Russia is soon to have its first-ever plant-based incubator as the ProVeg Incubator partners with the newly-formed Association of Alternative Food Producers (AAFPP), a non-profit that was set up in Russia by Julia Marsel and Tim Ponomarev, two of the founders of the ProVeg Incubator alumni startup Greenwise.
Greenwise is one of Russia’s first plant-based meat companies. The startup graduated from the ProVeg Incubator in 2019 and is now selling products at over 2,000 retailers around the world. The incubator, based in the Moscow and Kaluga region, will be ready for its first cohort of startups this spring. Participating entrepreneurs will be either based in Russia or the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), or focused on targeting those markets.
AAFPP enthused on social media, “Today we officially announced a partnership between ProVeg Incubator and AAFPP! We were inspired by ProVeg International, an international non-profit organization aimed at changing the global food system by replacing traditional animal products with plant-based and cultivated alternatives.
Together, the organisations will support and accelerate food and food-tech companies that are developing alternatives to animal-based products. This includes, for example, startups developing plant-based food or ingredients, cultured meat and seafood, or related tech products such as 3D bioprinting.
Julia Marsel, Co-founder of the AAFPP and of Greenwise, said: “We started as a plant-based brand but, over the years, we’ve broadened the scope of our activities and now see ourselves as drivers of Russian food tech. In Russia, and other Russian-speaking regions, the alternative food market is still in its infancy and needs support. That’s why we decided to set up an organisation that, together with the ProVeg Incubator, will support startups and help to achieve our shared goal of a future food system that doesn’t rely on animal ingredients.”
Albrecht Wolfmeyer, Head of the ProVeg Incubator, commented: “We are excited to be developing the market for animal-free food innovations in the Russian-speaking countries, together with the AAFPP. The potential impact of this project is enormous, given that the target region has a population of around 240 million people. We will bring our experience and know-how to the table, having already built a pioneering food incubator, and look forward to mentoring startup founders and connecting them to partners from Germany and beyond.”