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MycoTechnology and BlueNalu have been named winner and runner-up of the Radicle Protein Challenge by Syngenta, bagging home US$1 million and US$250,000 in investment respectively. The challenge was launched by California-based VC Radicle Growth and ChemChina-owned Swiss agri-tech Syngenta Group to search for food techs who are transforming the future of protein.
Competing against more than 150 applicants globally, MycoTechnology, a Colorado-based food tech developing a mushroom fermentation platform was selected as the winner of the first prize with US$1 million in investment. It comes on the heels of its impressive US$39 million Series D funding round, which was backed by big names including Greenleaf Foods, Tyson Ventures and Kellogg-owned Eighteen94 Capital.
At the time, MycoTechnology said that its plan is to expand its line of food-processing solutions and functional ingredients made using mycelium, and alluded to an opportunity for an IPO in late 2022.
I believe that our unique mushroom fermentation platform, combined with Syngenta’s global scale and expertise, will allow us to play a pivotal role in helping to feed an exponentially growing population.Alan Hahn, MycoTechnology CEO
Commenting on their latest win, Alan Hahn, CEO of MycoTechnology, said: “All of us at MycoTechnology are thrilled to be the winner of the Radicle Protein Challenge by Syngenta. I believe that our unique mushroom fermentation platform, combined with Syngenta’s global scale and expertise, will allow us to play a pivotal role in helping to feed an exponentially growing population.”
BlueNalu, a cell-based seafood startup headquartered in San Diego, California, won the runner-up prize, and will take home US$250,000 in financing from the challenge. On a mission to disrupt the existing fishing industry’s polluting practices, in which fish are farmed or wild-caught in our oceans and seas, the food tech is producing real, sustainably and healthy seafood directly from cultured fish cells.
“Global demand for seafood is at an all-time high, but unfortunately our supply cannot keep pace. We must find a new solution to feed our planet,” said Lou Cooperhouse, co-founder and CEO of BlueNalu. “The funding and support from Syngenta and Radicle Growth are greatly valued, as their expertise and global reach will clearly help us to achieve our mission. We are so thankful and honored to have this recognition.”
Global demand for seafood is at an all-time high, but unfortunately our supply cannot keep pace. We must find a new solution to feed our planet.Lou Cooperhouse, Co-Founder & CEO of BlueNalu
In addition to securing new funding, both startups will gain access to the agricultural network and expertise of Radicle and Syngenta to accelerate the growth of their innovative technologies.
“The demand for protein is rising and as a result the need for new protein technologies is increasing in every geography, socioeconomic background and age group,” said Erik Fyrwald, CEO of Syngenta Group. “Partnering with Radicle in this unique way to uncover innovation in the protein space from around the world allows us to infuse the level of capital and expertise that will be required for these trailblazing entrepreneurs to overcome challenges to grow this category.”
Lead image courtesy of Unsplash / BlueNalu.