5 Inspiring Startups Looking To Change The World From Cell-Based Cotton To Micro-Algae ‘Chicken’

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Hong Kong-based Food Tech accelerator Brinc just announced their latest cohort and there are some inspiring startups working to solve some of the world’s more pressing issues including malnutrition, the rise of diabetes and the environmental footprint of livestock farming. From food safety to cleaner protein to increased nutrient density, we round up the five most impressive and sustainably-minded companies in the Fall 2019 batch.

1. Avant Meats

Source: Avant Meats / Foods Future Summit

Founding date: 2018

Founding Team: Carrie Chan & Mario Chin

Headquarters: Hong Kong

Sustainable Food Mission: Avant Meats is a food tech startup cultivating fish and seafood products using cellular technology and tissue engineering of a small sample of swim bladder and fish cells under lab conditions. Demand for seafood delicacies in traditional Chinese cuisine has seriously threatened some fish species and marine ecosystems, and the industry is mired with traceability issues. Set to debut their first fish maw product in 2023, the company hopes to tackle both issues – to help Asian seafood eaters consume sustainably with knowledge of how their seafood has been produced. 

2. Seagrass Tech

Source: Seagrass Tech / Brinc

Founding date: 2016

Founding Team: Prakash Ramadass, Monisha Reddy, Swaminathan Detchanamurthy, Suganya Baskaran

Headquarters: India

Sustainable Food Mission: Seagrass Tech has developed a cultivation and harvesting technology platform that uses seawater and non-arable tsunami affected land to grow marine microalgae, which can be used as a natural colourant in F&B, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products while capturing carbon dioxide. 

3. Cell Farm

Source: Cell Farm Food Tech

Founding date: 2019

Founding Team: Sofia Giampaoli

Headquarters: Argentina

Sustainable Food Mission: Cell Farm is the first cultured meat startup in Latin America, and are developing a cow stem cell bank to provide high-quality, efficient and certified starter materials for the cultured beef industry. They are currently standardising their biotech process to produce meat from animal stem cells by performing a non-invasive microbiopsy from different cow species, and then differentiating those cells into muscle and fat tissue that mimics the taste and texture of different types of beef products. 

4. Galy (United States)

Source: Galy

Founding Date: 2019

Founding Team: Luciano Bueno 

Headquarters: United States

Sustainable Mission: The only non food startup in our roundup, Galy is producing cotton in the lab from cells, rather than from plants. With their biomaterial technology, Galy’s cotton is not only grown 10 times faster and of a higher quality than conventionally produced cotton, but also requires 78% less water, 81% less land and generates 80% fewer gas emissions. Currently, Galy is selling their cellular cotton yarns to brands and the textile industry. 

5. Naka Foods

Founding date: 2016

Founding Team: Kushal Aradhya

Headquarters: India 

Sustainable Food Mission: Naka Foods has developed a vegetarian microalgae-based convenient cereal bar, the 4PM Bar, which is made with oats, cashews and spirulina and enriched with probiotics. They are looking to create more nutrient-dense food items with microalgae technology, including a plant-based chicken product that is currently under the R&D process. 

Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock.


  • Sally Ho

    Sally Ho is Green Queen's former resident writer and lead reporter. Passionate about the environment, social issues and health, she is always looking into the latest climate stories in Hong Kong and beyond. A long-time vegan, she also hopes to promote healthy and plant-based lifestyle choices in Asia. Sally has a background in Politics and International Relations from her studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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