Cell-cultured meat, alternative financing, avoiding tech debt – TechCrunch

You don’t need to be a scientist to understand the effects of factory farming: If you’re near a pig waste lake in North Carolina or you’ve been passing through a massive cattle fattening field in Cowlinga, California, the smell travels for miles.

In exchange for affordability and convenience, consumers, regulators, and meat producers have learned to live with the many downsides of raising animals for food on a large scale: greenhouse gases, water pollution, unsafe working conditions, and inhumane practices, just for starters.

But a United Nations report estimates that we will need to double global food production by 2050 to meet the needs of 10 billion people.

The rising demand for meat is driven in part by the emergence of a global middle class. It turns out that the people with the most purchasing power are also cheeseburgers, and with steadily increasing consumption and population growth, one might even say meat is eating the world.

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In an in-depth report for TechCrunch+, reporter Kristen Hall examines the state of the cell-grown meat industry and identifies the many startups that are innovating in the sector, along with the challenges they face when it comes to scaling production and getting regulators and consumers on their side.

“It’s still small scale, and the most important thing we’re doing that other companies need to do is focus on the design, engineering, large-scale installations of ships and supporting systems to make a lot of it happen,” said Josh Tetrick. Co-founder and CEO of Eat Just, which sells factory-grown chicken in Singapore.

Lab-grown meat is “a bit like a moonshot,” said Frederic Gross Holz, a director at influencer investment firm Blue Horizon, but it predicts that 11% of the seafood, meat, eggs and dairy consumed globally in 2035 will come from alternative sources.

“We are far from clear about which technology will be best,” she said. “So it’s good to have a lot of players and space for them.”

Thank you very much for reading,

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch +
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Use alternative financing to support growth at the venture capital level without diluting ownership

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Investors yearn for startups to throw their money at, but venture capital funding isn’t always the right option for all times or for every startup.

The venture capital model often overwhelms alternative financing options, such as revenue financing or expense financing, but they can be just as, and sometimes more, beneficial for SaaS startups, writes Miguel Fernandez, CEO and co-founder of Capchase.

In an in-depth post, Fernandez explains alternative financing for startups, and how to decide which option is right for you.

The definition of startup accelerators is scheduled to be updated for “added value”

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One of the most notable trends in technology that has emerged during the pandemic is the continued commodification of capital.

As founders find themselves paying close attention to investors, accelerators are changing how they invest, what they offer to their cohorts, and how they increase value and attract top talent, Natasha Mascarenhas reports.

“With the increasing commodification of capital, early-stage investors are returning to the drawing board to see what really — and excuse my language here — is a value-added service.”

Don’t Trust Averages: How to Evaluate the Health and Strength of Your Business

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Startups grow fast, and when you build one, it can be easy to lose track of what works — and what doesn’t.

One way to track how well your business is doing is to look at the big picture numbers, but Karen Peacock, CEO of Intercom, has a warning: Rates can be dangerously misleading.

“If Jeff Bezos walks into a bar of 100 people, all of a sudden, on average, everyone in that bar has a net worth of over $1 billion. Is that helpful? Will it lead you to take the right actions? No — averages hide real insights” .

Peacock explains how founders can assess their business strengths, and where they need to work harder, including how to measure revenue health and use customer segmentation to find “leaks in the pool.”

Here’s How Startups Can Prevent Accumulating Technology Debt

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Focusing on going to market, introducing new features and customizing your product to help reach a key customer are all proven tactics to drive growth.

Sowmyanarayan Raghunathan, VP of Engineering at Talentica Software, writes that companies that continue to build without a clear product roadmap usually end up with a lot of tech debt.

To reduce technology debt, Raghunathan enforces four rules for engineering teams:

  • Do not let specific applications last for more than three months
  • Review the product structure every 18-24 months
  • Upgrade to new open source versions 2 months after launch
  • Understand the product and identify NFRs in advance

With more data available than ever before, are companies making smarter decisions?

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For many companies, data is their most important asset and at the same time their biggest problem.

In a follow-up to a 2014 publication on the rise of big data, enterprise reporter Ron Miller looked back at the intervening seven years and found that infrastructure, technology, and data analytics tools “have all improved dramatically, but it’s by no means a problem that has been resolved.”

3 views at CES 2022

An attendee wears a face mask while taking a selfie in front of the Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas sign on the display floor during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on January 6, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The CES tech fair opened its doors Wednesday in Las Vegas despite a spike in Covid-19 cases in the United States, as one of the world's biggest trade fairs tried to get back to work.  Despite some obvious gaps on the show floor — after high-profile companies like Amazon and Google canceled due to the high risk of the virus — throngs of badge-wearing tech entrepreneurs, reporters and hobbyists flocked to the venues.  (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/AFP) (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

Image credits: Patrick T. Fallon (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

If an event attracts only 25% of its typical audience, who is necessary?

After covering CES 2022 from multiple angles for several years, TechCrunch Transportation editor Kirsten Korosec, hardware editor Brian Heater, and reporter Haje Jan Kamps shared their thoughts on how the pandemic is changing the event, and what this means for hardware companies:

  • Kristen Korosik: CES hasn’t lost its luster for cars
  • Brian Hetter: Hardware startups must rethink their media strategies
  • Hajj Jean Camps: I missed a lot this year

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