“Our mission at Edge Foods is to provide animal proteins, the most functional proteins designed by nature, to society via ethical and climate-friendly means.”
From Researcher to Alternative Protein Entrepreneur
“I’m a cardiac tissue engineer by training, with a focus on the external forces that impact cellular behavior. This includes cell-cell communication and physical forces. During my PhD at Columbia, I was working on diagnostic tools and regenerative methods for medicine. However, I was more passionate about the alternative protein space and thought some of the technologies that I learned about through my research could be applicable to the space and helpful in many ways. And so, I was excited to start commercializing these technologies.
As the date of my dissertation came closer, I really began to think about what I ultimately wanted to do and realized I had always been interested in entrepreneurship. The pursuit of knowledge in research is noble in itself, but wasn’t enough to keep me there. Commercialization is a much more rewarding and fulfilling path for me.”
A Passion for Protein
“Edge Foods emerged from a lifelong friendship between Bianca, my co-founder, and me. We first met in first grade at the age of 7, and as I neared completion of my dissertation, the idea of starting a company became a mutual interest that we began exploring. Bianca comes from the food industry, and we then brought on 2 more team members: a Lead Cell Scientist from Columbia, and a Mechanical Engineer from USC.
Our team formed because we had a similar passion for the alternative protein space and solving the challenges in the field. This passion brings us together, and there are many different reasons to be excited about alternative proteins. The reason why I got into this field, and why we started this company, is because modern livestock agriculture has had to cut so many corners in order to keep up with the demand for animal products. This has birthed such a wildly unethical practice; one that is largely built on the unethical treatment of animals. In addition, livestock agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. At Edge, we believe we can build the infrastructure to enable the production of animal proteins in an ethical and climate-friendly way, side-stepping livestock agriculture.”
Blueprint: Supporting Innovation At Scale
"The idea of creating a Tough Tech company was introduced to me by Blueprint, and it actually really impacted the way that we thought about our technology. Our tech is very special, but we had to ask ourselves: ‘Can it withstand the pressures of industry, and is it scalable?’ ‘Can it be used by customers in a way that leads to commercialization?’ ‘Can the technology be harnessed in an economically feasible manner to solve real world problems?’
Blueprint laid out the infrastructure for us to think through these questions and helped us figure out the obstacles we’d be facing on the path to market. Most importantly, they helped us create a techno-economic model to solve those challenges. Our challenges fall under this scaling umbrella, and Blueprint helped us create a guiding roadmap."