May 8, 2023
From Vegconomist

Following three successful US, Europe, and Asia programs, four industry giants, Bühler, Cargill, Givaudan, and Puris, are launching Scale It Up! US 2023

The challenge seeks to identify and support innovative startups working on plant-based proteins in North America, including Canada, the United States of America, Mexico, and Latin America, down to Panama.

The program aims to support plant-based protein startups to scale and commercialize their projects without taking any IP or equity. The selected groups will benefit from mentorship, funding, and access to a network of experts in the industry. 

Previous participants include Nowadays, a San Franciso-based plant-based meat company; MOA Foodtech, a Spanish startup converting waste and by-products from the agri-food industry into next-gen protein; and Meatless Kingdoman Indonesian startup making alt-meat products from mushrooms.

Meatless Kingdom
© Meatless Kingdom

Plant-based protein space

The challenge is open to all startups working in the plant-based protein space. Their project must include:

  • New protein source for food ingredients or consumer products
  • A new opportunity along the food value chain  
  • A solution that mimics consumer’s experience of meat and dairy 
  • A solution that has a unique taste profile 
  • Project with a first version of a solution and in a scalable quantity
  • Committed to sustainability and better use of the planet’s resources

Nowadays Nuggets

For a scalable product

Among the submissions, fifteen startups will be invited to present their projects in a pitch session. Based on this outcome, five projects will be selected to visit the partner facilities, develop a POC and pitch to a partner in November 2023.   

Participating teams must be ready to travel to partner facilities during July-November 2023 (expenses will be covered).  

“Taking the big step from a first version to a scalable product ready to be launched is difficult. The Scale It Up! innovation challenge helps your start-up to accelerate and scale your project, product, or solution”, says Scale It Up! on its website.

To submit projects, startups can visit the Scale It Up! website and apply before the 17th of May, 2023.