The 2020 Shenzhen Creative December Hult Award Finals at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen) campus ended perfectly on Saturday (December 5). The theme of this competition is "Food for good (Transforming Food into a Vehicle for Change)". The participating teams built a profitable and sustainable business model for the topics of "Food Equality", "Improving Consumer Experience" and "Food Sustainability".
During the one-month competition, contestants had the opportunity to participate in a number of healthy food-related workshops, including Starbucks coffee grounds reuse, HeyTea Green-Inspired Recycled Tea Drinking Space, and the “China’s New Generation Healthy Food Entrepreneurship Saloon” held on November 27, who got a closer look at issues related to food sustainability.
"China's New Generation Healthy Food Entrepreneurship Meeting" is hosted by Dao Foods International and co-organized by the Asian Environmental Innovation Forum (AEIF).
The Shenzhen event brought together nearly 80 investors, representatives of food giants, entrepreneurs, and audiences to participate in the event. It systematically introduced the development status of alternative protein foods, Dao Foods International, Dao Foods Incubator and its incubation projects.
1. Welcome speech
Tao Zhang, Xiaohu Zhang, both co-founders of Dao Foods.
Dao Foods International is an influential investment and incubation organization focusing on plant-based and alternative protein food innovations. It aims to help entrepreneurs develop exciting new-generation alternative protein products for the Chinese market. Reduce the dependence of mass consumers on the traditional animal raising industry. In 2018, Dao Foods was selected as one of the 15 innovative companies that will change the global meat industry in the future by The Grocer, a well-known magazine in the industry, and won the Luxembourg International Climate Finance Accelerator Special Award in 2019.
2. Introduction to Dao Foods Incubator and Business Guide
Chaohui Yang, GM of Dao Foods Incubator
Dao Foods Incubator is the only incubator that focuses on the Chinese mainland market and alternative protein startups. The project includes mentorship services, financial support, core courses, entrepreneurial messengers, online incubation and other highlights. It’s looking for and supporting pure plant-based or cultivated meat entrepreneurial teams.
The founder and management team have rich domestic and foreign influence investment experience, resources and networks, and have a good record and reputation in the field of international alternative proteins. They can effectively endorse and institute the follow-up support and resource allocation required by startups.
Dao Foods International and its partner Gu Fu GFIC co-authored and published the "China’s New Generation Healthy Food Entrepreneurship Guide", hoping to give entrepreneurs in this field a structured and multidimensional way to think about problems.
This entrepreneurial guide highlights various issues and steps that entrepreneurs may need to consider when starting a plant-based or alternative protein business, including startup company planning, startup financing, product development, and product marketing.
3. Topic Sharing: Why the development of the alternative protein industry requires impact investment
According to the United Nations report, meat has become "one of the most pressing issues in the world." Livestock breeding consumes a lot of water and land resources and emits more greenhouse gases.
Therefore, Dao Foods launched the "Plant-based Entrepreneurship Saloon" in 2019, released the "Guide to the New Generation of healthy Food Entrepreneurship in China", and launched the Dao foods incubator, focusing on exploring and cultivating alternative protein startups in the Chinese mainland market.
4. Round table discussion: How can the new generation of healthy food promote sustainable development
The round-table forum session brought together representatives from academia, industry, entrepreneurial companies and students to share the impact of the new generation of healthy food on the world today.
Lan Song, Vice Dean of the Sustainable Development Research Institute, SUST
Ruiying Fu, Holt Prize China Representative
5. Roundtable Forum: How to Promote Sustainable Development through Food Investment
Jianyi Lin, VP of Asia-Pacific Strategic Investment and Business, Weiyi Foods.
6. Dao Foods’ first investment in 4 plant-based protein entrepreneurial brands
Founders sharing their experiences
Tasting and Exchange Round
In this session, the audience had the opportunity to taste plant-based foods and communicate with the founder.
Feedback from the Students
I am very grateful to CIDE for providing the opportunity to participate in the new generation of good food business exchange in China. Through this event, I learned about the solutions proposed by companies for key environmental challenges facing the world and the innovative attempts made by domestic companies to solve key environmental problems, tasted high-quality plant protein cuisine, and experienced the current alternative protein. The status quo of industry development. This is a very meaningful event, and I hope that there will be more opportunities to participate in related events in the future. ---- Jiawei Lian, Holt prize contestant
During the event, we learned about Dao Foods’ incubation project, the current development of plant-based artificial meat, and the characteristics of related companies such as Weekly Zero, 70/30, and Mr. Raw. I saw many "adults" in the sharing, and they told their stories with confidence and hope. It can be seen that they are working hard for what they believe, and they are willing to do things that can change the world. I am very happy. Being a well-behaved adult is not our only choice. There are still many people in this world. They have changed their clothes and have more experience, but they still have beliefs and dreams like a teenager and are still doing fun and meaningful things. ---- Xinyi Huang, Holt Prize contestant
After that, we chatted with the person in charge of the Holt Prize in China. She holds a master degree of architecture, but she is willing to pay a lot for such a thing that has nothing to do with her major. In school, she will complete her tasks very efficiently, thereby squeezing time to do more meaningful things, and these efforts will often give her a lot of unexpected gains.
Participating in this event, I have a clearer view of the purpose of the Holt Prize competition, as well as a clearer view of where we should proceed. The ideas in the event gave me a lot of inspiration, and a general understanding of this field also helped us a lot in future preparations.
More importantly, we have come into contact with such a group of people and feel the bigger world.
Formatting/Editing | Ke Chen, Class of 2018 SME, Harmonia College
English Translation | Renjie Li, Class of 2020 CIE, Diligentia College
Some images credited to Dao Foods.