Build a startup that transforms the food system
Are you ready to build a globally impactful company? Join us and create a venture-scale startup that leverages emerging technologies to build a food system that works for all current and future life on earth.
Counterfactual is a venture studio on a mission to help the world's most talented people build venture-scale startups that create a more sustainable, humane, and secure future of food. We synthesize insights across the protein value chain to identify and anticipate high-potential whitespace, then support exceptional scientists, technologists, operators and entrepreneurs (like you?) in building startups around our market and technology bets. CFV’s world-class team brings together diverse R&D, entrepreneurial and talent development expertise, with backgrounds across Founders Intelligence, Intellectual Ventures, L’Oreal, Microsoft, FoodX, NASA, and Cambridge.
We offer a supportive environment in which to launch a startup, whether you’re transitioning out of academia, industry or are a repeat founder. Through our programme you’ll:
- Enter a collaborative process with the venture studio to turn one of our high-potential company concepts into a startup you’re uniquely positioned to build.
- Be supported in finding your ideal co-founder(s) from our pool of world-class talent.
- If your team is successful, receive up to $300K of pre-seed capital and tailored incubation support to accelerate your market and investment readiness, with strong potential for follow-on funding.
How the process works:
Our application process is designed to get a sense of your goals and determine what type of company you’re uniquely positioned to build. If your potential and commitment to the Counterfactual mission checks out, but we are unable to place you with a concept for an upcoming cohort, you’ll be invited to explore future opportunities in our cofounder pool.
Healthy team dynamics and founder-solution fit are critical to a startup’s success. The goal of formation is to build strong founding teams that are exceptionally well-placed to solve the problem they are working on. You’ll enter a period of co-development and validation with the venture studio based on one of our company concepts. This is also when we help shortlisted candidates match with their co-founder(s). If your team makes it to the end of formation, we’ll work with you to refine your pitch for the incubator.
Following a successful pitch, you and your co-founder(s) enter a tailored incubation programme designed to accelerate your market and investment-readiness. We incubate around 8 companies every six months, providing up to $300k in pre-seed capital, hands-on mentorship, essential turnkey services and tailored support for you and your team.
Why should you join?
Be a part of revolutionising the food system. As a founder in the Counterfactual portfolio, you’ll be part of an entrepreneurial network architecting a climate-positive, humane, just and secure global food system.
You don’t need an idea to join. Bring your passion, grit, and relevant skills — we’ll help you identify the most high-impact startup opportunity you could be working on.
Build with the best-in-class. Begin your journey with skilled guides. Our venture studio team, led by former directors from L’Oreal, Intellectual Ventures and Founders Intelligence will work with you on validating and developing commercial and technical components of your venture.
Find your ideal cofounder(s) within our vetted pool of exceptionally talented individuals. We will help you form effective founding teams based on your strengths, personality, team work style and cultural indicators.
Accelerate your launch with our support. We offer six months of tailored incubation support, up to $300,000 pre-seed capital and support from our network to get your startup market- and investment-ready.
We're looking for scientists and technical domain experts passionate about working with emerging technologies to reimagine food and agriculture. If you have a PhD or similar, deep expertise in any of the following areas, we are particularly excited to hear from you:
- Precision fermentation
- Synthetic biology
- Food science and/or meat science
- Protein chemistry
- Target molecule selection
- Other areas of scientific or technical expertise we're looking for include: cell agriculture, tissue engineering, food engineering, agricultural engineering, plant biology, chemical engineering, bioreactor engineering, processing plant design, operations research/industrial engineering, data science, AI/ML.
We're accepting applications on an ongoing basis. However, if you want to be part of our first cohort starting Autumn 2021, apply by September 20, 2021 for full consideration.