Icon - BoortmaltX
Back to overview

10 Alternative Protein Startups To Watch in 2023

As 2023 unfolds, the food landscape is witnessing a remarkable shift driven by alt-protein startups. With sustainability and health at the forefront, these trailblazers are redefining dietary norms. In this blog, we're thrilled to present 10 visionary alt-protein startups that promise to reshape the way we nourish ourselves. From introducing plant-based cheeses that rival tradition to harnessing innovative protein fermentation techniques, these startups are rewriting the gastronomic narrative. Embark on a journey to discover how they are forging a path towards a more sustainable and delicious future. Join us in exploring the vanguard of food innovation!

1. Acayu

Technological innovation ★★★★★ | Green impact ★★★☆☆ | Market Disruptor ★★★☆☆

Headquarters: Aljezur, Faro, Portugal

Founded: 2020 by Raz Swissa and Moti Nagar

Activity: Vegan cheese

Acayu is a visionary startup that is rewriting the culinary playbook! Leveraging age-old traditions from the dairy industry, coupled with ingenious fermentation  and the transformative power of plant-based cultures and SCOBY, this company has unlocked the secret to crafting textured cream cheese and aged cheese - completely free of animal involvement, additives, starches, or excessive oils. And that is not where the innovation stops! Acayú has embarked on a flavour revolution: introducing a palette of tastes that are no replicas of cheese flavours, but stand on their own.

2. Bosque Foods

Technological innovation ★★★☆☆ | Green impact ★★★★☆ | Market Disruptor ★★★☆☆

Headquarters: Berlin, Germany

Founded: 2022 by Isabella Iglesias-Musachio

Activity: Mycelium technology

Bosque Foods is a pioneering startup committed to creating meat alternatives that deliver taste, nutrition, and value without compromise. By harnessing the potent force of natural fungal mycelium, they're crafting tender, fibrous, and nutrient-rich whole-cut alternatives that redefine the centre of your plate. From sustainable agriculture revelations to a deep dive into fungi's versatility, at Bosque Foods they are leading the way to a more sustainable food ecosystem.

Bosque Foods

3. Matr Foods

Technological innovation ★★★★☆ | Green impact ★★★★☆ | Market Disruptor ★★★☆☆

Headquarters: Copenhagen, Denmark

Founded: 2021 by Claus Meyer and Leonie Jahn

Activity: Upcycling plants into food

Matr Foods is reshaping foodtech with circular solutions for our food system. By repurposing local sidestreams from the Danish food industry, they've mastered traditional fermentation to craft irresistible, sustainable products. This startup's genius lies in blending fungi fermentation and plant-based ingredients, birthing a new era of alt-protein. Imagine the rich umami and juicy texture when fungi fermentation meets Danish oats, split peas, lupins, beetroot, and potatoes. Simple, organic, and climate-friendly, Matr Foods is a testament to innovation meeting sustainability, all in a single bite.

4. MicroHarvest

Technological innovation ★★★★★ | Green impact ★★★☆☆ | Market Disruptor ★★★☆☆

Headquarters: Hamburg, Germany

Founded: 2021 by Katelijne Bekers, Ana Luísa Cruz and Jonathan Roberz

Activity: Microbial Protein

MicroHarvest is at the forefront of sustainable protein innovation, addressing the global demand for protein in an eco-friendly manner. By harnessing microorganisms, they're redefining protein production. Their protein ingredients, rich in nutrients and vitamins, contain over 60% raw protein without allergens. Utilizing tanks for growth enables year-round production, using minimal space and water. In a mere 24-hour cycle, they transition from input to final product. This efficient approach significantly reduces resource usage compared to animal or plant sources, enhancing sustainability in protein supply.

Nature's Protein Unleashed: MicroHarvest - MicroHarvest

5. ODS protein

Technological innovation ★★★★☆ | Green impact ★★☆☆☆ | Market Disruptor ★★★★☆

Headquarters: Vigo, Spain

Founded: 2021 by Iria Varela Campo

Activity: Fermented Alt-Proteins

ODS protein is revolutionising the food landscape through its cutting-edge fermentation process that crafts alternative proteins. These proteins seamlessly integrate into various foods, offering a sustainable solution to global protein challenges. With complete amino acid profiles and scalable production, ODS Protein's vegan-friendly option, sourced from fungi, aligns with modern dietary preferences. Their ingenious approach repurposes food industry waste, reducing resource consumption and promoting sustainability. As an emerging alt-protein star, ODS Protein stands as a beacon of innovation and eco-consciousness in a changing world.

6. Poseidona

Technological innovation ★★★★★ | Green impact ★★★☆☆ | Market Disruptor ★★★☆☆

Headquarters: Barcelona, Spain

Founded: 2023 by Sònia Hurtado

Activity: Oceanic Algal Proteins

Poseidona is a true pioneer in sustainable food solutions. Their innovative approach involves transforming algal waste and invasive biomass into mouthwatering food products. With a clear mission to provide the food industry with genuinely sustainable protein alternatives, Poseidona is also deeply committed to the restoration of our oceans. Their purpose goes beyond plates – they strive for a world where ethical choices and Earth's protection reign supreme. Poseidona represents the healing power of our oceans, nurturing a new era of conscious living.

7. Shocken Foods

Technological innovation ★★★★☆ | Green impact ★★★☆☆ | Market Disruptor ★★★★★

Headquarters: London, England

Founded: 2023 by Emma Bowe and Peter Kalkowsky

Activity: Plant-based meat

Shocken Foods, where deli meats undergo a remarkable plant-based transformation. As pioneers in alt protein formulation, Shocken crafts delectable deli slices and pizza toppings that are not only shockingly delicious but also clean label and high in protein. Their commitment to taste knows no bounds, ensuring pure pleasure without compromise. The journey doesn't stop there – Shocken Foods proudly introduces breakthroughs like the world's first plant pepperoni, defying pizza ovens at scorching temperatures while staying irresistibly juicy. With a penchant for reinvention, they recreate deli classics like porchetta, bresaola, and chorizo, while introducing plant-based foie gras and vegan nduja.

8. Myco4food

Technological innovation ★★★★★ | Green impact ★☆☆☆☆ | Market Disruptor ★★★☆☆

Headquarters: Copenhagen, Denmark

Founded: 2022 by Mette Lübeck, Jesper Schierbeck-Hansen and Peter Stephensen Lübeck

Activity: Waste-to-Protein Innovation

Myco4food turns organic waste into protein-rich ingredients. Their scalable bioreactor system redefines circularity in food and agriculture, yielding protein counterparts that match animal-based options in taste, nutrition, and cost. Beyond plates, Myco4Food's innovation slashes carbon emissions, optimizes resources, and crafts sustainable protein ingredients for a greener food industry. As a 2022 spin-out from Aalborg University, their journey revolves around revolutionizing how we harness organic waste, forging a future where protein and sustainability unite.

9. Tempty Foods

Technological innovation ★★★☆☆ | Green impact ★★★☆☆ | Market Disruptor ★★★★☆

Headquarters: Lyngby, Denmark

Founded: 2021 by Ana Pejic, Martina Lokajova and Cecilie Engvang Lund

Activity: Eco-friendly protein-sources

Tempty Foods is on a resolute journey to revolutionise our plates with nutritious, flavourful, and eco-friendly alternatives. Their flagship creation, TEMPTY, redefines protein sources, serving as a versatile replacement for tofu, meat, and beyond. The heart of their mission lies in the pursuit of innovative, consumer-friendly food solutions. As a Danish food startup, Tempty Foods crafts protein-rich alternatives based on mycelium – a powerhouse of nutrition and sustainability. This mycelium-based protein is not only a nutritional powerhouse but also a sustainability champion, using significantly less water, land, and emitting fewer CO2 emissions compared to traditional sources. Their vision is not just about food; it's about empowerment, equality, and catering to diverse preferences, proving that a variety of palates deserve a variety of options.

Denmark's Tempty Foods Taps Quorn's Mycoprotein Source to Expand Its Vegan  Meat Offerings

10. SERio

Technological innovation ★★★☆☆ | Green impact ★★★★☆ | Market Disruptor ★★★★☆

Headquarters: Lublin, Poland

Founded: 2022 by Monika Gaszyńska and Michal Gaszynski

Activity: Plant-based cheese alternatives

SERio offers a vegetable alternative to cheese, SERio packs a whopping 12g of protein per serving, all sourced from plant ingredients. Crafted with a dedication to sustainability, this 100% vegetable cheese stands apart. SERio is not a mere imitation of cheese; it's a nutritionally balanced creation that satisfies the craving for cheesy delights without compromising our values. At the heart of SERio's uniqueness lies lupine, a legume brimming with both fibre and protein. Embracing the essence of traditional cheeses as protein sources, SERio emerges as a local hero, harnessing European-grown lupins for its creation. Say goodbye to fatty cheese substitutes – SERio embodies a deliciously healthier future for cheese enthusiasts.


As we've seen, the future of protein lies in innovative and sustainable alternatives. These companies are pushing boundaries and redefining industry standards. Their work marks an important step towards a more sustainable food ecosystem. At BoortmaltX, we recognize and celebrate these advancements, committed to fostering similar innovation. As the conversation around sustainable food continues to evolve, we look forward to seeing these companies—and others like them—continue to shape the industry for the better.

Any more questions?
Get in touch with us

When submitting, you agree you
our privacy policy and terms of conditions
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Some questions
we’ve already answered

Which documents do I need to submit for the application?
Icon - BoortmaltXIcon - BoortmaltX
What steps are included in the BoortmaltX Program?
Icon - BoortmaltXIcon - BoortmaltX
When can I apply?
Icon - BoortmaltXIcon - BoortmaltX
Where does the pitch take place?
Icon - BoortmaltXIcon - BoortmaltX
Who can apply?
Icon - BoortmaltXIcon - BoortmaltX
See more
BoortmaltX is an initiative of