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Season 2: Next Gen Proteins



Where handpicked startups present sector-specific innovations to a jury of industry fellows

In Season 2, recognized world-class Researchers, Scientists, Faculty Members, Senior Executives, Experts, Chefs, Investors and Entrepreneurs from around the globe, engage in strategic exchange of views and share startling intel on viable transformative innovation in Agriculture, Food and Beverage, zooming in the next gen proteins space.

Topfloor: S2:E06

On E6, moderated by Tommaso Di Bartolo, Founding Partner at Awesm Ventures, along with industry fellow, David Benzaquen, Consultant and investor for plant-based food companies, hosts two passionate game changers in alt-protein: Florence Leong, Founder, Director at Kosmode Health Singapore Pte Ltd., and Griffin Spolansky, co-founder and CEO of Mezcla.

Listen to the podcast episode

Podcast transcript

Tommaso Di Bartolo: Topfloor is where hand-picked industry fellows share their intel on sustainable transformative innovation and meet vetted AgTech Startups driven by abundant thinkers and game-changers in FoodTech. Today, on S2, E6, we have the pleasure of sharing a conversation over next gen proteins with industry fellow David Benzaquen, consultant and investor for plant-based food companies, as well as the startups co-founders and CEOs Florence Leong from Kosmode Health Singapore Pte Ltd., and Griffin Spolansky from Mezcla. Florence and Griffin will share the uniqueness of the value proposition of their innovative and sustainable initiatives.

[presentations start: Kosmode Health Singapore Pte Ltd.] 

Florence Leong: Hello Tommaso! Today I’m presenting Kosmode Health Singapore Pte Ltd., a startup we created in the National University of Singapore. My co-founder is a food scientist and a chemist, whereas, I'm a business school graduate. So even though our background is really quite different, we are actually bound together by a common belief. A belief that quality plant nutrition should be accessible to everybody. And not only to those with deep pockets, and that is what underlies Kosmode Health Singapore Pte Ltd. missions of expanding access to health from nature. We are creating technology that can address problems in the agri-food industry and within the biomedical industry. But since this episode is on next-gen protein, I shall focus 95% of my presentation on the agri-food industry. 

Florence [continues]: So, we all know that the population is exploding and we're still there ageing, there's an urgent need to meet the nutritional requirements of the population. And I guess this is what has driven the search for viable alternative proteins. There is a lot of interest in insects-proteins and cell-based proteins, but plant-based protein is still the dominant source of alternative proteins. Unfortunately, plant-based proteins are still costly, because the proteins are extracted from the grains itself. 

“Ironically, plant-based proteins raise concerns over deforestation and genetic modifications. So these are problems that we have to face…”

On one hand, you have problems with the nutritional needs of the population. On the other hand, there is a huge wastage of spent grains, produced by processing companies. But these grains are actually rich in proteins and fibres. 50% of their content could be protein. Currently, they just started drying out with expensive costs as animal feeds or as fertilisers and even worse still neutrons  to the land fields. We want to up-value this waste and create an economical  and sustainable source of plant-based proteins into functional food to feed the population. We do this with our first technology which is a better fiber extraction technology. It has been validated at a 15 kilograms extraction scale of barley grains with more purity in protein and fiber formulated into a range of functional products. 

Florence [continues]: We have zero waste protein fibre biscuits. This is the top winner, a hundred percent of the people that tasted it, just love it! Secondly, we have the high protein Beta Glucan beverage which is formulated with the Asian population in mind, so it caters to the taste buds of the Asian population but more importantly it has 5 grams of Beta Glucans. “FDA” allows a production claim of any healthy benefit functional product that has 3 grams from Barley or from Oats. This product is actually a result from a failed attempt to formulate zero starch protein fiber noodles. Last, but not least, is the Zero Starch Protein Fiber Noodle. This is the product which we are very excited to bring into the market and I’ll tell you why... Now, a product (noodle) out there that without glycemic index ratings can not be called functional food. On the other spectrum, we have one hundred percent buckwheat noodles. That is a high protein functional food. And there is a need for functional products and for low glycemic loads. That is the gap which our zero starch protein fiber noodle can meet. The product profile is rich in protein, high in fibre and is specifically very good for the diabetic population, the pre-diabetic population and even those on ketogenic diets. 

Florence [continues]: We calculated: every 100.000 pounds of spent Barley grains, enables us to produce more than 1bi / 100,000 serving of noodles. In addition, we can meet the protein and fiber RGA of more than 100.000 packs per year. So, just imagine if you can recover all the spam Barley grains, how many hungry stomachs could we feed and just imagine the nutritional benefits we could confirm… Our package from Zero Starch Protein fibre will be used in our Beta Tester. Each pack contains 200 grams. It contains 10 grams of protein and 20 grammes of fibre, but because it's full of fiber, this little 200 grams pack here can actually serve 2 people...

  1. We have Soba Shape;
  2. And the Fettuccini Shape.

The response has been very, very good. The last thing you want is to have an aftertaste and off course, it is also a feedback to say that consumers prefer the texture of normal noodles starch. But most of the response is to say that they loved our noodles and mostly say that it “tasted like Korean Glass noodles, very springy”. Of course we receive great compliments when somebody says it is the best tasting out of all the bean-based proteins and a large proportion of our beta testers actually asked when they can buy this product. 

Florence [continues]: So, I'm going to conclude my presentation on how Kosmode Health Singapore Pte Ltd. has impacted the agri food industry... As mentioned previously, our first technology is a better halus fiber technology and our second technology is a method of blending plant protein composite by You, Inc., our own proprietary 3d bioprinter. If we combine these two technologies, we can produce the world’s only plant protein compensated by scaffolding. So far, the utility has been established and proven mainly in biomedical applications. We have cultured cancer cells, skin cells, bone cells, and data has been published. So what has this to do with next gen protein? I guess you can guess. Okay. We have actually cultured meat using our plant protein composite or your scaffold. It is a bit too early to say that, yes, we can solve all the problems. But so far, it has been very encouraging. So the purpose is to say, Hey, guys, please watch this space. So I hope that with this, I am able to convince you that Kosmode Health Singapore Pte Ltd. is a unique company. Here are three technologies that enable us to impact two industries. The agri food industry is an industry which we're ready to to go in and monetize your extraction service with plant protein and fiber recovered from waste material and with what I'm very excited about the zero such protein fiber noodle at the same time we are investing in nascent and high growth 3d cell culture markets, which then create a second growth trajectory and or what we call a second ring for the company. We are looking for partners. 

Tommaso Di Bartolo:  Maybe you want to run down just your wish to the desired outcome. So capital at 2 million you're saying here, right?

Florence Leong: Yes. And the capital is mainly to bring the products out into the market. And then of course, I'm looking for business partners. I've shown earlier that I produce a range of functional product concepts. So originally, our intention was actually to produce this concept for customers or partners who already have the distribution channels who are ready in that space to bring these concepts out into the market. Because of our assignment of the zero starch, protein fiber noodle we know when we change our position and say that we will bring it out into the market for days only in Singapore as well as other countries. We will be producing in countries like Germany, where there are a lot of beer breweries and huge amounts of spent Barley grains with a huge potential to produce zero starch pasta. 

In terms of 3d cell culture we are looking for partners and are looking for researchers as well. We are looking for researchers who want to use our novel scaffolds for cell culture, all to develop any products which they want to develop, medicines, meat culture or tissue engineering products.

Tommaso Di Bartolo: Perfect!  Well, thank you so much for introducing your venture. I can feel how passionate you are with what you do. Congratulations on your efforts. I would like to kick off things with David and his questions. David, please take it from here. What questions do you have for Florence Leong?

David Benzaquen:  Sure, so if I understood correctly, the noodles and the other cookies and other products are concepts that you're using to prove out the applications, but you are intending to sell the product, the spent barley upcycled product as a B2B product for other agri food businesses… Is that correct?

Florence Leong: Yes. We are B2B and are also looking at bringing our business to B2C, because of the ability to do online sales at this time. At this time, we are looking at getting in the market because there are low spend polycrates in Singapore.

David Benzaquen: Thank you! And when you think about the spent barley and how you've processed it, what kind of models you have around your extraction from others taking spent barley and doing something similar?

Florence Leong: Okay, so the plan structure technology basically is an expertise. So it's a know-how. And this is where the contribution of my co-founder who is a chemist and a food scientist comes into the picture. So it's all about controlling the parameters of separation using the kind of solvents and because he's a food scientist, everything he uses his food solvents, and that's the reason why it is classifiable because we do not use ethanol. 

Tommaso Di Bartolo: Florence, the market of analogue meat is here to stay, right? This is a fact and we are seeing a huge interest obviously coming from the market as a demand, but also from the academical side from the investor side, and this also leads to a huge wave of brains that are working on something new, meaning, the competition is very high. What is that makes you unique in a way that you see, we are going to conquer, conquer a specific market specific target audience what will stand out because we understood that you're still in prototyping phase but, What makes you unique, what makes you confident that you are different than others that are selecting other proteins to to produce your products. 

Florence Leong: Just to clarify, currently, our main focus is actually upon the extraction agrifoods side of things. So the 3d printing side of things is targeted specifically more in the biomedical applications, not so much in the meat culture, but because my co-founder is also an academic... A scientist trained in the field of Chemistry. So he has done our research, and one of what he has done is growing hock muscle tissues using our scaffolds. And of course, one of the benefits of a scaffold escape consists of plant protein. And we also happen to have a pattern or we found a pattern on a fully planned hydrogel scaffold. So we are in the process of developing a double scaffold, which is needed, especially if you want to grow tissues with a texture of meat, we are talking about growing mince meat then it is a different story  just buy it pure and it would do the job, if you need texture meet, you need scaffold, but currently, there are no edible scaffolds out there. But I say this is still early on. And that's why I say it's a biomedical meat growing site. It is a secondary growth trajectory, we still need to work on and that is why we are looking at partners to do this together.

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Tommaso Di Bartolo:  Speaking of partners, does your business model have in mind to go through partners to become basically a supplier for third parties or are you thinking of going direct to market with your own product? What stage, what ideas do you have? 

Florence Leong: Actually we started off as a B2B service provider. And that's how we managed to generate some revenue even though you have not received any external funds. But as we looked at the market dynamics, the demand for zero starch noodles we felt that we have the ability to do B2C for the agrifoods side.
So we can meet both, the B2B player can also be a B2C player, but the B2C player is a new area and again there is the reason why we have raised funds to get the team into this particular space, or 3d by printing side. So, yes, we're looking at mainly being a B2B. We don't see ourselves wanting to develop a meat analogue and bring it out into the market. So we want to be an enabler.

David Benzaquen: So I was curious what the $2 million Singapore dollars will allow you to achieve in terms of milestones before your next race? 

Florence Leong: The purpose of the $2 million or 1.5 million US dollar will go towards the agri food industry. And the bulk of it will go to building a one time scale extraction facility because like I mentioned earlier now we are capable of extracting 50 kilograms which would produce about 900 servings of noodles per day, but you want to have, because our missions, especially assess to health for nature, so we need economies of scale to bring down the price point so that anybody on the road so they can just afford it. And for that we need to have a one time scale. And currently, we don't have that.

David Benzaquen: I understand that you've primarily been focusing on the technology and building up the proof case for the business, the revenue streams, but you did mention that you do have some revenue, so I was curious where they stand if you can share...

Florence Leong: Currently, our revenue is from service. So, we do have a lot of interest, especially from food companies that have a lot of spent materials. So they usually come to us with the problem statement like I'm interested in this particular bioactive, can you extract it out for us? 

And increasingly, there's a lot of opportunity in Asia because the Asian foot industries want to claim to have their own R&D, all that is very rudimentary. So my background is that I come from the farm and I thought I saw the opportunity just like the farm on contracting other services out now. 

I see the same opportunity that we can generate some revenue by being where the contract research is for this for companies to help them in the valorization of the fibre and help them reformulating fibre into products which they can sell. But it's only one part of the business. Importantly, we need to bring them!

Tommaso Di Bartolo: I think we got your final question. I have another one regarding the team. You were presenting to us your co-founder, just to give us a sense. Is this it just you and your co-founder or how big is the team as of today?

Florence Leong:  Currently, we have about five people. We have a subsidiary in Suto, China, that is basically R&D. All the early stage work is done over there. And over here in Singapore, we have me and my co-founder, we have some culture specialists, we have a food pack. Yeah. So we also have our own 3d printer. And actually that is funded by a grant from the government. Again, there is a reason why we are raising funds because the last two years we have been building the foundation, getting our bio printer and getting our “baby”, you know, but now is the time we need to showface, we need to walk to the world and we want to attract more attention. We need to have the capacity in terms of the kinds of structure and skill we need to be able to do the work. 

Tommaso Di Bartolo: Yeah. Many challenges as a startup here, Florence, but thank you so much. We could go on and on for hours. Congratulations again on your endeavour, and your differentiator and the sweat you're putting in. 

[new presentation: Mezcla] 

Tommaso Di Bartolo: And now we move over to Griffin Spolansky, CEO at Mezcla, plant protein bars celebrating the food, art and community...

Griffin Spolansky: Thank you for the intro. Appreciate it. Yeah, so just give you guys a little bit of background on Mezcla.
Mezcla means mixture in Spanish. And it was actually started by me and my co-founder Coco Sotelo when I was in college at UVA. So I was actually into social entrepreneurship. And Coco came to speak to our class. She immigrated from Mexico 16 years ago, and her story was very inspiring to me. Because when she came to America, she felt lost. She felt like she didn't have a voice. And over time, she felt like she developed her voice through food. And that really spoke to me. You know, being from New York City, obviously, you know, I'm surrounded by a diversity of food. But sometimes you forget how important and powerful food is. So, Coco herself is an extremely powerful person and very inspirational, and I wanted to talk to her after class. Just want to learn more about her story. Learn more about her. And we actually developed a strong relationship. And we thought that there was a potential for a startup in the protein bar space. We know the space is very saturated. But that said…

“What we wanted to do in our idea was integrate these flavours from all around the world into protein bars, you know, and bring these diverse ingredient things exciting ingredients into a space that's saturated…”

But that isn't overly exciting. So that's where we started. And then you know, we kept thinking I would go to her house every night we would make protein bars, they would taste good one day and then a week later there would be rancid and we just couldn't figure it out. We kept working at it. And we finally ended up with Mezcla. So, essentially what we're doing now we took one step further is celebrating the world’s diversity through food and art. We have a Mexican chipotle and hot chocolate bar; A Peruvian cocoa peanut butter bar; and a Japanese matcha vanilla bar. And why we call those places out is that actually where we sourced the ingredients from. So we source our “Chipotle”  from Mexico, we source our “Cocoa”  from Peru, and we source our “Matcha” from Japan. So that was really important to us. And you know, you have all these exciting, unique, interesting flavours in the bars. But then we went one step further. So if you look at the art on the front of the wrappers, we actually found artists from these specific countries to design this art. 

Griffin [continues]: So the Mexican wrapper was designed by fantastic artists from Mexico, and so on and so forth for the other two wrappers. And what's exciting is when we launch in two weeks on our website, you'll learn about their inspiration for the art. We didn't say to the artists do this and do that. We said, Do what's important to you, do what's meaningful to you. And that was what's really exciting about this to us. It's really a platform for expression. And then I guess the last piece which is interesting to point out is the QR codes so we actually have a big QR code in the centre of our wrappers. And we're actually using that as a conduit to get to basically a platform to present art on our website. So when we're alive in two weeks now, which is scary, when someone scans that code, you'll actually be taken to a page on our website where we're showing a different piece of user generated art every day, talking a little about the artist plugging them in about their background and showing their piece of art. So that's, you know, that's a really powerful and exciting platform. 

Griffin [continues]: And just to sum it up, you know, I think like I said, the protein bar space is very saturated. But I do think that there's a big void there, I do think that we're really coming to the space with a very unique and interesting idea. And, you know, I just started a social entrepreneurship course, So just trying to do our part as well. 2% of our profits are going back to schools in need in the form of art supplies, and we're trying to be that overall company that delivers great food, a really cool story, but also gives back at the same time. So yeah, that's Mezcla in the nutshell. 

Tommaso Di Bartolo:  Well, thank you so much, Griffin. Thank you for sharing your story. David...

David Benzaquen: I was wanting to ask you a few questions, Griffin. First, I guess I wanted to know about your sales channel strategy. If you're planning on going into traditional brick and mortar retail or focusing on direct to consumer online, and if they're multiple channels and what is the order in which we'll be tackling those? I'd love to know that first.

Griffin Spolansky: That's a great question, David. So we kind of have a unique launching story in the sense that we actually just rolled out in 625 Walmart's across the nation. They caught wind of our idea we presented to them. They loved it and fortunately we were able to make a deal with them. So we just launched there. And you know, that's actually pre launch because we're launching our website in two weeks. So we're really focused on e-commerce specially with everything going on right now. That's really what we're hammering home. 

Griffin [continues]: At the same time, obviously, we're really focused on selling well at Walmart, making sure we deliver value and making sure consumers like our product. You know, we're not definitely not neglecting retail by any means, or right now the channels are Walmart heavily, and then e-commerce heavily. And one thing to your point is, I think we understand that e-commerce, you know, selling protein bars online can be difficult if someone's never tried the bar. So what we're offering is a three bar free trial that rolls into a subscription. So essentially, you know, we're going to be putting either Instagram On Facebook or whatnot. And the play is that  someone can purchase three bars for free, just pay for shipping. So pay $4.95. And if they like the bars, their subscription begins two weeks after they receive the bars. And if they don't like the bars, they can cancel. No, like no downside to them at all. And that's really you know, where we think we're going to win a lot of consumers. And I guess our last thing is a lot of protein bar companies sell by the 12 pack which is what we do for retail but online we're selling a 8 bar pack for under $20 just to make sure that the value is there for consumers.

David Benzaquen: Just to clarify when you say that's what you do in retail: You mean you sell a case of 12 units or do you mean that you're only selling them by the case? Are you selling individual bars too? 

Griffin Spolansky: We only sell to retailers that comes in the case when they peel off the case and it's sold single serve.

Tommaso Di Bartolo:  First of all, congratulations on the deal with Walmart,  I mean that's impressive and it's just the beginning right? The mission here is really to learn and exchange. That's the reason why we do the formats. So what was in your opinion, what can you share with us here that made a player such as Walmart which has high quality standards decide to do a nationwide roll up with a startup that has still not that much of a visibility of a brand? What were the key things that make you guys so sexy? You know?

Griffin Spolansky:  Yeah, great question! I think that the fact of the matter is when we met with the buyer, she actually said our product was, you know, unique and the most exciting interview, I think it was two fold. So one, if you actually look at the consistency of our bars, we're producing a bar where you can see like the nuts and seeds, everything in there. I shouldn't say not, excuse me, we're using pea protein. So we're using crisps, actually. So you can see everything in the bar, and it's coated with chocolate on the bottom and it's drizzled with chocolate on the top. So it's a really good looking bar from an aesthetic standpoint. So I think that was really helpful. Obviously, it's plant protein, 10 grams of protein so she liked the nutrition facts, but at the same time, I think what really sets us apart is there's no company in the protein or space that really is trying to provide a platform form for consumers. 

Griffin [continues]: So in our opinion, there are a lot of bars you know, that have functional ingredients that taste fine. But you know, for the average consumer, they eat them but don't necessarily stick with them. And what we're trying to do is create a platform and a company that actually sticks with the consumer after they eat it. So they can actually engage with that product, they can submit art, and it can be on our website one day that they're really part of the conversation, as opposed to just, you know, buying a product and being done with it after they eat it.

Tommaso Di Bartolo: Do you guys have a built in monetization model for those artists? You were mentioned giving back, there is a kind of tight with the artists? 

Griffin Spolansky:  Yeah, so right now there's no monetization for the artist it's really just about, you know, having the ability to show your art, basically to the world.

I mean, anyone that buys our bar at Walmart or anywhere across the country can scan that code and see the art. We're really trying to just show them and give them a platform to voice their art and their opinions and outside of that obviously giving back in the form of art supplies to schools in need is you know argue back as well. And, and one thing that we're actually toying around with as well, getting another 1% back to the specific countries so you know any any sale that comes from Japanese Matcha Bar will give 1% back to a charity from Japan so we haven't officially decided on that yet but that's one thing that we are playing around with as well.

Tommaso Di Bartolo: Nice! And how big is your team as of today?

Griffin Spolansky:  Yeah, so it's about five people in two interns right now. As you know with a startup we're trying to manage a bunch of people who are part time, the interns obviously their intern so we're trying to be very careful with cash flow because we know that could sink a startup pretty quickly.

Tommaso Di Bartolo: Speaking of a cash flow, have you had any interest from investors so far and have you ever chatted with investors and if so what was their feedback.

Griffin Spolansky: Yeah, good question. So we actually had a Kickstarter, where we raised, like 32 or $33,000. And then we raised $250,000 through small family and friends round. We're actually aiming for $400,000 so we do have 150,000 that's, you know, left open right now. And that money just going to be used for production and making sure that we can scale, because as you can imagine, we just produce 75,000 bars and, you know, over half of them have already been cleaned out by Walmart so we're just trying to make sure we can keep up with demand and produce and that gets expensive really quickly.

Tommaso Di Bartolo: I see. So, last question David before I ping-pong over to this flow of questions. And so in a 360 day plan what are your key challenges right now what's your key milestone that you want to achieve?

Griffin Spolansky: Yeah, I think one is just production and making sure that from a logistical standpoint things flow, very, you know, seamlessly. I mean I think that that's one thing I had no experience in and didn't realise it'd be such a difficulty, but just making sure that the bars get produced on time the wrappers are there two weeks before the bar the bosses are there two weeks before the bars are produced, you know we can't change anything in the bars because we do that I triggers rapid changes in box changes so like everything I think it's all about logistics and making sure that that flows seamlessly, because I think that that is going to be a huge challenge, and is a huge challenge for us just making sure that you know we have all that figured out, I do think the one thing I will say is I do think there's a learning curve. Once we kind of get it figured out it should flow, but right now we definitely are at the point where we're you know setting up that infrastructure and making sure that you know we don't have, you know, major challenges on that front. 

David Benzaquen: I also want to say congratulations on your progress and an incredible start to the business, the branding looks really beautiful and the product itself looks really tasty. And obviously you're landing that first account is extremely impressive. I have two questions about that one. How do you ensure that you stay in Walmart, because I've had six clients go out of business because they went into Walmart over my objections because they weren't ready for them. And there's no guarantee they keep you in or there's usually not a guarantee of you and then you scale up and invest a ton of money in scaling your production and team to attend the demands and they also say: “we change our minds”, and then you're stuck over leverage so I'm curious about that actually first of all how do you ensure that there you build the awareness and trial, so that people actually generate the sales that you need to justify the space on the show. 

Griffin Spolansky: Yeah, I mean that's a great question and it's something that we've been talking about a lot internally, because it is a difficult one thing is digital ads, and that's what we're focused on but that being said, the one comment I will add to that is digital ads are kind of a black hole because we can geo target and you know place ads you will have around Walmart, but we don't necessarily know if that's working or not. Obviously if we see sales, you know, uptrend, we can assume that it is because of digital sales, but that definitely is, you know, a concern for us. So digital sales are one, and then you know we've spoken with few brokers for Walmart we've spoken with them about other programmes like BADA. 

Griffin [continues]: It gets really expensive so right now I mean, we're focused on word of mouth and focus on, you know really plugging it through our social media channels, and also we're focused on price because right now, we're 10%, our price comes 10% higher than the closest competitor to us, so you know if we can get our price down, I will take thing in terms of shell throw. But one thing I will say is, since last week we brought about 50% or we've doubled our sales since last week on Walmart so we're really you know enthused by that. But you bring up a very good point I think a lot of that is just trial and error and seeing what works so saying I have like a little crystal ball I can tell you exactly the answer, I'd be lying. So we're going to figure that out right now though. 

David Benzaquen: Okay, thank you. And since you brought up your pricing I was curious about that actually. What's your suggested retail price, or this is your existing price at Walmart right now and what does that allow you in gross margins? 

Griffin Spolansky: Yes, we're $2.46 with Walmart. Our suggested retail prices are $2.66, obviously we knew we would come in lower with Walmart on that. That's said for the Subscribe we believe for $2.49. Like I said under $20, and then retail margins are about 34% and econ margins are about 46%.

David Benzaquen: When you think you've crossed that essential 40% threshold, your gross margins and retail to make that channel manageable? 

Griffin Spolansky: Yeah, I think very soon. One of our pinpoints right now is our wrappers. Right now, you know, we actually cut the cost by 60% by switching to another material that just requires to play costs, the reason we are holding off on that was that we do not want to invest $50,000 in a player that we have to change the artwork in a month or two months, so play cost is gonna be huge and that's gonna help us clean up the margins, and then just focus in on shipping and logistics, that is going to be important as well. So those are the two pinpoints for us right now that if we fixed, you know, our margin should be above that 40% level.

Tommaso Di Bartolo: Thank you, Griffin and congratulations on your endeavour. And as I mentioned, amazing topics, great entrepreneurs, great questions and we could go on and on with this topic, we want respect for everybody's time coming to an end. 

And without further-ado, I would like to thank Florence, Griffin and David. Before we wrap up, David, your thoughts… Do you want to meet with Florence again to continue the conversation? Yes or no? 

David Benzaquen: I was extremely impressed with what you're doing. I personally am not somebody who is as experienced in the tech side, or in the B2B side, but I do have folks, I'd like to introduce you to those who are very focused in technologies that can help scale up and enable growth in the culture, animal protein world. And when I looked at that world, the piece that bothers me is not, you know, all of the companies that are focusing on right now and making the first, you know, outs of negative meat doesn't interest me so much is how do we get it to scale. And so technologies like yours are very interesting to me in that way.
I know that's just one part of your business but I certainly would like to introduce you to, but personally my entire focus is  on CPG products. So it is a business model that doesn't fit into my personal investment thesis, but certainly one that's very impressive. 

Tommaso Di Bartolo:  It's on the interest side and we know as entrepreneurs how important it is to have  vetted and  qualified introduction.
How about Griffin, David. Do you want to continue the conversation with Griffin?

David Benzaquen:  I do, you know, I will be honest when I look at a bar product I feel the same way as I look at you know a granola product or cold pressed juice boxes usually I close my eyes and turn around. But I was extremely impressed with your presentation and impressed by how you landed the account you did still verify it. But very interested in digging more and understanding your portfolio strategy, your direction you're going in and seeing how it would be a good premiere for folks I know and before you continue the conversation.

Tommaso Di Bartolo:  So awesome so we have two “yeses” and on the Awesm Ventures side, represented by me, Griffin, absolutely more than intrigued to understand the details and nuances of where you stand and where you want to go and Florence I'll be more than happy to share with our analyst with the guys are working on and our people on the Awesm Ventures side and understand really the USP and you differentiate so two “yeses” on our side too. And this is it for today, July, 23 2020, thank you so much for joining David, thank you, Florence I always like to wrap up a quote, it's actually a quote that I learned and  embraced over the last 20 years of my activity and an entrepreneur and investor which was like this: “Never forget where it comes from. It keeps you humble. But where you come from cannot limit you from where you want to go…”

With that, thank you so much for joining.

I'll see you next Thursday. Thank you, guys!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this Podcast as well as in its transcript are those of the participant guest speakers and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Corpor8 or its partners and sponsors. In the same way, the participant speakers do not endorse any products, services, brands, practices, professionals or views other than what they specifically and directly expressed by verbalizing at the time the episode was recorded. In addition, transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio file (podcast) before ever quoting in print.

David Benzaquen linkedin-color

Consultant and investor for plant-based food companies


Florence Leong linkedin-color

Director and Founder at Kosmode Health Singapore Pte Ltd | Plant based nutraceutical & biomedical development with best extraction
Griffin Spolanzky-1


Griffin Spolansky linkedin-color

Co-Founder and CEO at Mezcla | Plant Protein Bar Celebrating Food, Art & Community
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