Lab to table
Making a plant-based substitute to replace energy- and resource-intensive factory-farmed meat is among the latest challenges taken up by the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (SCET). This semester, 45 students are studying the market dynamics of plant-based protein and trying to create vegetarian options that look, feel and taste like real meat but are more environmentally sustainable.
Factory-farmed meat accounts for about a quarter of global carbon emissions, according to the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. that is partnering with SCET on the course.
“Some of the students enrolled because they are convinced that this is urgently needed,” says Ricardo San Martin, visiting SCET faculty member, course instructor and entrepreneur. “But all of them share a desire for impact — to be a force in the world.”
The course is part of the center’s Challenge Lab series and is formatted like an incubator: Teams design a product and pitch it to a panel of experts in hopes of winning prize money to form a company.