· FoodTech startups will benefit from funding of up to US$1million; plus network, mentoring, growth support

· Brinc expands into the fast-growing sustainability market in South America

Hong Kong/São Paulo: Global venture accelerator Brinc is proud to announce the launch of its first accelerator program in Latin America. The program will be established in São Paulo, Brazil, to identify, invest, and support emerging FoodTech start-ups in the country’s fast-growing sustainable-food market. The Brazil Food Technology Accelerator Program opens its applications today [APPLY HERE] for Brazil-based startups as well as international companies looking to enter the region.

Brinc’s main partners in this ground-breaking initiative are Lever VC, a long-time collaborator and early investor in Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, JUST, and other category leaders; as well as Grupo Baobá, a Brazilian family office actively investing in startups focused on climate change mitigation and food innovation. Investment partners attached to the program include Lever VC, Brazil-based Lifely VC and Outcast Ventures, as well as Angel Ventures (headquartered in Mexico City, with multiple locations across LATAM). Brinc will also be partnering with Bioma Food Hub, a co-working space and food community where the accelerator program will be run out of as well as corporate innovation consultancy, Food Ventures, to support community engagement and ecosystem development.

The new Food Technology Accelerator Program will identify and foster FoodTech innovation across high-growth areas including: Additives for Plant-Based Productions, Alternative Protein, Cellular Agriculture, Farm to Table, Food Safety, Novel Ingredients, Precision Fermentation, AgriTech and Supply Chain/Waste Management.

Innovative startups accepted into the three-month acceleration will receive investment of US$50,000–$1million (along with follow-up funding opportunities post program); as well as global mentorship, network connections and technical support. Mature international startups that endeavor to enter the Brazilian market are also welcome to apply, to leverage the support offered through the program to access local customers.

Market Watch

Brinc identifies Latin America, and especially Brazil, as a future global leader in the food-technology space. The Good Food Institute (GFI) says Brazil’s plant-based protein market has grown exponentially in recent years, making it the world’s fifth-most important market in healthy foods, with a yearly growth rate of 20% (against a global average of 8%). Furthermore, GlobalData researchers found that a third of Brazilians are buying less meat, with 14% consuming more alternative proteins; while a recent DuPont survey found that 62% of Brazilians are interested in plant-based foods.

Parallel to this, and highly ironically, Brazil is a global leader in the animal agriculture industry. According to GFI, more than 70% of the deforestation of the Amazon — the world’s largest rainforest — can be attributed to clearing land to grow animal feed and raise cattle, making the country one of the top global emitters of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Sadly, although the Amazon and its “lungs of the Earth” are a vital antagonist to climate change, due to the vast amount of carbon dioxide its plant life absorbs and stores, it is also fighting its own year-on-year destruction with devastating fires resulting from deforestation and fuelled by felled trees serving as tinder.

Program and Partner Commentary

Manav Gupta, Founder and CEO of Brinc, said: “The launch of this program in Brazil is Brinc’s first step towards greater participation in the LATAM venture ecosystem. We are committed to contributing to the growth and success of an already burgeoning FoodTech movement and are excited about the early partnerships in place to kick this off. We look forward to being a contributor and accelerator for a growing volume of companies in Brazil that are focused on areas of critical importance and sustainability.”

Nick Cooney, General Partner of Lever VC, said: “This is our second collaboration with Brinc, following our China Alternative Protein Program. We’re thrilled to be able to extend our reach and support to great entrepreneurs in emerging markets. We’ve already made two investments in Brazil over the past year and are excited to use this program as a vehicle to scale our portfolio of LATAM investments.”

Fernando Scodro, Venture Director of Grupo Baobá, said: “We’re excited to partner with Brinc in Brazil and Latin America’s first global FoodTech Accelerator Program. Grupo Baobá is looking forward to leveraging our expertise in building successful food companies like Grupo Mabel to help startups achieve their full potential. We are also keen to discover more sustainable ways to feed the planet without causing too much damage to the environment. Brazil and Latin America are uniquely positioned in this aspect, given the competitive advantage the region enjoys in food production. I cannot wait to bring this project to life!”

Program Overview

The new Brazil Food Technology Accelerator Program will help startups avoid common challenges and pitfalls while propelling them to their next level of development. Three Core Program Pillars will play a pivotal role in establishing a solid foundation for selected startups:

1) Technical Development: Access to co-packers, manufacturers and R&D facilities through local vendors and partners in the region

2) Commercialization: Access to traditional food and beverage corporations seeking to engage with startups, plus access to traditional and online distribution channels

3) Fundraising: Access to Brinc’s network of regional and international investors.

After graduation from the program, startups will continue to receive life-long support from Brinc’s portfolio management team in the areas of fundraising and introductions to commercial partners. Most importantly, they will become members of Brinc’s global family of founders, unlocking a world of opportunities for collaboration and mentorship.

Additionally, Brinc Brazil is welcoming collaboration with key stakeholders of Brazil’s AgriFood ecosystem. Interested parties — such as Accelerator Investment Partners, Food Corporations and R&D/Manufacturing Partners — are invited to connect with the Brinc Team.

About Brinc

Headquartered in Hong Kong, Brinc is one of the world’s leading global venture accelerators, operating 17 comprehensive multidisciplinary accelerator programs in seven countries. Brinc has a portfolio of over 200 companies with 160+ investments made through its accelerator programs supporting founders from over 38 countries.

This is Brinc’s third accelerator program focused on AgriFood. From its flagship food technology accelerator program located in Hong Kong, Brinc launched its Alternative Protein Accelerator based in Shanghai and Guangzhou. A fourth AgriFood program located in Singapore will be announced in early 2022.

Brinc has invested in 50+ AgriFood startups to date including alternative protein, cellular agriculture, and other upstream technologies. Notable startups accelerated by Brinc include:

· Avant Meats (Hong Kong), China’s first biotech company working on large-scale cell cultivation at an economically viable cost in an environmentally sustainable way, producing various meat and animal protein products. Avant recently closed a US$3.1M seed round from prominent regional and international investors to commercialise their cultivated fish in 2021.

· Phuture Foods (Malaysia & Singapore), have developed a plant-based pork alternative for the Asian consumer market. Creating a complete amino acid profile, the plant-based pork can be prepared in a different ways — from minced, to a patty, or in chunks.

· CellX (China), is a cellular agriculture company. They are committed to providing Chinese consumers with a sustainable source of animal protein by developing advanced cell culture technology using cutting-edge tissue engineering technology, and skipping animals as carriers.

· Exponential Foods (Mexico), offers all-natural, shelf-stable, plant-based meat products for the Mexican and U.S markets through their brand, Asanté. The brand has developed a range of 100% vegan versions of traditional Mexican foods and dishes, using plant-based and mycelium meat, and all in recyclable packaging.

Learn more at www.brinc.io and Brinc’s commitment to developing sustainable systems.

About Lever VC

Lever VC is a venture capital fund, based in Hong Kong and the US, investing in early-stage alternative protein companies around the world. It is the first traditional VC fund focused exclusively on the global alternative protein sector, with a growing portfolio of 65+ companies across Asia, Europe and North America.

Lever VC ‘s FUND I is an $80 million USD venture capital fund backed by some of the world’s leading food and beverage corporations, which will invest globally in the alternative protein category.

Learn more at https://www.leverVC.com.

About Grupo Baobá

Grupo Baobá was established in 2011 after the sale of Grupo Mabel to PepsiCo. Grupo Mabel was founded in 1953 in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil and grew to be the country’s second largest cookie and confectionery producer at the time of its sale. Since then, the family has continued to support Brazil’s food industry by holding stakes in companies ranging from the milling industry to dairy and confectionery. Grupo Baoba’s has also been active in the cellular agriculture and plant-based protein markets investing directly in companies as well as via specialised funds. This partnership with BRINC comes to expand the firm’s portfolio into the earliest stages of venture with the intention of creating a robust Brazilian ecosystem in an industry that is most strategic to the country.

Press Contacts

Brinc global contact: press@brinc.io