Protein innovators to convene at virtual competition to pitch for $1.25m in the Radicle Protein Challenge by Syngenta

News Release

Finalists chosen from applicants around the globe include cellular aquaculture innovator, plant and mushroom-based, stem cell line and seaweed protein innovators; pitching ag industry leaders

SAN DIEGO, Calif., USA, October 13, 2020Radicle Growth, a company building platform for early-stage ag and food technologies, and Syngenta Group, a leading agriculture company helping to improve global food security, today announced the four entrepreneurs who have been invited to compete at The Radicle Protein Challenge by Syngenta virtual Pitch Day competition taking place November 2 and 3, 2020. 

The Radicle Protein Challenge by Syngenta sought applicants from around the world that provided novel solutions to support the future of protein. Companies of all stages applied for the investment—$1 million for the winner and the $250k for the second-place winner—to accelerate the growth of their technologies. Applicants were well-balanced across protein sub-categories. A third of applicants represented plant-based technologies, a third represented microorganisms, and another third represented cellular, insect and animal technologies. The winners will not only receive a significant investment but will have access to Radicle and Syngenta’s broad agriculture expertise and global agtech networks to advance and promote their technology.

“Every demographic in every corner of the world is consuming new protein sources and the demand is only going to grow. We've found that entrepreneurs are rising to the occasion and are developing technologies to meet these new consumer preferences. We had over 150 applications, which is the highest number of applicants we’ve had for a Radicle Challenge focused on a specific technology area,” said Kirk Haney, Managing Partner, Radicle Growth. “There was an amazing cross-section of technologies from around the world. In fact, 60% of applicants were from outside the U.S., which highlights the global nature of entrepreneurship and the reach of Syngenta and Radicle. 

The finalists are: 

  • BlueNalu, Inc., a leading innovative food company making a variety of great tasting, healthy, safe and trusted seafood products directly from fish cells.
  • Cell Farm, Latin America’s first cultured meat startup creating stem cell lines and growth media for the cellular meat industry. 
  • MycoTechnology, a mushroom fermentation platform manufacturing protein and other ingredients. 
  • Trophic, a plant-based protein innovator extracting protein from seaweed for “meatier” plant-based protein. 

Each company will present in front of a leading panel of judges, including: Syngenta Group CEO, Erik Fyrwald, Louise Fresco, President of Wageningen University and Research, Chen Lichtenstein, CFO of Syngenta Group, Alexander Tokarz, Head of Group Strategy at Syngenta Group, Ann Veneman, former Executive Director of UNICEF (2005-2010) and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (2001-2005) and Kirk Haney, Radicle Growth Founder and Managing Partner. The judges will deliberate and select the two winners. The winners of the $1m and $250k investments will be announced on November 3, 2020 at the end of the “Speed Pitching” virtual Pitch Day event, along with the winner of the “People’s Choice Award” voted on by the attendees of this public event. 

“This Challenge provides a unique way to pursue innovation and will provide two companies with novel solutions to support the future of protein with the capital to overcome challenges to grow this segment to meet consumer demands and feed a growing population in a sustainable manner,” said Erik Fyrwald, Syngenta Group CEO. “We hope you can join us on November 3 for the Pitch Day event.”

For more information on The Radicle Challenge by Syngenta, visit and to register to attend the virtual Pitch Day on November 3, visit:

Join the conversation online – connect with Syngenta at

About the Syngenta Group
Syngenta Group is one of the world’s leading agriculture innovation companies, with roots going back more than 250 years. Its 48,000 people across more than 100 countries strive to transform agriculture through breakthrough products and technologies that play a vital role in enabling the food chain to feed the world safely, sustainably and with respect for our planet. Swiss headquartered and Chinese-owned, the Group draws strength from its four business units – Syngenta Crop Protection headquartered in Switzerland, Syngenta Seeds headquartered in the United States, ADAMA headquartered in Israel, and Syngenta Group China – that provide industry-leading ways to serve customers everywhere.

About Radicle Growth
Radicle Growth selects innovative, early-stage companies for investment, ensuring that disruptive agtech & foodtech companies reach their full potential. In addition to providing seed-stage capital, Radicle Growth provides a fertile environment for visionaries in the ag and food space to flourish. Their proprietary platform is one of a kind in the ag and food industry, filling a huge void in the market by identifying the most innovative technologies and accelerating them with a range of value-creation initiatives. To connect and learn more about Radicle Growth follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Media Contacts:
Chris Tutino

Derek Berkshire

Radicle Growth media contact:
Danielle Dougan

Web Resources:
Radicle Growth
The Radicle Challenge
Virtual Pitch Day Event
Syngenta U.S. Social
Know More, Grow More
Syngenta Newsroom
Syngenta U.S.

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