Innovation for a kinder future: 4 vegan start-ups join the plant-based food revolution
With heightened awareness around the concept of wellness, consumers are now seeking for healthier plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy. While more and more consumers and food businesses are opting for cruelty-free products, a gap in the availability of high-quality plant-based food products still exists.
Humane Society International/India (HSI/India) is a not-for-profit animal protection organisation which works tirelessly to end intensive confinement of farm animals and promote plant - based consumption, stop wildlife abuse, phase out the use of animals in laboratories for experimentation along with protecting and promoting the welfare of street animals through hands-on programs.
HSI/India has launched the third edition of the Humane Entrepreneurship Program (HEP) in India, in their continued efforts to promote and encourage entrepreneurs who are focused on creating animal-friendly products. The program incubates Indian entrepreneurs giving them access to global leaders as mentors and advisors.
Humane Entrepreneurship Program Season 3
The programme is a first-of-its-kind six month incubator for humane Indian startups. From weekly hands-on learning sessions to exclusive access to business mentors, selected entrepreneurs get to work with facilitators and mentors in crafting their business models and getting their ideas ready for market launch. Additionally, it will:
1. Provide strong mentoring from experts in the field
2. Strengthen and scale the business model of startups
3. Assist in networking and building strong ties within the alternative food protein ecosystem
4. Provide access to investors or VC who are looking to invest in promising companies
Here’s a sneak peek at the startups:
Founded by Hemali Gala Pasad and Samir Pasad, Nomou, plant-based gelato is a healthy and cruelty-free alternative to traditional dairy-based ice creams. Their rich and creamy gelato is made using minimal ingredients and is completely free of refined sugar and preservatives. Rich in vitamins and minerals, the gelato has a low glycaemic index and is created without any stabilisers, emulsifiers or additives. On a mission to get animals off the plate, Nomou supports the idea of conscious consumption and mindful eating.
Seaspire develops and produces India’s first plant-based whole-cut fish fillet. Founded by Shantanu Dhangar and Varun Gadodia, Seaspire uses cutting-edge technologies, digital tools and nutrition-packed plant-based ingredients to develop plant-based seafood alternatives. The rising seafood demands have resulted in overfishing, which points towards the extinction of certain marine species. The increasing level of toxins in the oceans is significantly leading to high levels of mercury in seafood which can cause long-term health hazards. Seaspire aims to solve the problem at hand by providing healthy and nutritional alternatives to seafood. Along with whole-cut fish fillets, the company also offers fish-less burger patties and fish-less nuggets.
Facilitating healthy, sustainable and cruelty-free living, Oatey provides plant-based dairy alternatives through their gourmet oat milk and millet milk. 100 percent natural and free from preservatives, Oatey is a vegan, hormone-free alternative for wellness enthusiasts, lactose intolerants, and conscious consumers. Every litre of Oatey consumed will save the planet 600 litres of water, 2,100 grams of CO2 emissions, and 90 square feet of land use, making it a product that is not only cruelty-free but also has the highest sustainability index. Ankush Jamadagni and Prashant Chauhan founded the startup in 2021.
Made From Plants
Founded by Raunak P and Nagarajan Sivaramakrishnan, Made From Plants aims to solve the affordable protein challenge by creating a sustainable and delectable plant-based dairy alternative range. The company offers oat drink beverages in classic as well as flavoured range along with fruit flavoured oat milk shakes. They are in the process of developing a high-protein cheese alternative made primarily from chickpeas. Made From Plants aspires to make veganism tasty and free from any compromise on price and convenience.
The first two editions of the Humane Entrepreneurship Program have seen startups make significant leaps through network connections and upskilling. The program has benefited them immensely - providing them connections with 700+ investors, 53+ industry experts and leaders, 185+ hours of intensive mentoring and coaching and cumulative funding offers of $30.5M. As the program continues to focus on promoting plant-based alternatives for food, the third edition’s cohort is gearing up to learn business skills from industry insiders on how to build and scale a robust business model and thereafter explore funding opportunities.