By John Reynolds on Monday 29 November 2021
Many experts believe the US could be the next market to approve cell-based alternatives and several companies are gearing up to get their meat alternatives approved in the US. But the founder of Big Idea Ventures think China could be next.
China could be one of the next markets to approve cultivated meat, according to the founder of a New York-based venture capital firm operating in the alternative protein space.
Big Idea Ventures, founded in 2018, is a New York-based venture capital firm that invests in early and growth-stage firms operating in plant-based foods, ingredients, food technologies and the alternative protein sectors.
Asked which market would follow Singapore and be the next to approve a cell-based meat alternative, Andrew Ive, founder of Big Idea Ventures, said: “I have got a feeling that China is going to jump in on this, really fast, really soon.
"And China had its five-year plan published around about nine months to a year ago. And gene therapy and cell based was one of their key areas of focus for the next five years. And they have got a real concern about protein availability for their population."
Many experts believe the US could be the next market to approve cell-based alternatives and several companies are gearing up to get their meat alternatives approved in the US.
But observers say that the rapidly growing number of food firms in the cultivated space in China, coupled with imminent product launches, could speed up the regulatory process in China.
“If I were a betting man I would suggest China would be jumping in on this space pretty heavily, pretty quickly," Ive added.
Ive made the comments following Big Idea Venture announcing details of the firms picked to join its $50m New Protein Fund.
In total, 17 FoodTech firms have been chosen to be part of the fund which invests in firms developing sustainable alternative protein solutions.
The startups chosen include firms operating across cellular agriculture, plant-based foods and microbial fermentation.
“Innovation in alternative proteins continues to advance globally helping to solve big challenges with big ideas," Ive said.
"The entrepreneurs we support have real solutions to climate and food challenges, Big Idea Ventures is investing in the best companies around the world, and these developments could not arrive at a more critical moment for us all.”
Investments were made through the firm’s New York, Singapore and Paris offices.
“This year, we’re seeing smart solutions to improve current alternatives and expedite their time to market. Each company in our New York programme is addressing at least one barrier to mass-market commercialisation, from price and scalability to performance and nutritional content," said Mia Medicus, programme director, Big Idea Ventures New York.
“Singapore is at the forefront for regulatory approvals and commercialisation of cell-based meats and alternative protein. Our cohort is leading with cutting-edge innovations from indulgent foods, cultivated exotic meat and surimi and a multitude of fermentation solutions to produce sustainable protein,' said doctor Dalal AlGhawas, programme director, Big Idea Ventures Singapore
“The alternative protein industry is growing rapidly in Europe, and we were impressed by the number of quality applicants for Big Idea Ventures first cohort in Paris. From plant-based innovators to novel fatty acid and cell-based technologies, the Paris cohort is a great example of the food innovation coming from Europe, said Henrietta Hearth, programme director, Big Idea Ventures, Paris.