Sophie’s Bionutrients Takes Pitching Crown at MassChallenge Switzerland’s Sustainable Food Systems Challenge


SINGAPORE, May 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Sophie’s Bionutrients, a next-generation sustainable urban food production technology company, has won the pitching competition at MassChallenge Switzerland’s Sustainable Food Systems Challenge.

A global network for innovators, MassChallenge hosts eight accelerator programmes, one of which is located in Switzerland. Since 2016, MassChallenge Switzerland has accelerated 396 startups that have collectively raised more than USD318 million in funding.

This year marked the second edition of its MassChallenge Switzerland’s Sustainable Food Systems Challenge, which aims to reduce emissions and feed the planet’s forecasted 10 billion population sustainably by 2050. The challenge identifies later-stage startups or scaleups and matches them with a MassChallenge partner to accelerate innovation in the food sector.

Of the 400 startups that applied, 65 were invited to demo days. This group was narrowed down further to 35 startups who were partnered with corporates such as Nestlé, Bühler, Givaudan, Barry Callebaut, Südzucker and DSM. These partners then selected six finalists for further collaboration towards meeting the Sustainable Food Systems Challenge.

Among the six finalists was Singaporean agrifood startup Sophie’s Bionutrients, which uses microalgae and patent-pending technologies to develop 100% plant-based and sustainable alternative protein. Sophie’s Bionutrients was paired with Swiss food equipment and technologies provider Bühler Group in the Sustainable Food Systems Challenge.

Their joint pitch illustrated how Sophie’s Bionutrients’ microalgae-based solutions could be scaled with Bühler’s resources, resulting in Sophie’s Bionutrients being named the overall winner of the Pitching Competition on April 26.

Eugene Wang, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Sophie’s Bionutrients, said, "Our solutions are firmly rooted in our belief that microalgae is the number one plant-based alternative to meat due to its ‘mother of all nature’ qualities.

"Winning the Pitching Competition validates our thesis that unlocking macro-nutrients at the micro-level is the only way forward to a sustainable future that creates a minimal footprint while fulfilling the rising needs of the global population.

"Revolutionising supply chains through sustainable urban protein production starts by scaling processes with the help of corporations like Bühler that have a strong understanding and a large presence in food production," Wang said.

Bühler equipment and technologies help feed two billion people daily, and its network extends to over 140 countries across the globe.

Over the next few months leading up to the challenge’s awards ceremony in December, Sophie’s Bionutrients and Bühler will validate their joint idea, connect to more customers, access resources and capital, and ultimately co-develop and scale their proposition together.

"As a B2B startup, participating in the Sustainable Food Systems Challenge was an invaluable experience which connected us to food production giants and global networks that are key to our microalgae revolution.

"We are constantly on the lookout for partners who can help us develop new and exciting products to showcase the capability and versatility of microalgae flour," Wang said.

In early April, Sophie’s Bionutrients successfully produced microalgae-based burger patties that boast of up to two times more protein than beef or most commercially available fish. Products in the pipeline include microalgae-based crab cakes and protein crackers.

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About Sophie’s Bionutrients

Sophie’s Bionutrients, a B2B food technology company, is on a mission to unleash the limitless possibilities of nature, restore our planet and eliminate food allergies by creating plant-based, protein-rich alternatives to meat and seafood using microalgae, the mother of all food and plant life. In 2019, Sophie’s Bionutrients won SGD 1 million grant from Temasek Foundation’s The Liveability Challenge and will open its first urban protein production facility in Singapore in 2021.

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