Nordic Virtual Pastures aims to accelerate the cultured meat revolution through a ground-breaking new method. We had a chat with the CEO of Nordic Virtual Pastures, Jan Dideriksen, to get more acquainted with the company’s mission and vision.
What is the idea behind the company?
Nordic Virtual Pastures will make real cultivated meat in a sustainable manner, at competitive prices, with no animals harmed. Thus, we hope to revolutionize the meat industry by significantly reducing the carbon footprint as well as the water, land and antibiotics used. Furthermore, we know that the cultivated meat needs to be of high quality with a real natural meat taste while relying on nature’s own biological feedstock to be appealing to consumers.
What is the key driver for Nordic Virtual Pastures?
It’s a key goal for us to reinvent the supply chain for cultured meat, to reach price parity with conventional meat. We use nature’s own biomass as the key source of nutrients for our cell growth medium and since we use stem cells, we don’t need to slaughter animals to produce the meat.
What have you already learned from being in the Venture Lab program?
BII’s Venture Lab program has allowed us to create our business plan, including a commercialization strategy and a clear plan for the scale-up process. In the program, we have learned that a solid team effort in both developing a commercial and scientific platform is crucial to becoming a successful company.
What would be the optimal outcome when finishing the program?
The optimal outcome at the end of the program would be to attract investors through a solid business model and great scientific results.
Who are your main competitors and how do you differ from them?
The most relevant competitors are Mosa Meat, Bio Tech Foods and Impossible Foods. We differ from those companies by sourcing the main nutrients for cell growth in a sustainable way, and we can hopefully be price-relevant with conventional meat within a rather short timeframe.
What has been the most challenging part of being a CEO in an early-stage startup?
The most challenging part of being CEO of an early-stage start-up has been to accept that some agreements which are vital to the company’s strategy require prolonged negotiations, delicate interactions and patience. At the same time, you need to execute the company’s strategy and achieve key milestones. Striking the right balance between being in execution mode, while also accepting that patience is often required is one of the most exciting parts of being the CEO of an early-stage start-up.
What considerations do you have regarding the fundraising process?
We need to build our company on a solid foundation of science, team, protection and regulation. Our fundraising needs to reflect the company’s maturity. We are operating in an attractive space, but there is still no company in the field that has taken the lead when it comes to large-scale production. Currently, we are seeking funding to test our technology on a pilot scale and to develop the company’s organization further. This funding could come from a combination of soft funding and grants.