Earlier this month, Memphis Meats stormed the food and tech worlds by announcing the world’s first "clean" (i.e., cultured) meatball—real beef, grown without animal slaughter. The same day, the company Gelzen revealed its plans to completely take over the gelatin industry with gelatin grown in fermenters—no animals required. Both companies receive support from the newly launched nonprofit organization The Good Food Institute and have secured investments from the VC firm New Crop Capital.
GFI and NCC address the problems of animal agriculture by supporting groundbreaking plant-based and clean meat, eggs, and dairy.
GFI focuses on dramatically extending the pipeline of scientists and entrepreneurs interested in working on plant-based and clean products via events at colleges and universities and contests at elite business and science schools. The organization also provides regulatory, marketing, business, and other support, including mentoring and business advice through its array of advisors, to start-up companies in the good food space. Finally, GFI focuses on increasing the amount of quality plant-based products in the marketplace by working with companies to expand their reach into more restaurants, grocery stores, and foodservice outlets.
NCC is a $25 million venture capital fund that invests exclusively in plant-based and clean alternatives to animal agriculture as well as technology platforms that make plant-based eating easier. NCC focuses on angel, seed, and Series A investments, with a goal of creating as robust a plant-based and clean marketplace as possible.
Since its inception last month, NCC has invested in clean meat company Memphis Meats, which was founded by two of the world’s foremost experts on clean meat; software/tech platform Lighter, a tech-based company that makes plant-based eating exponentially easier; plant-based meal delivery service The Purple Carrot, which enlisted former New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman as co-founder, partner, and chief innovation officer; plant-based dairy alternative company Lyrical Foods, which is the first and only company to create plant-based dairy alternatives using the exact same process as cow-based cheese production; clean collagen company Gelzen, a brand-new company that replaces gelatin with synthetic gelatin; up-and-coming plant-based meat company Beyond Meat, which currently offers superb plant-based chicken and beef options and is set to introduce a variety of exciting products in 2016; New Zealand’s first plant-based meat company, Sunfed Foods, which aims to introduce plant-based meats throughout New Zealand, Australia, and Asia; and Miyoko's Kitchen, which creates award-winning artisanal plant-based cheese products.
Bruce Friedrich, executive director of GFI, explains:
We are committed to driving the future of food. Consumers choose what to eat on the basis of taste, convenience, and price. That’s where The Good Food Institute and New Crop Capital come in. Both are laser-focused on creating plant-based and clean alternatives to conventional animal products that taste great, are available everywhere, and are cost competitive. Through market competition and food technology, we are speeding the global transition away from farming animals and toward much better plant-based and clean meat, dairy, and eggs.