Tech & Research

Syngenta Announces Winners of the Radicle Protein Challenge

MycoTechnology, Inc., a mushroom fermentation company, is the winner of the 2020 Radicle Protein Challenge.

To help growers feed a growing global population, Syngenta Group Ventures (SGV) has awarded the winner of the 2020 Radicle Protein ChallengeMycoTechnology, Inc., a $1 million investment. The runner-up, BlueNalu, Inc., received a $250,000 investment. SGV and Radicle Growth, a company-building platform for early-stage ag and food technologies, designed this competition to uncover innovation and invest in companies that are transforming the future of protein.

A distinguished panel of judges selected MycoTechnology, a mushroom fermentation company that manufactures protein and other ingredients, as the winner for its novel organic food processing platform that transforms agricultural material into functional ingredients for the food and beverage industry. The judges also chose BlueNalu, an innovative food company, as the runner-up for its solution to securing a sustainable protein source that addresses supply chain issues through seafood products made directly from the cells of fish.


The demand for protein is rising. As a result, the need for new protein technologies is increasing in every geography, socioeconomic class and age group.

Erik Fyrwald CEO, Syngenta Group

In addition to these two companies, Cell Farm, Latin America’s first cultured meat startup that creates stem cell lines and growth media for the cellular meat industry, received the People’s Choice Award. The popular vote of attendees determined the recipient of this award, which is not monetary, but rather free coaching from Radicle and Syngenta.

“The demand for protein is rising,” says Erik Fyrwald, CEO of the Syngenta Group. “As a result, the need for new protein technologies is increasing in every geography, socioeconomic class and age group. Partnering with Radicle in this unique way allows us to infuse the level of capital and expertise that will be required for these trailblazing entrepreneurs to overcome challenges to grow this category.”

The finalists of the challenge pitched their innovations to the judges virtually in November 2020. The challenge attracted more than 150 applicants from 30 different countries. Syngenta Group judges included Fyrwald; Chen Lichtenstein, CFO; and Alex Tokarz, head of Group Strategy.

Cover image: With the world’s rising demand for protein, the 2020 Radicle Protein Challenge rewarded companies, like winner MycoTechnology, Inc., for developing technologies to help supplement more traditional protein sources, such as these Black Angus cows. Photography by John Phelan.