Written by Lonwabo Marele, CEO at Successful Journals
The FoodTech pitch competition at the SA Innovation Summit saw nine finalists from the Southern Africa region competing for first-place honours in front of a packed audience at the Old Biscuit Mill, on 28 October 2022.
Companies in sectors ranging from food production, food manufacturing, food consumption and food logistics participated in the competition powered by Anza Capital, World of Innovation Economics, the City of Cape Town, as well as the Technology Innovation Agency.
BioCiTi’s incubatee Mzansi Meat Co was one of the finalists that blew away the delegates’ minds, following their mission to reinvent how South Africa thinks about food.
Co-founders, Brett Thompson and Tasneem Karodia have, in between them, close to 20 years without eating meat.
The two entrepreneurs advocating for an alternative protein, for the benefit of the planet, the health of humans and the lives of animals, said their pitch was a team effort.
Mzansi Meat Co is Africa’s first cultivated beef burger company. Chief Executive Officer, Thompson said their plan is to bring in healthy, accessible, and affordable meat braais, potjies and shisa nyamas, by growing it from cells, without harming animals.
“It was a good experience. It was an engagement with guys behind the scenes, to hear what they are looking for. It was also a good experience working with a variety of people solving SA’s food problem. It was great to get recognition and feedback from a lot of people,” he said.
The Cape Town-based company took home first place in the competition. Their ask is R80,000,000 (million).
Chief Operating Officer, Karodia has a passion for changing our food systems in Africa.
“I was quite excited to see that there was a FoodTech pitch session in South Africa. Globally we see a lot, but it means people see a lot more opportunity in this. We were incredibly grateful and humbled to see people see what we are doing,” she said.
Karodia said they are excited about the future of food, technology and innovation in Africa.
To find out more about Mzansi Meat Co, visit their website: https://www.mzansimeat.co/