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Nine startups to battle in Vevolution’s 2020 Pitch & Plant competition finals

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Vevolution’s Plant & Pitch 2020 has its finalists. These plant- and cell-based startups will now pitch to leading investors in a live event.

Plant-based platform Vevolution is gearing up for the finals of its first global Pitch & Plant competition tomorrow, where vegan and cell-based startups will pitch to sector-leadng investment companies.

Expanding globally for the first time, the Pitch & Plant investment competition has seen investors committing to a minimum of £20,000 for the 2020 pitching round. With eight investment firms on the panel, that meant a minimum total of £160,000 on offer for the finalists.

It includes investors who have previously funded companies like Eat Just, THIS, Impossible Foods, Heura and The Vurger Co. They include Michiel van Deursen from Capital V (also a partner in Vevolution), Simi Valecha Johnson and Cliff Johnson from Veg Capital, Blue Horizon’s Robert Boer, Dismatrix’s Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni and Miray Zaki, Ryan Bethencourt and Marilliis Holm from Sustainable Food Ventures, Willem Blom from Plantbase, Silla and Maarten Scheepens of S2 Capital, and Måns Ullerstam of Kale United.

Vevolution’s Pitch & Plant 2020 saw 350 companies participate. While it was meant to have eight finalists, it now has nine. “One investor group couldn’t decide on the day of judging the semi-final, so they ended up putting two forward,” explained Damien Clarkson, co-founder of Vevolution. Among those finalists are plant-based and cell-based companies from six different countries: Nigeria, India, Cyrpus, Sweden, UK and US.

VeggieVictory, founded by Hakeem Jimo, is based in Lagos, Nigeria. It’s the country’s first vegan restaurant, launched in 2013. India’s EVO Foods, founded by Kartik Dixit and Shraddha Bhansali, is a clean protein company creating one of Asia’s first plant-based liquid eggs.

Check out our review of the UK’s first vegan liquid egg, Crackd.

London-based Gato was created by Charlotte Dauzat and Kim Lamza, who make vegan cookies. Sweden’s entry was Hempster by Bettina Schütz and Paul Bradley, which makes plant-based dairy alternatives.

Established by George Vou, Louiza Sophocleous and Lygia Eleftheriou, The Might Kitchen is a Cypriot food tech company making plant-based poultry products. Kerem Erikci’s Biftek is introducing a better way to cultivate affordable meat, using a plant- and microorganism-based growth medium supplement to grow muscle stem cells.

MeliBio is a California-based company making vegan honey via microbial fermentation. Frozenly is from the UK, conceptualised by the makers of Fravocado, which is an online frozen vegan food delivery store.

Read our exclusive story on the story behind Frozenly.

“The sheer reach of Pitch & Plant has impressed us,” said Clarkson. “The goal of the new Vevolution platform is to build a global home for investors and startups. Nevertheless, the quality and breadth of startups applying was incredible.

“We had 36 finalists and the investors found it incredibly hard to come up with the final nine. This bodes incredibly well for the future of the plant-based and cell-based economy in 2021 and we are excited to help all these startups find great investors through our platform.”

Vevolution’s Pitch & Plant 2020 finals are being streamed live on Tuesday, December 15 from 5pm to 9pm GMT. The tickets are free and available here.

Anay Mridul
Anay is the Managing Editor of The Vegan Review. A journalism graduate from City, University of London, he was a barista for three years, and never shuts up about coffee. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford Comma. Originally from India, he went vegan this year, after attempting (and failing) Veganuary. He believes being environmentally conscious is a basic responsibility, and veganism is the best thing you can do to battle climate change. He gets lost at Whole Foods sometimes.