We tend to focus on the fact that in the year 2050 we will have to feed 10 billion human beings on this planet but we won’t be the only species we have to worry about. We are currently witnessing an unprecedented loss of biodiversity as climate change makes this planet inhospitable for all species. We need to find a way to feed not just ourselves but also ensure other species thrive on Earth without being too extractive from nature. It is clear that biotech is going to be key to this transformation, and will rule the world just as software did for the last few decades. And there are a few people building the future of food at the vanguard of this development.
Our guest this week is one of the most prolific investors, and early stage funders of numerous biotech companies in the alternative protein space. Ryan Bethencourt is the CEO of Wild Earth that makes pet food from fermentation-based protein. He is also a partner at Babel Ventures, an early stage consumer biotech venture capital fund. As the co-founder, and CEO of incubators, and seed funds like IndieBio (an SOS Ventures backed accelerator, and early stage seed fund), Berkeley Bio Labs, a startup incubator, and sector builder, as well as the head of life sciences at the XPRIZE foundation, Ryan has funded well over a 100 companies. The list includes notable alternative protein companies like Shiok Meats, Memphis Meats, New Wave Foods, Clara Foods, Finless Foods as well as Mumbai’s plant-based egg company, Evo Foods. Ryan’s aim overlaps with ours at GFI India - we want to positively impact the lives of billions of people, and animals!
Why Wild Earth Cofounder Ryan Bethencourt Is Applying The Science Of 'Vegan Biohacking' To Pet Food, Forbes.
Eat For The Planet #71 - Ryan Bethencourt: Reinventing Pet Food and Building the Post-Animal Bio Economy, EFTP.
This biotech startup is growing protein-rich vegan pet food in a lab, FastCompany
Shiok Meats takes the cultured meat revolution to the seafood aisle with plans for cultured shrimp, TechCrunch.
Tour the San Francisco lab that’s growing meat in a petri dish, CNBC
A foodtech EVO-lution: this startup is set to disrupt India’s plant-based food market with its ‘clean’ egg substitute, YourStory
For Further Reading:
Ryan Bethencourt’s writing on Medium.
Ryan’s videos on the Singularity University page.
What does it take to create a conducive environment for scale-up of new protein companies? Future of Protein Summit, YouTube Channel.
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