With the growing demand from the population to eat more and more sustainably, fungi-based meat is one of the new alternatives being pursued by many companies, with the aim of mimicking the taste and texture of real meat.
Innomy, an Argentinan-based startup located in Spain, is using fungal tissue cultures combined with precision fermentation technology to create complex structures that replicate the fibrous and tender consistency of meat. Created in laboratories, fungi-based meat relies on the mycelium, which is a network of fine filaments that are similar to the muscles of animals. The company modifies the shape, color, and flavor of the filamentous structures in mycelial matrices to make products that taste like meat.
During our interview with Francisco Kuhar, CSO & Technology Partner of Innomy, whose company participated in our Accelerator Program in 2020, he explained how the program helped the company grow, the reasons they chose the fungi-based meat to create their product, and the best advice they received from our CEO, Jose Luis Cabañero. Read on to learn more about Innomy’s experience during the Eatable Adventures Accelerator Program.
What stage was Innomy at when you joined the Eatable Adventures Acceleration program? Can you tell us about the growth Innomy has had since participating in our acceleration program?
When Innomy joined the Eatable Adventures Acceleration program: ‘Spain Food Tech’, the development stage was at an advanced stage, but the team’s configuration as a startup was incipient and a lot of organizational work was needed to be able to expose itself to investors and the public. Working with CNTA in the framework of this program was a huge help, as this institution became a valuable partner along the way. The experience we gained from Eatable Adventures enabled us to develop a credible business proposal, as well as to organize the team, understand the language of communication, and present ourselves to investors. In addition, the contacts provided by the Program and the appearances at various events allowed us to increase our reach and access to financing and production proposals.
What has the Spanish foodtech ecosystem offered you to establish your company in Spain?
In particular, we felt very supported by the Basque ecosystem. Institutions such as Beaz, Talent, and the BIC of this community welcomed us and helped us in a very active way. On the other hand, Basque research institutions and industry have been very supportive and are allowing us to grow.
What are the advantages and benefits of using mycelium compared to other protein alternative raw materials on the market today?
The mycelium contains high-quality protein in terms of its amino acid composition, but also in the supply of vitamins, Beta-glucans, ergosterol, and other compounds whose health benefits include the maintenance of a competent immune system, lower cholesterol levels, and the availability of nutrients without the need for artificial additives.
What is the most valuable piece of advice José Luis has given you in our Acceleration Program?
José Luis taught us that talking with a product on the table is much more effective than communicating ideas or a project. Even if it needs to be improved, the product shows an anchor with the reality that is often valued in the European entrepreneurial environment. Our speech was crystallized into a solid demonstrable development, which changed the way investors or other partners listened to us.