AMES, Iowa, March 3, 2022 – Ag Startup Engine, in the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, has announced an initial investment in Slater, Iowa-based GW Nutrition, who are developing a technology to improve food ingredients where the sensory properties limit market opportunity.
GW Nutrition arises from the leadership and innovation of Gross-Wen Technologies, who was Ag Startup Engine’s third investment (2017). This new, separate venture will utilize patent pending technology on high value ingredients where neutralization of flavor, odor and color create a competitive advantage. Their first product will be an algae protein with a reduced sensory profile and will be offered as an alternative to whey, soy, or animal-based proteins. Algae is the most sustainable source for complete proteins, containing all nine essential amino acids.
Ag Startup Engine is excited to have GW Nutrition join its portfolio of innovative startups. “GW Nutrition is another attractive business leveraging algae technology,” commented Kevin Kimle, Ag Startup Engine Co-Director. “The leadership team at GW Nutrition brings tremendous experience in taking novel food ingredients to market, and the potential demand for algae-based protein ingredients is significant.”
"The demand for sustainably sourced alternative protein continues to grow rapidly,” adds Anita Norian, President of GW Nutrition. “To meet this growing demand, new technology will be required to allow the utilization of alternative proteins in the mainstream food market. We selected algae as our first target ingredient due to its sustainability and high-quality protein. An algae with a reduced organoleptic profile can be broadly applied to meet the alternative protein demand in the market. We are excited to partner with the Ag Startup Engine team and its wide network to help accelerate our growth."
Ag Startup Engine was launched five years ago to help address two fundamental gaps that prevent agricultural startups and entrepreneurs from being more successful: early seed-stage investment and organized mentorship from successful entrepreneurs. With the closing of their second fund, they plan to accept and invest in 45 agriculture and animal health startups in the next five years.