FoodTech Weekly #56

By Ivy Farm

on Fri Jul 02 2021

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Original article from FoodTech weekly

Conversations

  • Had a chance to speak with Rich Dillon, CEO of Ivy Farm. Rich is a self-declared ‘one-trick pony’ who has grown brands his entire life, e.g. working in senior roles for Red Bull for 12 years, and running (beer brand) Lagunitas’ international expansion, before it was acquired by Heineken. Rich then felt a strong need to build something that would leave the world a better place than he found it. He started investing in some sustainability plays and was eventually headhunted to run Ivy Farm. The startup, founded by Dr. Russ Tucker and Cathy Ye, is a spinout from Oxford University (“using technology from the same building that developed the Covid-19 vaccine”), which aims to become the first commercial producer of sustainable, cell-cultivated meat in the UK. Ivy Farm, which has raised £16.5M (appr. $23M) so far and has 30 employees, plans to launch cell-cultivated sausages by 2023, followed by meatballs and beef burgers. The plan is to move into an 18,000 sq. ft. (1,800 sq. m) R&D facility in Oxford by October, and to be a team of 50 people in Q1 2022 (when Ivy Farm also plans its Series A round). The company is in conversation with the UK Food Standards Agency, which has to approve cell-cultivated meat before it can be commercially sold in the UK. So what does Ivy Farm need? “We’re hiring like crazy – we’re looking for senior, seasoned science and bio-engineering talents. We’re also busy expanding our R&D team in China, accelerating our mammalian fat program. And we’d love to get someone on board who is passionate and is a thought leader in animal welfare, the environment, and planetary issues, so if someone could give us a warm intro to David Attenborough, we’d really like that. We admire him and what he’s done for planetary awareness and cell-cultivated meat is a big part of the solution.” Rich can be reached via LinkedIn and email.
This little piggy came from a bioreactor. Image: Ivy Farm

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