Keep up to date with the latest announcements at Sun Bear Biofuture and in the precision fermentation world.
Bears on the Road
This week Laura and the Bens are on the road, spending several days in the Netherlands for the final week of the Startlife Accelerator. It has been a very helpful and supportive programme over the past 4 months, and we’re sad to be completing it.
The access to corporate partners and Wageningen University, where StartLife is based, has created opportunities for a number of really exciting collaborations. We’re really looking forward to continuing the relationship over the coming years.
We are very excited to announce that we’ve been awarded a highly competitive Smart Grant by InnovateUK, the UK’s innovation agency, to follow on from our Fast Start award! Over the next year we will be using this project to work on key sections of our process that enable us to scale production of a alternative to palm oil using fermentation.
We’re proud to be driving change in producing sustainable everyday essentials, and to be selected by Innovate UK in a pool of inspiring, game-changing projects.
We are delighted to have been selected to take part in the world renowned MassChallenge Switzerland accelerator following two tough judging rounds.
We'll be in a cohort with some of the world's best startups working in agrifoodtech innovation, working on the "Sustainable Food" sector. It's a real honor and we can't wait to start!
Last week we completed a collaboration with AberInnovation and several partner colleagues from Aberystwyth University as part of our Solutions Catalyst project, during which we explored a range of production and downstream processing methods.
Here you can see our CTO Ben checking out a sample of the oil we produced. This is a really exciting advancement of our R&D and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with the fantastic team over in Wales.
Sun Bear Adoption
With fewer than 1000 sun bears left we felt we needed to do something pro-active, and so we've adopted a sun bear to support the wonderful work of the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (https://www.bsbcc.org.my/index.html) and the work they do to rescue and protect these beautiful animals.
Whilst our mission is to prevent 100 million tonnes of carbon annually by 2030 we know action is needed now, so this small gesture at least starts us on our way. The sun bear is clearly important to us and is a key part of our founding story. The tragedy of the impact we have all caused on the planet led us to choose a name that reminds us every day of our mission. Thanks and lots of appreciation go out to the BSBCC from all of the Sun Bear Biofuture team!
StartLife 2023 Entry
Sun Bear Biofuture have been selected as one of only 9 companies to partake in the 10th cohort of the world famous StartLife accelerator programme. This provides the Bears an opportunity to engage with the global heart of food innovation in the Food Valley of Holland. Working with the Startlife team, an amazing network of mentors and coaches, many corporate partners and of course Wageningen University will be a real honour.
The programme starts in March and runs through to June. With so many goals to achieve this year the Sun Bear team will be able to access lots of support around IP, new product development, regulations and to develop many new relationships. We're proud to have been accepted and really look forward to beginning soon.
Pre-seed raise closed
It's official - Sun Bear Biofuture have closed their pre-seed raise, which was led by the wonderful Unruly Capital and supported by the fabulous Tiny Supercomputer Investment Company and Plug and Play Tech Center.
Ben Wilding, CEO of Sun Bear Biofuture, said ‘We’re so pleased to have 3 fantastic investors onboard that each bring something unique to support us on our journey. The team is really excited and we cannot wait for the next phase of our journey as we seek to have a truly positive impact on the environment with our alternative oil.’
Stefano Bernardi, founder of Unruly Capital, had this to say about the investment:
“At Unruly we believe the future will be bio-built. As a species we don’t really have another choice. Palm oil is one of the simplest targets: it is an awesome product in most dimensions but one: sustainability. We’ve seen a few startups already try to tackle the issue, but think the team at Sun Bear have what it takes to bring to market a cost-competitive alternative at scale. And that’s immensely valuable.”
A big welcome to Reuben and Emma, our new starters who have joined us as Junior Research Assistants. They will be working with Laura in the lab to accelerate our R&D work, and we're super happy to have them onboard.
We will be hiring further in the new year, so please reach out if you are interested in working with us.
Sun Bear Biofuture has been awarded a Go-Create grant to advance our lab work and improve our microbial strain!
This project is part-funded by the Innovation Support for Business (ISfB) programme and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Lab Space Opening
We're very excited to have moved into our new lab space! Sun Bear Biofuture is now carrying out experimental work in the BioInnovationHub on the Oxford Brookes campus. Thank you to everyone who helped us on our search, and to the team in Oxford for being so welcoming.
We are delighted to have received our first round of funding from Carbon13 and to be progressing into Phase 3 of their accelerator program. Many thanks to all those we have spoken to in the last few months and the Carbon13 team for helping us reach this stage!