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ProVeg and Beyond Animal team up for a plant-based investment conference

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New Food Invest is an investment conference bringing together plant- and cell-based startups, investors and key stakeholders.

Food awareness organisation ProVeg and investment networking platform Beyond Animal have collaborated to launch New Food Invest, a conference for plant-based investment.

The virtual event will be held on March 18 in a three-in-one format, catering to three different time zones in one day. It will begin with the Asian and Australian markets, then move to the European and Middle Eastern area, and finish with a look at North and South America.

Charlotte Baker from ProVeg said: “Each region will have dedicated specialists and speakers and provide insights about the global food industry perspective on an international level, and also specifically for the three dedicated markets. In addition, we have high-level panel discussions prepared which include Q&A sessions for the audience to engage as well.”

The two organisations are billing it as the world’s first conference focusing exclusively on bringing together plant- and cell-based startups, investors and key stakeholders to promote and accelerate future food solutions.

Claire Smith, co-founder of Beyond Animal, said the conference came into being after conversations with ProVeg about Beyond Animal’s FinTech platform, which connects investors with animal-free businesses and accelerate the growth of the vegan economy. “Unlike other conferences in the vegan and food tech area, we wanted this to be 100% about investment and provide a glimpse of the amazing opportunities in this area as well as understanding how investing in the future of food fits into broader environmental, social and corporate governance and impact investing themes,” she told The Vegan Review.

“Beyond Animal and ProVeg International share a common vision of transforming the food system as a multi-problem solution,” said Baker. “Both organisations agree that investment plays a key role in transforming the market and that now is the time to support and accelerate the exciting dynamics and momentum.”

Beyond Animal’s ability to run the event combined with ProVeg’s increasing encouragement towards investments to put up the conference. As a result the pandemic, it’s gone virtual like every other event. But the organisers have used that to their advantage, urging visitors to look at the positives, which include a safe and crisis-proof event, saving travel expenses and reducing carbon emissions.

“Whereas we all miss physical events, this additional flexibility allows for a much wider range of speakers and participants,” said Smith. The lineup includes some big names in the alt-protein space. EAT Just’s Josh Tetrick and Josh Balk, KindEarth.Tech’s Ira van Eelen, Vegan Business Media’s Katrina Fox, Eat the Change’s Seth Goldman and VBites’s Heather Mills are among the advisory board.

Read our interview with KindEarth.Tech founder and cell-based heir Ira van Eelen.

Smith believes that while there’s a will for all sides of the industry to propel it forward, there’s friction at every point, “whether it be finding ways to connect with the right experts or business partners, identifying channels for ingredients, manufacturing or distribution, or steering the process of fundraising towards a successful conclusion”.

“Startups will have the chance to pitch their alternative protein idea or brand to pre-qualified investors for funding. They can sign up for the official NFI Startup Package and participate in the dedicated ‘power start-up pitches’ session, where they have the opportunity to meet their future investor,” said Baker.

With ProVeg, Beyond Animal wants to highlight the investment opportunities offered by alternative proteins, “show how and why they fit into investors’ portfolios and present some live examples of investable companies that are playing a role in the transition away from the use of animals”.

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 in 2020, 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.