Zero Egg Wins Calcalist's Foodtech Innovation Competition
Zero Egg develops and manufactures a plant-based liquid egg that tastes, looks, and functions like a real egg
Plant-based egg substitute startup Zero Egg Ltd. is the winner of this year’s food innovation competition held by Calcalist, Israeli food processing company Tnuva, and accounting firm KPMG. Dozens of Israeli foodtech companies participated in the competition, out of which 11 finalists were selected to present their technology at Calcalit’s FoodTech 2019 conference Monday. The event was held at Tel Aviv coworking space Labs.
Zero Egg develops and manufactures a plant-based liquid egg that tastes, looks, and functions like a real egg, according to company statements. According to the company founders Liron Nimrody, Tammy Meiron, and Amiel David, Zero Egg’s product could be used as an egg substitute in any recipe, including omelets and mayonnaise. To date, the company has raised $1.05 million in funding from investors The Kitchen and New Crop Capital.
The judges of the competition were Eyal Melis, CEO of Tnuva; Yoel Esteron, Calcalist’s publisher; Marcelle Machluf, dean of biotechnology and food engineering at Technion Israel Institute of Technology; Einav Kliger, a lecturer at the food science department at Tel-Hai Academic College; Gil Meron, a venture partner at San Diego-based agtech fund Finistere Ventures; Oren Avrashi, head of corporate social responsibility and innovation at Israeli beverage company Tempo Beverages Ltd.; Tamar Morag-Sela, a senior partner and head of life science and chemistry practice at the law office of Reinhold Cohn & Partners; and Idit Blank (Varol), a partner at KPMG Somekh Chaikin.
Natural food color startup Phytolon Ltd. came in second. Founded in 2018 by Tal Zeltzer and Halim Jubran, the company develops technology for the production of natural food colorants through fermentation, using baker’s yeast cells as biofactories. The company’s food colorants are plant-based pigments in a variety of colors and applicable to a wide variety of food products.
These are the other nine companies who made the finals:
Funding: $48 million
Investors: aMoon, Ofek Ventures, Johnson & Johnson, Seventure Partners, Israeli basketball player Omri Casspi
Founded in 2015 and based in Tel Aviv, DayTwo Ltd. offers personalized nutrition optimization suggestions based on feces analysis to determine gut microbiome DNA. According to DayTwo, the company's nutrition suggestions are designed to reduce the risk of diabetes and other metabolic diseases. In December, the company announced a plan to open a $5 million lab that will allow it to process over 100,000 feces samples a year.
Founder: Tami Steinfeld
Tamiz develops and manufactures dairy products from non-soy vegan dairy-alternatives. The company currently supplies three product lines to health food stores throughout Israel: vegan spreads and spreadable cheeses, vegan yogurts and drinks, and vegan hard cheese.
Founders: Yoav Weinstein, Eran Sinbar
Funding: $1.5 million
Investors: private investors
Yoran Imaging develops packaging analytical monitoring (PAM), a non-intrusive in-line inspection system for heat-sealed packages. The company’s system can be used for containers, blisters, canisters, pouches, sachets, and tubes.
Founders: Gil Shalev, Itay Dana
Funding: $10.25 million
Investors: Fortissimo, Hazera 1939, Dan Danzinger, Roquette
Equinom Ltd. is a computational breeding company developing non-GMO specialty crops for the food industry, including high-protein legumes designed to be used in innovative plant-based food products. Founded in 2012, Equinom has a number of contracts under its belt, including a multi-year contract with U.S.-based hummus maker Sabra Dipping Company LLC, and a commercialization agreement with Japan’s Mitsui & Co. Ltd.
Founder: Yael Alter
Funding: $1.8 million
Investors: Takwin, Mikal, SIBF, Alon Gozlan
NR Soos Technology Ltd. develops incubation technology that controls the sex-development process in poultry embryos and changes genetic male embryos into functional female chickens capable of laying eggs. The company's technology controls changing environmental conditions during the hatching process to determine gender without harming eggs or chicks, enabling the egg industry to increase business productivity business and optimize efficiency.
Founders: Yechiel (Jonathan) Ben Zvi, Ido Maor, Matan Edvy
Investors: Alex Haruni, Termaips Technologies, F&F
Verstill Distillation Systems develops technology to more quickly and cost-effectively produce spirits. The company’s molecular distillery is able to control the flavor composition and complexity of whiskey, and bring high-quality spirits into the market in a matter of weeks instead of years, according to the its website.
TIPA Compostable Packaging
Founders: Daphna Nissenbaum, Tal Neuman
Funding: $49 million
Investors: Greensoil, Chestnut holdings, Horizons Ventures, Blue Horizon Ventures, Triodos Organic Growth Fund
Founded in 2010, TIPA Corp Ltd. manufactures and designs plastic-like bags and packaging that are fully compostable as an alternative to conventional plastic packaging. The company’s products disintegrate under compost conditions—high humidity, high temperature, and the presence of microorganisms—within 180 days, according to company statements. The compostable plastic is made up of 20%-60% plant-based ingredients such as non-genetically modified corn, depending on the type and shape of the packaging.
Founder: Assaf Sufa
Funding: $1 million
Investors: private investors
AgriIOT Group Ltd. develops IoT-based technology to help manage fertilizer levels based on the nitrogen content in plant leaves by measuring the greenness of the leaves through the use of sensorless IoT technology, digital image processing, and advanced optics. The company’s technology then provides farmers with accurate fertilizer and watering recommendations.
Founders: Jasmin Ravid, Daria Feldman, Hadar Shohat
Kinoko-Tech Ltd. produces various gluten-free, cholesterol-free, and non-GMO food products based on an alternative protein mushroom tissue called mycelium, which grows on legumes and grains.