The Good Food Institute India (GFI India), the central expert organization, thought leader, and convening body in the alternative protein sector marks the conclusion of the 3rd edition of its flagship program, The India Smart Protein Innovation Challenge (ISPIC). A transformative 5-month initiative equipped emerging ventures as well as student researchers with a deep understanding of the smart protein landscape, enabling them to tackle pressing challenges, drive innovation, and catalyze a paradigm shift in food systems, reinforcing global and Indian commitments to alternative proteins and advancing food security.
Winners of India Smart Protein Innovation Challenge 2023
ISPIC 2023, held in collaboration with Spectrum Impact, featured three phases of intense learning, networking, and other knowledge-building components, including more than 15 in-depth masterclasses, thought-provoking panel discussions, and interactive “Ask Me Anything” sessions, all meticulously curated in partnership with industry leaders and mentors across the smart protein value chain. Participants utilized these resources to hone their ideas and build unique solutions to the identified whitespaces in the smart protein sector.
The team at Fattastic Technologies, Winner, ISPIC 2023 said, “ISPIC has been a great platform for us to network with like-minded people. We also learned a lot about the alternative protein industry in the Indian context. The major takeaway for our company was the individual mentorship, and the support we got with product design, go-to-market strategy, co-application, and a paid pilot for product trials.”
Speaking about the culmination of the challenge, Sneha Singh, Managing Director (acting), GFI India said, “We are thrilled to witness the culmination of our 3rd ISPIC Challenge 2023 today in person for the very first time since the challenge was launched in 2020. The participants have exhibited an extraordinary level of innovation and dedication, underscoring their potential to lead the growth of the alternative protein sector in India. The solutions presented today showcase a collective acknowledgment that our challenges are unique, but so are our solutions. This recognition makes me even more confident in India’s ability to establish itself as a global Innovation hub for alternative protein.”
“I am truly impressed by the exceptional caliber of the participants at ISPIC 2023. Their in-depth knowledge and the quality of their presentations were nothing short of outstanding. It is clear that the future of smart protein is in exceptionally capable hands, and I have no doubt that these young innovators will continue to drive positive change in the industry, an area India as a country should invest early in,” said Dr. N. Madhusudhana Rao, CEO, Atal Incubation Centre – Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology who was one of the judges.
ISPIC 2023 garnered nationwide participation, with representation from 22+ states and 80+ cities throughout India, receiving an impressive total of 214 applications. The competition featured a two-track format, categorized as Smart Up and Start-Up (pertaining to Career and Venture Building, respectively). The Smart Up track emphasized the development of innovative theoretical solutions, implemented through capstone projects targeting industry-specific gaps, ideally tailored for students and researchers. The Start Up track was designed to facilitate the scaling of smart protein ventures by providing hands-on guidance to navigate real-time challenges of product development, fundraising, distribution, and more.
At the Smart Protein Demo Day, leading teams from both tracks were afforded the invaluable opportunity to present their ground-breaking ideas. These presentations followed a format akin to the renowned “Shark Tank” contest, with live pitches followed by a round of Q&A with the judges. In recognition of their exceptional contributions, 3 winners emerged in each track, with teams Progo Foods, Fattastic Technologies, and ProMyce, securing substantial cash prizes of 2 lakh each in the Start Up track. Likewise, the Smart Up track witnessed the triumph of Alt Nutritos, OPZ Redients, and The Protein Gurus.
Built on the foundation of meeting global climate goals and sustainably feeding billions, the ISPIC 2023 challenge served as an inclusive platform for a wide spectrum of solution approaches. These solutions were centered on addressing a multitude of industry challenge statements, with a primary focus on enhancing the taste, texture, and nutritional profiles of plant-based, fermentation-derived, and cultivated meat, dairy, and egg alternatives. This endeavor encompassed multifaceted interventions within the realms of business, science and technology, and policy-making, underscoring a comprehensive approach to advancing the burgeoning smart protein landscape.
About Good Food Institute India (GFI India)
The Good Food Institute India (GFI India) is the central expert organization, thought leader, and convening body in the Indian ‘alternative protein’ or ‘smart protein’ sector. As part of an international network of organizations with partners in the U.S., Brazil, Europe, Israel, and Asia Pacific, GFI India is on a mission to build a secure, sustainable, and just global food future. With unique insight across science, business, and policy, we are using the power of food innovation and markets to accelerate the transition of our food system toward smart proteins. In building the sector from the ground up in India, we’re aiming to establish a model for its growth all across the developing world.
About Spectrum Impact
Spectrum Impact, is a family office committed to solving large-scale societal problems with novel solutions. The objective of the family office is to allocate capital through a broad spectrum of areas like investing in and supporting technologies and businesses that are working toward arresting and reversing climate change.