We recently wrapped our 2022 Everyday Economy Accelerator program. To celebrate this cohort’s graduation, we will be spotlighting each team on the NextView blog over the course of the next few weeks.
These interviews were conducted halfway through the 12-week program, and they provide a human snapshot into the minds of our driven, dedicated, determined accelerator founders. Real people, building real companies, which are really redesigning the Everyday Economy. So without further ado, let’s jump right in and meet Alex and Anita, shall we?
Company: Balletic Foods
“Balletic’s fermentation technology offers the promise of the best of both worlds: all of the benefits of consuming true animal protein without the environmental and ethical challenges of eating meat.” – David Beisel
Get to know the business
Rachel Hodes (RH): What problem exists in the market that your business is trying to solve?
Anita Broellochs (AB): Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are vital for functions such as protein synthesis, tissue repair and nutrient absorption. There are nine essential amino acids, which your body cannot produce. Therefore, you must obtain these essential amino acids through your diet. Unlike plant proteins, animal proteins are more digestible and complete, as they contain all of the essential amino acids needed by the human body in the right quantities. However, traditional animal protein sources are unsustainable, unethical, and contain unhealthy components. Alternative plant-based proteins are available on the market. However, plant proteins are incomplete sources as they lack one or more of the essential amino acids that the human body needs to function at its highest capacity.
RH: How is your company planning to solve this problem?
AB: Balletic is creating meat protein ingredients through fermentation. Meat proteins ensure an optimized balance of amino acids in foods and optimal support for muscle growth and recovery. The production process is based on microbial fermentation which allows us to create proteins identical to those found in meat, being highly nutritious for the human body. Our technology platform does not require the animal itself at any stage, is more sustainable, ethical, and the negative side effects of traditional animal agriculture are eliminated.
RH: Who are your customers?
AB: We are creating an highly optimized protein ingredient that can be used for various food applications and there are opportunities in multiple markets including sports nutrition, longevity wellness, protein ingredients, meal replacements, protein supplements, alternative protein as well as future opportunities in military food, medical food, and space nutrition sectors.
RH: And last but not least, why should the world care about this problem and how you’re solving it? Feel free to speak to the potential economic impacts, environmental impacts, social/political impacts, etc.
AB: The global meat market could be worth as much as $2.7T by 2040. To meet this growing demand, the industry must provide alternatives to the traditionally sourced animal meat. By creating animal meat protein through fermentation, we can get one step closer to solving the global food challenge and provide nutritious and sustainable high-protein foods to the masses.
Get to know the founders
RH: Founders, please introduce yourselves.
AB: Balletic was founded by Anita Broellochs, who is a passionate and mission-driven entrepreneur, in June of 2021. Anita has a background in bioprocess engineering and has been actively involved with the alternative protein space since 2017. She has previously co-founded the SVCMS group, an organization hosting the Cultured Meat Symposium and the Cultured Meat and Future Food Show. Before starting Balletic Foods, Anita was the Director of Outreach at a California-based startup building software for scientists and lab optimization.
Anita grew up on a farm in the south of Germany and is now living in Northern California, where Balletic is located.
RH: What’s your favorite thing about being an early-stage founder? And your least?
AB: Favorite thing: Working on such an important issue and making a difference in the world
AB: Least: Time flies when you’re working hard (and having fun!)
RH: What show are you watching right now/what book are you reading right now? Would you recommend it?
AB: I am currently reading Monkey Management by Jan Roy Edlund. I would recommend the book as it is super interesting and talks about how to avoid unnecessary “monkeys” (problems/tasks). When someone sees you in the hallway and says “do you have a second?” and you really don’t have time to talk to that person but answer “I will take a look at it later”, their “monkey” crawled onto your shoulder within a matter of seconds and your work will keep piling up because now their problem/ task is yours.
RH: What are you hoping to learn/get out of your time in the NextView Everyday Economy Accelerator?
AB: I have enjoyed learning about many different aspects of running a successful startup. Exchanging thoughts and having others to bounce ideas off of is extremely helpful and strengthens our confidence as we continue to grow the business to the next level. The NextView team and other teams participating in the accelerator are a great resource as we find product market fit and prepare for our seed round in fall of 2022.
RH: Close your eyes and imagine where your business will be in five years. What’s the same and what’s different?
AB: Five years from now, we’ll be aiming towards the same overall goal but the company will look very different. We will be producing Balletic Protein at scale, and preparing for the challenges of producing at even larger, commercial scales.