The first of its kind in North America, CULT offers investors unprecedented global exposure to the most innovative startups, private and early-stage cultured meat, cultured dairy and cell-based foods.
Dave Jackson of Stockhouse Media was joined by CULT Food Science CEO Lejjy Gafour to discuss this unique and fascinating food science investment opportunity.
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SH1: To start, can you tell us a bit about yourself and the history of the company?
LG: Yes of course. Prior to Cult Food Science, I was a co-founder of a YCombinator-backed start-up in cellular agriculture, which is actually one of the first companies operating in this industry here in Canada. I was also a founding member of Cellular Agriculture Canada, which was also the first not-for-profit organization dedicated to cell-based foods in Canada. But I actually grew up on a farm here in Alberta, hands in the dirt, so to speak, so knowing how to make food and what it means has always been a common thread throughout my life and Cult Food Science was created to really enjoy it and make this new future of food a reality for every day. Cell-based approaches represent the ability to produce what we need, with dramatically less impact on the environment and in new ways that have never been possible before.
SH2: For investors new to this sector, is cultured meat, cultured dairy and cell-based foods and why is it so important for the future of food?
LG: Many people may have heard the term ‘lab-grown meat’ first, so you’ll hear it under different names like cultured meat, cultured dairy. As far as that goes, it’s really about be able to create the same products that consumers are used to seeing on the shelves today, but using methods that have never been possible before.You take the cell, whether it comes from a cow or something else, and other building blocks to craft things that you would normally need to produce an entire animal. But it goes beyond that because it allows you to do things like have a farm, in a building, in the middle of a city center, as opposed to being hundreds of miles away or it has to be shipped. And that really translates into potential massive changes to the impact of food production on the environment. It also means things like permit be new experiences that have never been possible before. To use an example that usually surprises people, there are companies in space that also do things like work on lion meat to eat.
SH3: Can you give us an overview of the company’s portfolio and how it has developed over the past few months?
LG: We have strong diversity in our portfolio and that’s really one of our goals. It’s all about different products when it comes to the future of food. This includes things like chocolate, meat, fish, honey – and picks and shovels like collagen as well, which is used in everything. Some of the notable new investments we have include a company called California Cultured, which works on chocolate, and Pearlita Foods, which works on cell-based shellfish or oysters. A few notable updates are that Mogale Meat Co hosted one of Africa’s first cultured chicken tastings a few weeks ago. I can tell you from my own experience of being able to eat it that California Cultured’s chocolate and work on it is delicious, as well as their other products which are on their way. You will continue to see similar early announcements from our portfolio companies over the next few moments.
SH4: What is the company’s longer-term strategy moving forward and what should investors be looking out for?
LG: There are two parts to our strategy. The first, of course, is really making sure that we support our current businesses through their journey, through scaling and making sure that we maintain that diversity in our portfolio and that we can really choose the best new players in the space and add to our already solid list. In addition to this, we are also strategically developing our own intellectual property, which is also informed by our businesses and consulting team, which is intended to support the industry as a whole through our platform, CELL X, as there has a lot of opportunities to create new approaches ourselves in this industry, to uplift everyone.
SH5: Can you tell our audience a bit about your leadership and board teams and the experience and innovative ideas they bring to the food science space, including your development internal intellectual property?
LG: We have (made) a lot of effort to develop a strong advisory board to lead us into the future. We have taken care to select experts who cover the entire cell-based food production chain. This ranges from initial product development, to regulation, to market consulting. A couple of notable mentions, our advisors who have obviously held leadership positions at places like Danone or advisors actively working in regulatory compliance today, lead global R&D strategy projects for multinational corporations, or have several first discoveries in things like cell lines on the science side. Another interesting aspect is that many of our advisors on our team have been entrepreneurs themselves. The company board, it’s really their experience, it’s that they’ve come from starting their own company and been through the whole journey to really help all of our companies move forward.
SH6: And finally, Lejjy, if there’s something I forgot, feel free to elaborate.
LG: We are determined to truly lead the pack in creating this food future from CULT Food Science. You will continue to see new announcements about investments, new intellectual property we are developing, and new semi-finalists for the CULT award which is still ongoing. We can’t wait to be able to share this with everyone.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by Stockhouse Publishing.