In the sixth and final episode of Green Queen in Conversation - Cultivated Meat Pioneers, Sonalie Figueiras talks to Dr. Uma Valetti, founder & CEO of Upside Foods, based in California. During the recordings for this show, the US government granted the first regulatory approval for cultivated meat to be sold in the country to just 2 companies, one of which was Upside. In this very personal interview, Dr. Valeti talks about starting the first cultivated meat company in the world, his 7-year journey to achieving the regulatory milestone, how he celebrated, and how it felt to watch the first restaurant customer take a bite of the no-slaughter chicken created by him and his team.
About Dr. Uma Valeti
Dr. Uma Valeti is the CEO and Founder of UPSIDE Foods, the world’s leading cultivated meat company. UPSIDE Foods was the first company focused on growing meat directly from animal cells and has led the industry ever since. Since 2015, UPSIDE Foods has achieved numerous industry-defining milestones, including being the first company to produce multiple species of cultivated meat (beef, chicken and duck), to partner with the existing meat industry, and to sell a cultivated meat product in the United States. UPSIDE Foods has raised over $600 million from a diverse coalition of investors including Richard Branson, John Mackey, Bill Gates, Temasek, ADG, Softbank, Threshold, Baillie Gifford, Norwest, Cargill, Tyson Foods and Whole Foods. Uma’s vision is to enable people around the world to eat the meat they love, while transforming the food system to become more sustainable and humane. Uma has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Aspen Ideas Festival and SXSW. In 2019 he was named a “Global Thinker of the Decade” by Foreign Policy magazine. Uma is a Mayo Clinic-trained cardiologist and an adjunct professor in Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University.
About UPSIDE Foods
Based in Berkeley, CA, UPSIDE Foods grows meat, poultry and seafood directly from real animal cells. These products are not vegan or vegetarian—they are delicious meat, made without the need to raise and slaughter billions of animals. Founded as the world's first cultivated meat company in 2015, UPSIDE Foods has achieved numerous industry-defining milestones, including being granted approval to sell cultivated meat in the United States in June 2023 and completing the first consumer sale of cultivated meat in the U.S. The company believes that people shouldn't have to choose between the foods they love and a thriving planet, and is working to build a better food system with access to delicious, humane, and sustainable meat, poultry, and seafood. UPSIDE Foods has won various industry awards, including the New York Times' Good Tech Awards, FastCo's Next Big Thing in Tech, and the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the Nation by the National Association for Business Resources. UPSIDE Foods has raised a total of $608 million, including from the Abu Dhabi Growth Fund (ADG), Baillie Gifford, Bill Gates, Cargill, Future Ventures, John Doerr, John Mackey, Kimbal and Christiana Musk, Norwest, Richard Branson, Softbank, Temasek, Threshold, Tyson Foods, and others.
For more information, please visit upsidefoods.com.