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Date:SEPTEMBER 15, 2021

Start Time:9:30Am PT (SAN FRANCISCO) | 11:30am CT (Chicago)

Duration:60 minutes


Plant-based proteins continue to dominate the so-called ‘alternative protein’ category, but new options are emerging. In this webinar, moderated by FoodNavigator-USA editor Elaine Watson, we’ll look at the latest on plant-based proteins, but we’ll also examine Euglena, bacteria, fungi and lemna as microscopic protein factories, and how to talk to consumers about everything from ‘animal-free’ dairy proteins to ‘air protein’. We’ll explore the market potential, quiz some key players, and look at how to communicate the benefits of next-generation proteins.

We’ll explore:

  • Protein potential: Assessing the market opportunity for plant-based and ‘alternative’ proteins
  • The investor perspective: How are investors viewing the protein landscape?
  • Yield and sustainability: What’s the greenest, most efficient way to make high-quality food protein?
  • Comparing proteins: Taste, performance, nutrition
  • Consumers and next-generation proteins: Labeling, marketing


AIC Cargill Food
Merit THasegawa


Nick Cooney

Managing Partner

Lever VC

Nick Cooney is Founder and Managing Partner at Lever VC, a venture capital fund investing in early stage companies in the alternative protein sector. Lever VC operates globally, with partners, venture partners, and staff in the U.S., UK, France, Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore, Israel, India, and Brazil. He has been working in the alternative protein space for over 15 years, with investments across 45 companies in the category. Entrepreneurs and startups interested in connecting with Lever VC about possible investment can reach the team and submit information about their company at

Tony Martens


Plantible Foods

Tony Martens is the co-founder of Plantible Foods, a startup that is redesigning the food production supply chain by combining aquafarming techniques with innovative technologies in order to produce more sustainable, functional and nutritional food ingredients. Prior to Plantible, Tony was part of the management team that drafted and executed a 5-year strategy that transformed a small and traditional agricultural commodity trading & processing firm into becoming Europe’s largest commodity trading company.

Adam Noble

Founder and CEO


Recently named one of Canada’s Top 50 Changemakers, Adam Noble is ready to change the world. His company, Noblegen, was founded in 2013 based off of his award-winning high school science fair research. His research revolved around the many amazing uses of a unique single-celled microorganism called Euglena-gracilis. Seeing an opportunity to commercialize his work and build a company with the vision of impact driven profitability, Adam began scaling up his research to an industrial level, secured millions of dollars in private investment, and attracted an impressive team of talented professionals to join him in his mission. Adam believes that biology can and will provide the solutions needed to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. The Earth is out of balance. Humans have taken too much and not done enough to protect and replenish the planet. Adam’s life goal is to rebalance all life on Earth by using the tools that biology provides and providing those tools to the people that need them the most. Noblegen’s highly sustainable and nutrient-rich euglena ingredients and food analogues are their first cellular tools. Their next progression is to become a technology company that collaborates with living systems to discover, develop, and distribute cellular tools that reimagine the unimaginable. Adam’s scientific curiosity and world vision are at the core of Noblegen, and it is reflected in everything the company does.

Barb Stuckey

President and Chief Innovation Officer


Barb leads innovation initiatives for her clients, who span the food industry, including CPG, foodservice manufacturers, multi-unit operators, and ingredient companies. She is the author of Taste: Surprising Stories About Why Food Tastes Good. She teaches each incoming class at the SF Cooking School how to taste food before they learn to cook it. She also writes for

Bryan Tracy, PhD

Co-founder and CEO

Superbrewed Food

Bryan Tracy is the CEO and co-founder of Superbrewed Food, Inc., an emerging consumer product company that harnesses nature’s evolved solutions and the ancient art of brewing to deliver uncompromising solutions for animal-free dairy and nutrition products. Superbrewed products are enabled by a GMO-free, cultured protein with superb nutrient density and functionality that dare to go beyond animal and plant-based ingredients to realize affordable, sustainable and enjoyable products in multiple food categories. Superbrewed Food will be coming to market in early 2022 – so please stay tuned!

Bryan has been innovating in fermentation his entire career. Previously, he co-founded and led White Dog Labs, a fermentation-based company that invented biomass solutions for the replacement of fishmeal in aquaculture diets – validated by aquaculture feed companies like Cargill, across the world. He founded his first startup in graduate school - Elcriton, Inc. – also a fermentation-based company that delivered next-generation biochemical and biofuel solutions to chemical companies around the world. He developed his initial love for fermentation working at Novozymes in process design and scale-up.

Beyond driving fermentation solutions for a more nutritious and sustainable world, Bryan serves as an advisor to multiple US government agencies, and board member to several non-profits that support diversity and equity in the innovation workforce across the United States.

Elaine Watson



An award-winning journalist with 20 years’ experience in multimedia business-to-business journalism and events management on both sides of the Atlantic, Elaine has covered a diverse range of topics from nutrigenomics to corporate espionage. Elaine moved from the UK to the US in 2011, and as editor of – a leading online b2b title in the US food and beverage industry – she has helped to establish the site as a pre-eminent source of news and analysis on hot button issues from cell-cultured meat and CBD to labeling conventions in plant-based foods and beverages.

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