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CULT Food Science announces investment in 'AI for taste optimization' company, Alcheme Bio

June 20, 2023

CULT Food Science Corp has announced its investment in Alcheme Bio to support the growth of the latter's flavor-optimization platform. CULT and Alcheme Bio are also working together to accelerate development of cellular agriculture products for the CULT and its portfolio companies.

Founded by Vanessa Small, PhD, MBA, who has two decades of scientific experience within organizations such as Pfizer and Abbott, Alcheme Bio is on the leading edge of taste innovation for cellular agriculture. Clair Purcell, the Chief Operating Officer of Alcheme Bio, has a decade of experience guiding new ventures out of stealth mode, previously working at Boston Consulting Group and at prominent deep tech startup community Newlab. Together they are bringing breakthrough technologies into cellular agriculture and the cultivated foods space.

Alcheme Bio was strated in 2022, through an Entrepreneur in Residence program in Newlab's Venture Studio, exploring how Small's experience and knowledge could be applied to the cellular agriculture industry. "I'm very passionate about creating an equitable food system," she said. "When we have the technology to grow food anywhere with minimal resources and energy, we'll be one step closer to a more sustainable planet."

Throughout the program, Small worked with a range of venture builder and cellular agriculture advisors to identify a large market opportunity that would have maximum impact in the space. Alcheme Bio emerged as the clear winning concept from more than 30 initial ideas.

"I was surprised at the lack of attention on flavor – for cultivated foods to be adopted, they need to taste delicious. Just reach for it and eat it delicious," Small commented.

Alcheme Bio is using known biochemistry methodologies to pioneer a new approach to flavoring, specific to the cultivated foods industry. This approach will not only make the final product taste delicious without additional ingredients but also to reduce R&D costs.

Alcheme Bio is working with a number of cultivated food companies to pilot the approach. 'We're already trying to work out how to fit all the customers in. We're being smart about who we work with at this early stage - our goal is to keep growing with them as they scale up and the market itself grows.' commented Alcheme Bio.

"What drew us to Vanessa as a founder is her experience, not just in the sciences, but as someone who has run the entire gamut of startup life; from founding to exit, multiple times," concluded Lejjy Gafour, CEO of CULT. "She brings a multi-dimensional perspective – technical, commercial, leadership, investor and entrepreneur."

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