Solution Overview

Solution Name:

Shiok Meats, sustainable seafood

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One-line solution summary:

Shiok Meats is a cell-based clean meat company, producing seafood and meats by harvesting from cells instead of animals.

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Pitch your solution.

Shiok Meats is a cell-based clean meat company, the first of its kind in Singapore and South-East Asia.

Our mission is to bring delicious, clean and healthy seafood and meats by harvesting from cells instead of animals. Shiok Meats will bring cell-based crustacean meats (shrimp, crab, lobster) to your table.

Our meats are animal-, health- and environment-friendly with the same taste, texture, more nutrients and no cruelty.

“Shiok” in Singapore and Malay slang means fantastic and delicious.

The current crustacean and seafood industry is tainted with unsustainable overfishing, overuse of antibiotics, accumulation os heavy metals and microplastics, forced labor to name a few. Our solution solves all the above problems.

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Film your elevator pitch.

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What specific problem are you solving?

The world's population is going to be 10 billion, we need sustainable food productions systems to feed us all.

The current crustacean and seafood industry is tainted with unsustainable overfishing, overuse of antibiotics, accumulation os heavy metals and microplastics, forced labor to name a few. 

With the growing severity of the climate change crisis - scientists, businesses and corporations have been concerned with finding alternative methods of production. Hence, there has been a growth in the number of campaigns focused on energy conservation and recycling.

The meat industry in particular is a huge contributor to the climate change crisis - producing 37% of human-caused methane emissions and creating the sixth mass extinction. The global demand of meat is ever-increasing, with meat production quadrupling in the last 50 years. Currently, 56 billion land animals are used for human consumption annually, and this number is expected to double by 2050.

Our oceans especially hang in a precarious balance, along with the marine life they harbour and the billions of humans who depend on them for survival and livelihood.

Innovative solutions are urgently needed to address the growing global demand for seafood without causing further and irreversible harm to ocean ecosystems.

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What is your solution?

Asia’s fish farms are highly fragmented and largely still follow very traditional farming practices, with survival rates as low as 20%.

Hence, reducing pressure on global fisheries is critical to allow ocean ecosystems a chance to recover from decades of mismanagement.

Our solution is cell-based seafood specifically for crustaceans - shrimps, prawns, crabs, lobsters, crayfish etc. Using our patent pending technology, a small sample of stem cells are taken from the live animal - stem cells have this amazing capability to keep growing if put in the right conditions. Stem cells once frozen down, do not die - they actually just stay there doing nothing - but once you put them back in favorable conditions, they start growing and reproducing again! So once these stem cells are isolated from an animal, they are grown in large quantities - I am talking about millions, billions, trillions of cells in a controlled and sterile environment - in a large chamber called the bioreactor. If you have seen breweries, you would have seen these huge stainless-steel tanks in which beer is brewed. Just imagine these huge tanks brewing meat and seafood inside instead of beer!

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Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Clean meats are meats produced from stem cells and cells of the animal, extracted only once, to produce thousands of tonnes of meat in a controlled environment resulting in meats that are tasty, nutritious and cruelty-free. These meats are also sustainable as they use less land, less water and less energy. Since they are produced from stem cells, their biological and chemical composition is exactly as that of meat. So what we are offering is meat for meat eaters, just from a different source and meat for vegans and vegetarians who do not eat meat due to ethical reasons. So essentially, it is true meat, not fake, not synthetic, and for ALL!

The world population is going to increase to 10 billion in the next 25 years - and we need to feed all our fellow human beings. The solution that I am working on along with my awesome team at Shiok Meats is cell-based meats or clean meat using cellular agriculture or cellular aquaculture, which is revolutionary and offers actual meat and seafood without compromising on taste, flavor, texture or nutrition.


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Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Promote the shift towards low-impact, diverse, and nutritious diets, including low-carbon protein options
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Explain how the problem, your solution, and your solution’s target population relate to the Challenge and your selected dimension.

We are working on diverse, food technology that is cutting edge but at the same time sustainable and requires less energy and resources. But our technology provides the mass population with nutritious seafood that is high in protein, but low impact to the environment and no cruelty to animals 

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In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Singapore
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What is your solution’s stage of development?

Prototype: A venture or organization building and testing its product, service, or business model
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Who is the primary delegate for your solution?

Dr Sandhya Sriram, CEO and co-founder

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More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new technology
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Describe what makes your solution innovative.

We are currently the first and only cell-based seafood solution for sustainable crustacean meat. 

Other cell-based seafood companies (only 4 other ones exist) work on other types of seafood like tuna and salmon.

We are the first to file for our patent; our strong IP and world-class team are our strength and protect us.

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Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

An easy narrative has been put together by the industry to compare clean meats and seafood to plants and how they are grown in greenhouses, which people are familiar with.

In the greenhouse, a small cutting of a plant is taken and placed in a nutrient-rich environment with controlled temperature, pressure, pollination and so on to grow the plants, vegetables and fruits. At the end of the day, what you get is still plants, vegetables and fruits with the same taste, nutrition and biological and chemical composition. Similarly, for clean meats and seafood, a small sample of stem cells are taken from the live animal - stem cells have this amazing capability to keep growing if put in the right conditions. Stem cells once frozen down, do not die - they actually just stay there doing nothing - but once you put them back in favorable conditions, they start growing and reproducing again! So once these stem cells are isolated from an animal, they are grown in large quantities - I am talking about millions, billions, trillions of cells in a controlled and sterile environment - in a large chamber called the bioreactor. If you have seen breweries, you would have seen these huge stainless-steel tanks in which beer is brewed. Just imagine these huge tanks brewing meat and seafood inside instead of beer!

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Provide evidence that this technology works.

Fascinated with this technology and passionate to contribute to the future of food, I decided to Shiok Meats, a cell-based seafood company working on shrimps, crabs and lobsters in 2018. My personal experience and education is in stem cells and I wanted to produce clean, healthy and environment-friendly seafood using stem cells. I have been working with various types of stem cells from different animals right from my undergraduation, through my Masters, PhD and postdoctoral research work. In 2018, I decided to take a stance, quit my job and take the biggest risk of my career and life - but it paid off! And my co-founder, Ka Yi Ling, came along this crazy ride with me.

We started up with an idea, a lot of passion and a little bit of money. In 6 months, we had our first prototype - these are the first ever cell-based shrimp dumplings made by us! They were extremely delicious, succulent, sweet and have that umami flavor that we all love; but with no animal cruelty or antibiotics!

We have created numerous prototypes in the last 20 months.

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Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Biotechnology / Bioengineering
  • Manufacturing Technology
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Select the key characteristics of your target population.

  • Peri-Urban
  • Urban
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Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 2. Zero Hunger
  • 3. Good Health and Well-Being
  • 9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 14. Life Below Water
  • 16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
  • 17. Partnerships for the Goals
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In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Singapore
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In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
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How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?

We are currently in R&D phase and will commercialise in a few years. 

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What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?

Setup our first manufacturing plant in Singapore and commercialize our first set of products. 

In the next five years, we want to setup 5 more plants to produce cell-based crustaceans to serve APAC.

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What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?

Funding, technology scale up and reduction of production prices

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How do you plan to overcome these barriers?

We are currently fund raising, R&D is working hard on technology scale up and reduction of pricing

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About Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models
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How many people work on your solution team?

10 full time, 2 interns

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How many years have you worked on your solution?

21 months

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Why are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

We are a world class team of scientists, engineers and business professionals. 

Dr Sandhya Sriram is the CEO and co-founder of Shiok Meats Pte. Ltd., Singapore. Sandhya is a stem cell scientist with over 10 years of experience working with muscle, adipose, cells and stem cells. After graduating with a PhD from NTU in Singapore, Sandhya pursued her postdoc at A*STAR in Singapore. Following 4 years of postdoctoral work, she took up business development at a research institute. Alongside, she co-founded 2 companies, Biotech In Asia and SciGlo. She has been featured on Forbes Women in Tech for her entrepreneurial ventures, a TEDx speaker and is an author for Nature Biotechnology blog. Currently, Sandhya and Dr Ka Yi Ling, are working on cell-based meat (seafood), based out of Singapore.

Dr Ling Ka Yi is the Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Shiok Meats Pte. Ltd., Singapore. Ka Yi is a developmental biologist with over 9 years expertise in tracing and studying stem cells during development. Ka Yi received the prestigious A*STAR’s National Science Scholarship and graduated with a Bachelors and PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She worked closely with stem cell and developmental biology experts like James Thomson, Davor Solter and Barbara Knowles. Following graduation, Ka Yi did her postdoc at IMCB, A*STAR. She is an active science communicator since her days in Madison and frequently takes part in Singapore’s science outreach events. She also does a podcast “Science Now” and “Life after PhD” with fellow scholar.

 


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What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?

We partner with one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, academic labs and other startups around the world - we cannot publicly disclose the names as of now. 

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Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

Our business model is B2B - we will sell frozen cell-based seafood to restaurants and food suppliers. We have LOIs from restaurants already.

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Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, or to other organizations?

Organizations (B2B)
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Partnership & Prize Funding Opportunities

Why are you applying to Solve?

Recognition, consumer education

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In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Product/service distribution
  • Talent recruitment
  • Legal or regulatory matters
  • Marketing, media, and exposure
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Solution Team

 
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