Asia-Pacific’s small companies and startups on the rise.
As Asia-Pacific moves into post-pandemic mode, the qualities of creativity, resilience and capacity for change shine through in the second Forbes Asia 100 to Watch list. We spotlight 100 small companies and startups across the region that are addressing real-world challenges with fresh thinking and innovative products and services. These include faster blood tests, more accessible elderly care services, and well-being apps to help those struggling with isolation or burnout. Others on our list are taking aim at climate change, through uber-long-lasting batteries, for example, and more-resilient crops. Some offer fintech solutions to digitalize—and connect—underserved markets. Fifteen countries and territories are represented across 11 categories that include biotechnology and healthcare, e-commerce and retail, and finance. Singapore’s vibrant startup community contributed 19 companies to the list, followed closely by Hong Kong with 16.
Each week, your host Mike Davis brings you inspiring conversations with purpose-driven leaders from our local community.
George is the Founder & CEO of Vow. Vow is a collective of innovators, engineers, scientists, artists and foodies working to improve the quality of life for people, animals and planetary health, by reinventing food from the ground up.
If cellular agriculture gives us tools to create entirely new foods, then why are so many companies focused on recreating existing ones? It’s going to be hard to compete with and disrupt factory farming on factory farming’s terms. What if, instead, we play to our strengths and make the kind of products that only cellular agriculture can.
George Peppou understands that there is a global crisis when it comes to meat consumption. Cell grown meat allows meat-eaters to continue to eat delicious foods, without having to harm or breed any animals. But for George, it also offers another exciting opportunity. Globally, chicken, beef and pork have come to dominate our menus ... but if we can grow meat in a factory, outside of an animal, why not design something new entirely? Something better? George is a co-founder and CEO of Sydney based food-tech startup, Vow. Vow aims to produce meat that is better than the meat we eat today, creating the tantalising and unique culinary experiences. Vow does this by culturing the cells of animals, from both species we eat today and those we could never farm, creating a range of cell ingredients which can be turned into a wide variety of products – all produced using the same manufacturing process.
George began his career as a chef whilst studying biochemistry at the University of Sydney. George is a serial entrepreneur and inventor, with over 30 patents granted. Soon after founding Vow he was named in Forbes 30 under 30 in 2020. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at
More young business savvy Aussies are stepping up to meet the challenges of climate change – and attracting the attention of leading investment firms.
Welcome to the second coming of Vow! Today, we speak with George Peppou and Tim Noakesmith, co-founders of Vow, as well as Ellen Dinsmoor, Vow's Head of Operations, and Samantha Wong, a General Partner at Blackbird Ventures.
This team is revolutionising cuisine by tapping into the vast biosphere of potential foods that humanity has been unable to sustainably farm. Through synthetic biology, they lift this limitation and pave the way for a third agricultural revolution, one that is ethical, abundant, and importantly, irresistibly delicious.
Since our last episode with Vow, they have more than doubled in team size and have continued to crush the technical challenges before them with blistering speed.
Marie Gibbons is a well known name in the industry. She recently moved to Sydney from Berkeley, CA to join Vow as a research scientist
As a passionate animal lover and veterinary student-turned-cultured meat researcher, she joined the cellular agriculture field in 2016 in hopes of removing animals from food production. She was granted research fellowships with both New Harvest and the Good Food Institute and spent her graduate studies focusing on large scale cultured poultry production at North Carolina State University and Harvard Medical School. Upon graduation, Marie joined Memphis Meats, now Upside Foods, as the founder of their media development department. There, she spent over 2 years developing scalable, edible, animal component free media for multiple species and cell types. She now works with Vow's incredible team of scientific researchers, engineers, robots, and office dogs to create delicious and exotic cultured meat products using automated, high-throughput platform technology.
Also joining us on the show is Soroush Pour.
Soroush joined Vow as Head of Engineering in February 2020. He founded, built and exited his first software company while an undergrad at Duke University as a fully funded Robertson Scholar. He was one of the first engineers and later engineering managers at San Francisco FinTech API company Plaid as it grew from 15 to 170 people, now worth over $13B. Before joining Vow, Soroush worked as a consultant in the alternative protein industry, doing independent research as well as consulting work supporting multiple alternative protein organizations. His goal is to bring about a food system that can feed billions while protecting the beautiful blue planet we all depend on. At Vow, he and his team create intuitive software and high-throughput robotics to make cultured meat lab R&D drastically faster and less manual than it otherwise would be.
Canberra-based animal-free fermented fats startup Nourish and Sydney cell-based meats company Vow will combine the massive potential of their technologies to make the next big think in the alt-protein space.
Today’s episode continues our investigation of alternative proteins with the absolute rock-stars Tim Noakesmith and George Peppou, the co-founders of Vow. Vow is a leading Australian company in the global race to create cultured meat (often called cell-based or lab grown meat). Cultured meat has the potential to give us the protein from the animals we’re used to and from some animals we’re not - without the carbon emissions, with minimal land use and with zero animal cruelty.
With cellular agriculture, we may not have to compromise the pleasure of eating for ethics and sustainability. One day, we may be able to taste foods we haven’t even dreamed of. Yet.
George Peppou knew nothing about biotech when he co-founded VOW; he’s now well on his way to vat-growing meats that could feed billions around the world. Is biotech fundamentally different – and how has VOW used the best bits of tech startups to accelerate their growth?
Katie has a very different kind of science job, she's a researcher at a cultured meat startup in Sydney called Vow. They're working to not only create sustainable meats in a lab environment, but also to make them even tastier than traditional meat! Katie shares some wonderful advice in this episode, and also sheds some light on some of the food innovations we can look forward to in the coming years!
Australian food tech Vow has announced the closing of an oversubscribed US$6 million seed round, which will go towards expanding its “library” of cultured meats. Unlike other cell-based startups, Vow has cultivated exotic animal meats and is now positioning itself as a sector leader in developing sustainable proteins that “outperform conventional meat” in terms of taste and experience.
On today’s episode, we hear from George Peppou and Tim Noakesmith, the co-founders, and CEO & CCO at Vow. In 2019 Vow became the world’s first company to make a food product from the cells of an undomesticated animal, in the form of a Kangaroo Dumpling.
Yes just the cells, meaning no animals were harmed to create that new form
Blackbird Ventures-backed startup Vow has taken a significant step towards commercialising its lab-grown meat, with the product trialled by one of Australia's best-known chefs, Neil Perry.
The trial saw Mr Perry serve up six dishes, including kangaroo dumplings, using Vow's products.
On this episode, Alex Shirazi chats with CSO of Vow, a cultivated meat company based in Australia.
Doctor James Ryall was awarded his PhD in the field of skeletal muscle physiology in 2006 at The University of Melbourne. In 2008 he was awarded a prestigious research fellowship and from 2008-2013 he worked at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD (USA) on a project studying the basic biology of skeletal muscle stem cells and the process of muscle regeneration.
Sydney-based food tech Vow is ramping up innovation in the cell-based meat industry by developing cultured versions of unconventional exotic animal meats.
Planetary limits on farming will accelerate a post-meat future. Are plants the only path, or can we grow meat without raising animals? And what does it mean for food when we can grow any meat we want to eat in a brewer’s vat?
Australia’s Vow is pledging to take the cell-based sector a step further by creating cultured versions of unconventional exotic animals - such as tortoise, yak and lion.
Tim and George are two scrappy founders who show anything is possible with the right drive and determination. If they are successful in their mission, Vow will become a cellular-agriculture powerhouse with many brands under their umbrella.
An Australian startup’s efforts to culture meat from kangaroo tissue hints at a future where scientists cultivate exotic fare for adventurous eaters
VOW Foods, which is focusing its efforts on cultivated kangaroo meat, says that it wants to create a "modern Noah's Ark" of cells.
This lab-grown meat could reduce the various impacts of raising animals for slaughter, which is the second-largest source of global warming emissions, as well as save sentient beings from needless cruelty.
“Nature has incredible diversity so there is great potential to create new food experiences. Our cell library will discover and catalogue new flavour, texture and nutritional profiles that we can also combine to create amazing new food experiences.
An Australian food tech company called VOW has developed the world’s first lab-grown kangaroo meat. It could be available for purchase in the next three years.
The cellular agriculture company uses real animal cells to grow slaughter-free kangaroo mince in a lab in Western Sydney.
Sydney based food company has developed the world's first lab grown Kangaroo meat