Feb 20, 2020
In many ways, Ryan Bethencourt is an OG of the biotech alt-protein scene. As a cofounder of biotech accelerator Indiebio, he was part of the team that wrote the first-ever investor checks to now well-known names in the field, including Memphis Meats, Clara Foods, and Geltor.
In addition to Ryan’s pioneering work to incubate and fund companies seeking to create more sustainable protein sources, he’s now the cofounder of his own startup, Wild Earth. The company makes clean protein dog food that’s attracted big-name investors like Peter Thiel and Mark Cuban, earning a total of $16M in investment so far. In this episode we talk about what it was like for Ryan to go on Shark Tank, including what techniques he used to keep calm to win an unlikely investment on the show.
We also discuss how Ryan’s childhood love of both sci-fi and animals forged into one path as an adult, leading him to make early bets on crazy ideas like growing meat and eggs outside of animals—long before it was cool, and of course to eventually starting his own company.
So enjoy this wide-ranging and fascinating conversation with a real pioneer in the alternative protein world. And if you listen to the very end, you may even get to hear my reaction to eating some of Ryan’s new dog food.
Discussed in this episode: