovation, entrepreneurship, and commercial scale manufacturing in the young and thriving field of alternative proteins. By nurturing early-stage startups developing transformational substitutes for traditional meat, dairy, and egg products, MAF supports innovation solutions to create a more sustainable, kinder food system equipped to meet the nutritional needs of the world’s growing population even as water and land resources are diminishing.

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