You’ve likely heard of clean meat, or real meat grown from animal cells as opposed to animal slaughter. Most of the startups in the space are based in the US or Israel, with a few in the EU as well. Now, however, there are some new players on the field in Asia, and Shiok Meats is one of those pioneers, having gone through the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator and raising $4.6 million to start growing real shrimp without the numerous social ills typically associated with catching or farming the crustaceans.
In this episode, we hear from Shiok’s CEO, an impressive serial entrepreneur and scientist Sandhya Sriram. She shares her journey of getting her PhD and eventually quitting her secure job after one fateful phone call to start her own cultured meat company in Singapore.
You’ll hear in the interview just why the shrimp industry is in such need of improvement and how Sandhya is aiming to foment a cellular aquaculture revolution via her new business. We also discuss her thoughts on what such meat ought to be called, how the Asian entrepreneurial scene differs from that in the US, and more.
Sandhya is a great example of that brave entrepreneur who saw a problem, conceived of an innovative solution, and is now working diligently to manifest that solution into reality.
Resources discussed in the episode
- Sandhya discusses modern slavery in the Asian shrimp industry.
- She notes that The Good Food Institute has been helpful to Shiok Meats.
- It was a phone call with Ryan Bethencourt that persuaded Sandhya to quit her job to start Shiok Meats.
- Shiok Meats is generating headlines in Asia, in the tech press, and the food press.
- Sandhya also kindly mentions Paul’s book on the topic.
- While Shiok is growing real shrimp meat from shrimp cells, we also discuss plant-based shrimp like New Wave Foods and Sophie’s Kitchen.