The New Protein Fund by Big Idea Ventures will accelerate up to 100 plant-based and cell-based companies globally
Investment fund illusttration

Big Idea Ventures has secured heavy-weight investors to its New Protein Fund. Equipment manufacturer Bühler Group, Tyson Ventures, the investment arm of Tyson Foods, and Temasek, a Singaporean sovereign wealth fund, have joined the initiative.

The New Protein Fund has been set up to invest in and accelerate up to 100 plant-based and cell-based companies globally.

Founded by Andrew Ive, Big Idea Ventures operates branches in the US and Asia. The company runs four accelerator programmes annually from its offices in New York and Singapore.

“We are glad to have Bühler join Tyson Ventures, Temasek and our other strategic investors in the Big Idea Ventures’ New Protein Fund,” said Ive. “Together we can support the growth of the new generation of leading plant-based companies in North America, Asia and ultimately, the planet.”

Ive said Bühler and Big Idea Ventures will work together to build great companies responding to consumer demands for great-tasting food.

Bühler is a family-owned, 160-year-old company, supplying processing solutions globally and playing a critical role in global food value chains. The company is headquartered in Uzwil, Switzerland.

“Providing safe, nutritious, pleasurable and affordable food to a population of 10 billion people by 2050 and doing that within the planetary boundaries is a formidable challenge,” commented Ian Roberts, chief technology officer at Bühler.

Bühler’s manufacturing equipment plays a key role in serving the fast-growing plant-based meat and dairy replacements sector, with value chain coverage from primary processing of pulses, peas and lentils, soy, oats, quinoa and, as well as traditional grains.

Roberts added: “Academics, start-ups and established companies need to come together to innovate and find more sustainable ways to produce food. This is why we are partnering with Big Idea Ventures: to accelerate the journey for promising start-ups, to reinforce partnerships and start-up ecosystems in Singapore and the US, and to do this with a clear focus on creating a more sustainable food supply for the future.”

Sustainable manufacturing

For Bühler, partnering with Big Idea Ventures comes at a time the group is opening Food Application Center in Minneapolis.

Set to open on Friday this week, the new Food Application Center has been created to provide a platform for developing new ways to transform peas, beans, corn, pulses, oats, ancient grains, and many other crops into new food solutions such as flours, snacks, pasta, cereals. The technology also has applications in a myriad of extruded products, including plant-based meat analogues.

Bühler’s joint facility with ingredients manufacturer Givaudan in Singapore adds to the mix. The site focuses on sustainable protein-based products and provides a one-stop-shop for development and first scale-up of new products for market tests.

Date published: 16 June 2020

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