LOS ANGELES — Delaware-based BioCraft Pet Nutrition has been selected as one of three finalists for the inaugural Vegan Women Summit (VWS) Awards in the Innovation of the Year category. The company joins two other finalists in the category — New York-based Uncased BioLeather and Berkeley-based UPSIDE Foods: Cultivated Chicken — and 23 other women leading vegan initiatives on a global scale.

BioCraft Pet Nutrition, formerly known as Because, Animals, was established in 2023 with the sole focus of commercializing cultured meat ingredients for use in pet food formulations. With this focus, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Shannon Falconer, Ph.D., and her team are zeroed in on changing the narrative around protein sources for dog and cat nutrition.

With an existing portfolio of cultured mouse meat for use in cat nutrition, BioCraft announced in June 2023 the development of a proprietary cultured chicken ingredient for use pet food, which is derived from stem cells, contains all essential nutrients needed by dogs and cats, and is free from antibiotics, steroids, hormones, and other contaminants found in traditional animal proteins, according to BioCraft.

The company also announced in October 2023 it would begin leveraging an Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning tool to accelerate research and development of its cultivated meat products for the pet food industry. According to BioCraft, the tool is similar to platforms used by those in the pharmaceutical industry to identify new drug targets and predict metabolic effects.

“The caliber and diversity of applicants for the VWS Awards has been truly remarkable — our 24 finalists actually hail from six different continents,” said Jennifer Stojkovic, founder of Vegan Women Summit. “We established these awards to celebrate pioneers who not only excel in their fields but also champion vital causes affecting our world today, and each of our finalists lives up to that vision.”

Winners of the inaugural award will be recognized in a live ceremony on May 10, 2024, at the Vegan Women Summit in Hollywood. 

Find the full list of finalists on Vegan Women Summit’s website here.

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