The Dao Foods Incubator has revealed the six startups that have been accepted into its third cohort, furthering Dao’s plan to invest in 25-30 alt-protein companies within three years.
The chosen startups are as follows:
- Liven Proteins: Producing functional protein ingredients from industry sidestreams using precision fermentation. The startup’s first products are animal-free collagen and gelatin.
- Lohas Foods: A company producing hyper-realistic plant-based seafood using mycelium, novel plant fractions, and clean label additives.
- NewDay Farm: Developing affordable cultivated pork belly for the Chinese market.
- ProTi Food Tech: A startup using microalgae to make alt-protein food products.
- Saint Michael Foods: Creating plant-based foods and beverages made from buckwheat, which are already sold under the BUCK™ brand in North America.
- Zero Limit: A company producing healthy plant-based bakery products for modern Chinese consumers.
After announcing plans in October 2020 to lay the foundation for the Chinese plant-based industry, the Dao Foods Incubator revealed its first cohort the same month. These included a plant-based yogurt company and a brand making protein drinks for children. The incubator’s second cohort, announced last August, featured among others a cultivated lobster company and an upcycled protein powder startup.
“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, knowledge and adoption of new protein products among mainstream consumers in the country are still not established yet. The game changers will be those entrepreneurs who know how to conquer
the stomachs and minds of China’s shoppers. 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 impacts we are working toward in and from China.”