What have you been up to since winning the competition?
Hoxton Farms’ aim as a company is to scale up production of cultivated fat , in order to become the leading supplier in the world. All of our ongoing scientific work is about making the process scalable both technically and commercially.
Breaking that down, Max said, “We have been scaling our science by building the robust tools we need to grow our product in larger volumes and scaling the company by building out our R&D team, bringing in the experts we need across the entire process.” These will include tissue culture scientists, bio process engineers and computational biologists .
Hoxton Farms will be bringing this team together in a brand new lab space, currently being built in London’s Tech City, and is working towards a cost-effective prototype of its cultivated fat over the next 12 months. Hoxton Farms recently disclosed the closing of a £2.7m seed round.
With one eye on product scalability, Max & Ed are also engaging with customers. As Max said, “We are a B2B company making an ingredient which we sell to people who make the final product. We are working with those customers to work out what the tastiest, most delicious and functionally useful kind of fat is. So there is a lot of development work happening alongside those companies to work out exactly what they need.’’
Max also added, ‘‘Every single person we have spoken to says congratulations on winning the [Emerging Technologies] competition. It has been the biggest external validation that we’ve got, having the Royal Society of Chemistry’s stamp of approval.’’
What made them apply to the Emerging Technologies Competition?
Max said there were three reasons they wanted to apply. Firstly as an early start-up they had lots of ideas and plans but didn’t have the funding they needed to make these happen and were specifically looking for these types of competitions with non-dilutive funding. Secondly, the soft support provided to competition winners, in the form of mentoring, connections and contacts, as well as the recognition from such a strong brand as the Royal Society of Chemistry. Lastly, the fact that there were categories in the competition meant they would be judged by people who would understand their technology and in turn have exposure to the Food & Drink industry.
What was your favourite part of taking part in the Emerging Technologies Competition?
“The pitching day itself. Preparing the presentation was really useful because it forced us to think about a lot of things that we hadn’t thought about yet as a young company”.
Max added, “Whatever the outcome, having a day where we got to get together with a cohort of other companies, hear about their awesome work and tell the story of our company to a group of expert judges was really fun”.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to apply for the 2021 Emerging Technologies Competition?
“My advice as a scientist would be to think about your science, your innovation as part of a much bigger commercial picture,” said Max. “When you’re telling a compelling story in your application and your pitch, do say what makes your science cool, but don’t lose sight of the bigger picture of your company as a whole and all the things that go into building a great business”.