Following all great news in October, November continued cellular agriculture’s great year. Cellular agriculture is the field of growing animal products (like meat and milk) from cell cultures instead of animals. Compared to conventional livestock agriculture, cell ag provides an alternative and sustainable way to produce animal products to meet the growing global demand. Without requiring animals. From new partnerships and awards, this article takes a look at what happened in cell ag during the month of November.
November marked the inaugural Cultured Meat Symposium (CMS). CMS18 brought together a great line-up of speakers to provide insights on major themes relating to cell-based meats: its Impact, Future, and Flavour. I travelled to San Francisco, California, to attend the conference and it was an incredible time! The conference brought together different startups and players from the alternative protein space (and not just cell ag) to showcase their products for the future of food. The presentations provided detailed insights on a range of topics from venture capital to the latest in regulatory overviews. You can check out the highlights from the presentations and conference by taking a look at the CellAgri twitter account and the hashtag #CMS18.
On stage with Dr. Eric Schulze of Memphis Meats discussing regulation. Photo taken by Cultured Meat Symposium
IndieBio is a world-leading life science accelerator backed in San Francisco, California. Backed by SOS Ventures, IndieBio showcased its 7th class of startups at their Demo Day this November. For the last 4 months, these startups worked out of IndieBio’s lab space learning how to transform their science into viable businesses. Including IndieBio’s latest cellular agriculture company.
New Age Meats is a new startup that brings the best practices in automation and data science into cell ag to help scale production. At Demo Day, New Age Meats co-founder and CEO Brian Spears showcased how their technology differentiated their startup from the rest. In September, after just 2 months at IndieBio, New Age Meats produced the first cell-based pork sausage. And journalists loved it.
New Age Meats co-founder Brian Spears presents the future of food
IndieBio’s history with cellular agriculture goes further than New Age Meats and back to their first class of startups. I had the opportunity to speak to Arvind Gupta, Founder of IndieBio and General Partner of SOSV, to learn more about how IndieBio first got involved with cellular agriculture and their role in commercializing the field. You can check it out here!
Perfect Day Foods announced a new partnership with food ingredients company Adam Daniels Midland (ADM). Perfect Day is a startup that uses cellular agriculture to produce animal-free dairy proteins. According to Perfect Day, ADM’s expertise in scaling fermentation production made them the perfect partner to help Perfect Day get their first product to market.
Co-founder Ryan Pandya shared that their first product will be an animal-free whey protein. Whey protein has many uses, such as sports nutrition powder or in dairy products. Since it’s produced in an animal-free manner, Perfect Day’s whey protein could be suitable for people with plant-based diets. Consumers will have the first chance to see their whey protein as early as next year!
Along with the new partnership, Perfect Day co-founders Ryan Pandya and Perumal Gandhi were named in Forbes 30-Under-30 list of Social Entrepreneurs! The list commemorates innovative founders and startups, and it’s great to see that Perfect Day’s co-founders were recognized for their hard work. Make sure to check out Ryan's video interview too!
Perfect Day’s partnership with ADM is a promising way to bring their cell-cultured whey protein to market. The deal continues ADM’s work with companies in the alternative protein space. In October, ADM Ventures invested in cell ag startup Geltor’s $18.2 million Series A round to scale production of their animal-free collagen protein.
Quite notably, November was the first month in 2018 without a new investment. Up until November, there had been a new investment every month in cell ag. There could be many reasons for this, such as being in the process of raising a round and not planning to announce a closing until the new year.
The start of December marks the fourth annual International Conference on Cultured Meat in Maastricht, Netherlands. The conference will take place from December 2nd to 4th in Maastricht, Netherlands. It will be interesting to see how the conference will carry conversations and debates about cell ag into the new year.