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Friday, February 3, 2023

Indian Alt-Protein Startup Proeon Foods Selected for MassChallenge Accelerator Program

Indian plant-based protein startup Proeon Foods has been selected by MassChallenge Switzerland for its 2021 Accelerator Program. The company is one of the 97 early-stage startups from across the globe selected after rigorous vetting by a community of more than 220 expert judges. These companies represent the top 10% of applications from around the world.

Proeon specialises in plant protein ingredients that are used in the manufacturing of plant-based meat, plant-based milk and other dairy products, plant based egg-replacement and protein supplements. Making the announcement, Ashish Korde, Co-founder at Proeon Foods, said, “Achieving milestones like these in such trying times makes us hopeful for a brighter future. We are grateful for being part of the global cohort of Sustainable Food Systems track at MassChallenge Switzerland 2021.”

Echoing Korde’s views, Kevin Parekh, the other co-founder of the company, expressed, “It is indeed a moment of excitement for us as we take Proeon Foods to newer avenues of growth. Looking forward to exciting times of immense learning, collaborations and being a part of global changemakers of the sustainable food systems community at MassChallenge Switzerland 2021.”

Proeon is the only Indian company out of 30 in the ‘Sustainable Food Systems Track’ of MassChallenge. This year, the selected 97 startups come from 31 countries spanning over four continents.

Since 2016, MassChallenge Switzerland, a part of MassChallenge’s global network of innovators, has been helping startups across Europe grow their businesses, with 396 alumni raising $497M in funding. In 2020, it accelerated 96 early-stage startups, taking no equity or fees and connected them to MassChallenge’s corporate partners and broad group of expert mentors.

Commenting on the new development, Matt Lashmar, Managing Director of MassChallenge Switzerland, said, “I’m pleased to welcome this outstanding group of startups to the 2021 program. They out-competed over 1,000 startups to get selected and represent the top 10% of applicants. An interesting trend is that the vast majority of this year’s cohort are purpose driven startups whose ideas have huge potential to add value to the world-at-large. I’m looking forward to connecting them to our partners and mentors, so that together the MassChallenge community can help them grow their businesses and add some value back to society”.

The cohort composition is mostly agnostic – being made up of 67 startups from many different industries. Additionally, there is a special track of 30 startups that make up Sustainable Food Systems track. Of the total, 31% are sustainable food systems, and will join the special Sustainable Food Systems track; 20% are general, retail, and consumer goods; 14% are high tech; 21% are healthcare and life sciences; 10% are clean tech and energy; while the remaining 4% are social impact.

Other notable companies that have made it to the sustainable foods track are Sophie’s BioNutrients (Singapore), FairFlavor (Hong Kong), Fybraworks Foods (United States), Paragon Pure (United States), ROHKRAFT green GmbH (Austria), The Dairy Dodger Ltd  (United Kingdom), Umami Meats (Singapore), Umiami (France), amongst others.

During the four months of acceleration, the selected 97 startups will be able to engage with industry experts, corporates and investors, while receiving world-class mentoring, tailored programming, free co-working space and numerous key networking opportunities. The accelerator program will culminate on October 28th at the MassChallenge Switzerland Awards Ceremony, when the best startups will be rewarded with up to CHF 1 million in zero-equity prize money, as well as several other in-kind prizes.

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