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Vevolution, the London-based hub dedicated to accelerating the plant-based movement, has announced the finalists who will pitch to leading investors at its upcoming Pitch & Plant event, the first global edition of its animal-free investment competition. Selected among more than 350 startups, nine plant-based and cell-based food techs will be in the running to win a minimum of US$200,000 in funding.
Announced ahead of Vevolution’s Pitch & Plant 2020 virtual competition taking place on Tuesday (December 15), nine startups have been selected from a pool of more than 350 companies, a record-breaking number since the platform began hosting the event. This year marks the first time that Vevolution has taken its animal-free investment competition global, with this year’s finalists hailing from six different countries, including Cyprus, Nigeria, Sweden, India, the U.K. and U.S.
The food techs that have been chosen to pitch to a live online audience this year includes Evo Foods, the first plant-based startup in India to develop a plant-based liquid egg alternative with eyes on global expansion next year; VeggieVictory, Nigeria’s first plant-based company offering vegan meat alternatives and meals; and Cyprus-based The Mighty Kitchen who are leveraging data modelling and materials chemistry to make fibrous plant-based poultry products.
Representing the U.S. are two food techs, animal-free honey makers MeliBio and Biftek, a cell-based startup developing a cultured medium to replace fetal-bovine-serum for the production of cultivated proteins. Both startups were recently named in Big Idea Ventures’ (BIV) latest cohort of companies to join its accelerator program.
Three companies from the U.K. made the finals of Pitch & Plant, including vegan “junk food gods” and plant-based delivery joint Biff’s Kitchen; the e-commerce platform specialising in frozen plant-based food Frozenly; and plant-powered and gluten-friendly cookie startup GATO.
Hempster, hailing from Sweden, will also be joining the cohort of finalists who will pitch at the competition, bringing its circularity-driven, dairy-free alternatives to the table.
These nine startups will be competing for funding from some of the leading investors in the alternative protein space, who can name Impossible Foods, Heura, THIS and Eat Just among the companies in their portfolios. Together, the investment judges have committed to funding a minimum of US$200,000 to the winner, with potentially more financing if the “right business takes their eye”.
Judges lined up include Michiel van Deursen of Capital V and a partner in Vevolution, Veg Capital’s Simi Valecha Johnson and Cliff Johnson, Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni and Miray Zaki of Dismatrix, Willem Blom of Plantbase and Ryan Bethencourt and Mariliis Holm of alt protein rolling fund Sustainable Food Ventures.
Lead image courtesy of Vevolution.