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Founder Feature: George Peppou

George Peppou knows the future of food.

As a scientist, researcher, a former innovation and creative intelligence lecturer, and a former chef, George leads tomorrow's meat market.

Launching VOW in 2019 alongside friend and former Cochlear design lead Tim Noakesmith, George is redefining meat through culturing, a technique harvesting muscle cells and multiplying to create tissue, the main component of meat eaten.

George and his business partner have gone beyond the box thinking, creating numerous meat sources starting with Australia's kangaroo right through to forgotten proteins like wild buffalo and now has a library of 11 different animals.

To many consumers, it is a disconcerting concept, creating both a challenge and a significant chapter in the future of food. And so, George and his co-founder took a crazy leap with $60k and a plan for a prototype.

"Just two years ago, Tim Noakesmith and I sat in an office finding a name for this crazy idea of creating a new category of food based on cultured meat. A couple of days later we registered Vow and got to work."

The team aren't aiming to wipe meat off the earth but take our global hunger for meat and culture it, not farm it. The new form of producing meat not only wipes out the issue of animal welfare but supports efforts to minimise contributions to greenhouse gases.

"We started with nothing. No lab. No science knowledge. No team. Very little money."

In just two years, George and his co-founder have caught Neil Perry's attention, a starstruck moment for George.

"The idea of walking into a kitchen … with Neil Perry to cook up anything — let alone to cook up a product that humans are going to be eating over the next few decades — is one of the most exciting and humbling experiences of my whole life."

George saw how chefs could enhance the flavour of cell-based meat to influence Australia's food scene. The aim is to make meat that can't be beaten in taste when compared to those on the supermarket shelf.

As of January 7th, Vow received US$6 million in a seed funding round thanks to Square Peg Capital and participation from Blackbird Ventures, Grok Ventures and Tenacious Ventures- insight into the alternative protein's growth potential. And with Singapore approving the sale of culture meat, the first country in the world, the validity of the product is going from strength to strength.

"Just two years on, Vow is a team of 27 across science, engineering, manufacturing and food. All working in our purpose built food design studio in Sydney."

In just two years, George and his co-founder have caught Neil Perry's attention, a starstruck moment for George.

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