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GFIdeas Panel Gives Insights for Alternative Protein Startups during Covid-19 Economic Crisis
Covid-19 has upended the global economy, leaving many entrepreneurs and startups struggling to adapt to the rapidly evolving environment. That’s why GFI recently hosted a virtual panel discussion to lend key insights for plant-based entrepreneurs and startups to adjust their business strategies.

Topics discussed included securing supply chains, raising capital, communicating with investors, and pivoting go-to-market strategies. Check out the video below for the full recording, and join the GFIdeas community to attend our next online seminar.
Our most recent online panel discussion included:
  • Curt Albright, Venture Capitalist and founder of Clear Current Capital
  • Brian Spears, Founder and CEO of cultivated meat company New Age Meats
  • Caroline Bushell, GFI Associate Director of Corporate Engagement
  • Zak Weston, GFI Foodservice and Supply Chain Manager



These industry experts shared three key takeaways:

  1. Talk to experts in the industry. Founder and CEO of New Age Meats Brian Spears noted that there is now an opportunity for startups to hit pause and assess their strategy. Companies now have more opportunity to build, measure, learn, and check opportunity costs. He added that experts in the industry are now more available to take calls, and he encouraged businesses to take advantage of the increased access to expertise in this period and ask for feedback.

  2. Be transparent with investors and consumers. Curt Albright, founder of a venture capital firm specializing in innovative plant-based food companies, said, “Covid-19 is touching an unbelievable amount of people worldwide.” He advised that in this time of upheaval, people want to know where their food is coming from and noted that investors value open and honest communication.

  3. Pivot go-to-market strategies to reach consumers. The foodservice industry has been drastically impacted by Covid-19. GFI foodservice and supply chain manager Zak Weston said that normally “the value of foodservice as a go-to-market strategy for younger companies is really high, but as the foodservice industry hurts, that does present challenges for the alternative protein sector.” The shift to retail and alternative distribution channels present different opportunities for startups to reach consumers. GFI associate director of corporate engagement Caroline Bushnell added that plant-based startups should “use this time to build a direct-to-consumer platform and get really strong sales points that can build your story.”

Check out GFI’s resources for additional information and support for entrepreneurs, students, and researchers impacted by Covid-19.

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