SWITZERLAND- Six start-ups on the frontline of pet care innovation have been selected by Purina’s unleashed Accelerator Program to receive mentorship CHF 50,000 funding to grow their business over the next six months.

Unleashed sprung from the Nestlé R&D Accelerator which was established to help rapidly translate innovative ideas and concepts into new products and services across business categories, by providing scientists, students and startups with access to Nestlé R&D expertise and infrastructure.

“Start-ups will be evaluated on the relevance of their idea, and the scalability and sustainability of their business model,” explained Sergej Pracevic, Business Executive Officer, Nestlé Purina in the MENA region.

Ideal applicants are entrepreneurs and small businesses that are using technology to help address global challenges in sustainability, particularly those deploying regenerative agriculture, zero waste systems, and sustainable pet food innovations such as alternative proteins, and upcycled ingredients.

Winners were chosen from over 150 applicants across 28 countries, recognized for driving some of the most innovative ideas in pet care. 

2022’s winning cohort includes: eniferBio, Finland; MOA Foodtech, Spain; knok, Portugal; Kibus, Spain; Feragen, Austria; and Vetwork, Egypt.

Kim Bill, Head of the Purina Accelerator Lab said: “We are delighted to welcome such an extraordinary group of innovators into the 2022 cohort. Just like Purina, these businesses are driven to innovate and challenge the industry through technology and data-driven solutions.”

Of the six companies selected, two are focused on introducing alternative proteins to pet diets to create new, sustainable recipes: eniferBio and MOA foodtech.

eniferBio is a Finnish biotech company that is using fungi fermentation to produce future-proof protein.

Its bioreactors can convert a wide variety of by-products from sectors such as the food industry into a sustainable protein ingredient for use in diverse applications.

The Finnish biotech company is working with Purina to build product quality and target higher value markets. 

MOA foodtech, on the other hand, combines biotechnology and artificial intelligence to transform by-products of the agri-food industry into high value and sustainable ingredients.

The foodtech is able to generate sustainable alternative proteins for pet foods, while also exploring new agri-food by-products as avenues for further products and ingredients.

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