Alternative proteins are increasingly becoming a staple of modern day diets. Consumer demand for ethical, sustainable and healthy sources of protein has fueled a growth in investment and innovation in meat and dairy substitutes. In the U.S. alone, sales of plant-based meats grew over 23%, exceeding $760 million in 2018. The global plant-based protein market is projected to reach $5 billion by 2020.
Meanwhile, startups are vying to get the first cell-cultured meat to market. Companies like Tyson and Cargill are investing in the technology that threatens to upend the $90 billion meat industry. Recently, the FDA and USDA announced a plan to regulate the nascent industry, which is poised to reach restaurants by the end of this year.
Join us to hear from Founders and CEOs of companies that are creating sustainable protein alternatives at our April Food+Tech Meetup. Founders will do a deep dive into their business models and technologies. We will also have networking with the community and lots of great food and drinks to sample from Ocean Hugger Foods, Sophie’s Kitchen, Nonfood, AKUA, Merci Mercado, We Are the New Farmers, Ulli’s Oil Mill, Brave, Kapka Foods and more.
6 – 7:30pm: Networking + Company Showcase
7:30 – 9pm: Presentations + Q&A
9pm – 9:30pm: Networking
Courtney Boyd Myers, Co-Founder & CEO, AKUA
Courtney Boyd Myers (aka CBM) is the co-founder and CEO of AKUA, a modern brand on a mission to become a household name for sustainable, seagreens-based foods, starting with its first product “Kelp Jerky” – a vegan, high-protein, high-fiber, keto-friendly snack that’s free of soy and gluten. She also serves as an advisor to GreenWave, the Global Community Director at Summit, and a partner at Unframed Ice Cream. In 2018, CBM was listed as one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business”.
Gavin McIntyre, Co-Founder & Director, Ecovative
Gavin co-founded Ecovative in 2007 to solve environmental challenges through biology. Ecovative helps companies use its mycelium-based technology to create scaffolding structures for plant-based and cell-based food applications, biodegradable packaging materials, animal-free leather and more. Gavin oversaw research and development during the company’s early product launches, now he leads business development, growing a network of international mycelium-material partners. Gavin is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where his studies in mechanical engineering and social design led to his passion for building home-spun bioreactors in which he has cultivated everything from oysters to orchids.
Brian Rudolph, Co-Founder & CEO, Banza
Brian Rudolph is the co-founder & CEO of Banza. Banza is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of nutritious comfort foods. Banza’s first product, a pasta made out of chickpeas, is the fastest selling pasta in both Whole Foods and Target. The pasta was named one of TIME’s 25 Best Inventions of the Year, and has been endorsed by the New York Times, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, and Good Morning America. Today, the product is available in over 11,000 stores. As a company, Banza has cultivated one of the most engaged social media followings in the industry. Brian received his BBA from Emory University and is an alumnus of the Venture for America fellowship. He is a member of the Inc 30 under 30 and Forbes 30 under 30 lists.
WeWork Food Labs is a workspace and global platform dedicated to startups impacting the future of food. It supports innovators across the food ecosystem, including companies working in AI, robotics, kitchen appliances, supply chain, ag tech, distribution software, consumer goods, hospitality and beyond.
Thanks to the Brooklyn Brewery for keeping us hydrated