Startups, Accelerators & Incubators

Dao Foods Announces Second Incubator Cohort, Including Cell-Cultured Lobster Startup

The Dao Foods Incubator has announced its second cohort of Chinese and China-focused alt-protein startups. It is the latest stage of the organisation’s plan to invest in 30 alt-protein ventures over the next three years.

In an interview with vegconomist last year, Dao Foods co-founder Albert Tseng said the company’s mission was to “introduce exciting new plant-based and alternative protein products in China to reduce the consumer demand for animal agriculture.” He said he hoped the incubator would help to build up the Chinese alt-protein industry.

The five startups chosen for the second cohort are:

  • Shanghai Protein: Upcycling soybean pulp into sustainable protein powder.
  • ShiShen Food Technology: Developing medicinal plant-based foods inspired by traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Cultured Decadence: Developing cell-cultured lobster.
  • Geb Impact Technology: Making protein from fermented microalgae. In June, the company received a grant from the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Fund.
  • Blue Canopy: Producing protein for alt-meat products using traditional mycelium fermentation and precision-fermentation.
Dao Foods
Representatives from all five startups in the second cohort. © Dao Foods

The incubator’s first cohort was announced last October and included four startups — 70/30 Food Science and Technology, Fresh Foods, Mr.Raw, and WOW Foods. Dao Foods also invested in Chinese alt-meat brand Starfield last year.

“The alternative protein sector is still quite nascent in China,” said Tao Zhang, co-founder of Dao Foods. “Though momentum has been building up in this sector over the past two years, the mainstream consumer knowledge and adoption of new protein products are far from there yet. The game changers will be those entrepreneurs who know how to conquer the stomachs and minds of China’s mainstream consumers. We hope that an army of such entrepreneurs can be nurtured and developed via the Dao Foods Incubator to achieve the positive environmental and climate impact we aim to achieve in and from China.”

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