Australian cultivated meat company Magic Valley, producer of cultivated lamb, is among the ten startups selected for the latest cohort of the SVG Ventures | Thrive APAC Accelerator program.
Aimed at growth-stage agrifood tech companies, the program is based in Melbourne and received almost 100 applications for the cohort. Participation will enable Magic Valley to access funding, mentorship, networking opportunities, training, and more.
Magic Valley said it was excited to be involved in the program, which it claimed would “leverage the global reach of SVG Ventures | THRIVE, building a strong connection between Australia and the US”.
The news comes shortly after the company hired Dr. Vijay Kumar as its new Senior Bioprocess Engineer. Kumar has extensive industry experience, and was previously a bioprocess engineer at US cultivated beef company SciFi Foods.
Cultivated lamb prototype
In September, Magic Valley announced it had successfully developed a cultivated lamb prototype without the use of the controversial ingredient fetal bovine serum. The prototype was made by taking skin cells from a living lamb and turning them into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. These cells can then be multiplied infinitely and made into both muscle and fat.
The initial prototype was in the form of burgers and tacos, and was said to cook and taste just like conventional lamb. A few days ago, the company shared an image on social media of the cultivated lamb being used to make tortelloni.
“By 2024, cultivated meat products will be indistinguishable from traditionally farmed meat, with the ability to enhance nutrients to positively impact the human population,” said Magic Valley founder and CEO Paul Bevan. “The move away from traditional meat consumption is motivated by many different reasons for Australians, but the science has shown that if we are not feeding livestock and instead feeding ourselves, this is a viable way to nourish the human population beyond 2050.”