In 1932, Winston Churchill wrote against “the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing,” and saw opportunity in “growing these parts separately under a suitable medium.” Churchill would be shocked to learn that today, according to the Good Food Institute, there are at least 70 companies working to create cultivated meat—that is, real meat but without the animal.
We are delighted to announce that a pioneer in cultivated meat, Dr. Uma Valeti, founder and CEO of UPSIDE Foods, will be speaking at the SOSV Climate Tech Summit on October 20-21. UPSIDE (formerly known as Memphis Meats) produced the world’s first cultured beef meatball in 2016 and the first cultured chicken and duck in 2017.
Our fireside chat with Dr. Valeti will explore the challenges associated with scaling production of cultivated meat, as well as how UPSIDE sees the regulatory response to the evolution of cell-cultured proteins. We will also ask Dr. Valeti how he views the increasingly competitive landscape for cultivated proteins and, of course, the question on all of our minds: When can we start enjoying UPSIDE’s products?
UPSIDE Foods, which graduated from SOSV’s IndieBio program in 2015 and raised $200 million from investors including Softbank Vision Fund and Temasek Holdings, recently announced a partnership with Chef Dominique Crenn, creator and co-owner of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Atelier Crenn in San Francisco. Chef Crenn will help UPSIDE with recipe development and intends to serve cultivated chicken at her award-winning restaurant as soon as the product passes regulatory approval.
From a climate tech perspective, the hope is that the cultivated proteins that UPSIDE has developed will eventually help reduce live animal production, which is a major contributor to climate change, and the cruelty of animal slaughter.
A cardiologist by training, Dr. Valeti spent a decade researching the potential of cultivated meat. He was inspired by the opportunity to redefine our food system for good and founded UPSIDE Foods to turn this vision into a reality. He will share how his company is planning to offer products that both celebrate the pleasures of the table and are practically indistinguishable from the “old way.”