• Anja Nguyen

Press Release and Interview: BIOMILQ

As BIOMILQ takes a huge step forward to creating a more nutritious and sustainable alternative to feeding babies, we were excited to speak to Michelle Egger, Co-Founder and CEO to find out more about their ambitions, goals and next steps.


BIOMILQ is on a mission to provide a more sustainable and nutritious infant feeding option. What is driving the rising demand and the latest advancements in culture-based dairy?

With rising populations throughout the globe and more parents than ever facing hurdles to provide exclusive breastfeeding, infant nutrition is essential to almost every person on the planet. Parents have greater opportunities to access family planning, are waiting longer to have children, and more women are rising in the workforce, forcing challenging trade-offs on families to feed their children during the first 1000 days of life. We think all families are thinking more deeply about the planet’s externalities based on the decisions they are making. We are all worried that the natural places we love won’t look the same for our children. We at BIOMILQ think that parents deserve better options to feed the most precious people in their lives without sacrificing the nutrition, sustainability, or practicality of daily life!


How does BIOMILQ’s innovation have the potential to disrupt the dairy industry?

We see the detrimental effects of climate change prompting consumers to start asking ‘why’ we produce food in the way we do, which is beginning to extend to more products than the obvious culprits. It amazes us that many parents we talk to no longer drink fluid milk as a family, but still buy infant formula and have never considered the freshwater consumed, CO2 produced and land used in the production of dairy in their product. We don’t think parents should be forced to make trade-offs in their supplemental infant feeding between baby and planet!


What’s next for BIOMILQ?

We are actively hiring new talent to expand our team here in Durham, NC, USA! Research Triangle Park has some of the largest Biotech companies globally, and we are thrilled to have a new lab to grow into!


How do you think the current global pandemic will impact our priority to build resilience through diet? (over the short, medium and long-term)?

Plant-based products have thrived in the age of COVID, and animal supply chains have been brought to bear. People who before were not a part of the conversation around animal husbandry being problematic are seeing it show up and thinking critically. While I don’t believe that sentiment will last if things ever go ‘back to normal,’ right now, people seem to be more open to discussing alternatives to conventional protein sources than ever before, especially in light of shortages. These times may be advantageous to speak to consumers who usually wouldn’t be listening, but this is a marathon, not a sprint in engaging broadly. At BIOMILQ, we are cognizant that the unit economics of cell-based products skew socioeconomically high, and we have to be thoughtful that for many consumers out of work and experiencing disenfranchisement, it will be a challenge to make our products accessible. We cannot let ourselves, or the cell-based industry, tolerate elitism in light of our current economic times if we look to create the societal and environmental change our world sorely needs.


Press Release:

BIOMILQ Raises $3.5 Million to Create a More Nutritious and Sustainable for Feeding Babies

Investors include Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Blue Horizon Ventures, Purple Orange Ventures and famed entrepreneur Shazi Visram.

DURHAM, NC – BIOMILQ, a women-owned, science-led, and parent-centered infant nutrition company producing cultured breastmilk, today announced it has raised $3.5 million in funding. The round was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a $1 billion+ fund established by some of the world’s top business leaders in support of innovative technologies that help address climate change. Shazi Visram, a leader in the infant nutrition space, and founder of Happy Family Brands and healthynest, also participated in the round.

BIOMILQ is enabling the next generation to thrive by producing cultured breastmilk that offers supplemental nutrition to mother’s milk with the practicality of formula. The company was co-founded by Leila Strickland PhD, a mother-of-two and accomplished cell biologist, and Michelle Egger MBA, an experienced food scientist and avid social entrepreneur.

Breastmilk contains thousands of unique molecules blended in perfect proportion to nourish an infant through some of the most crucial stages of growth. The evidence is clear: breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure healthy development in children. However, the reality is that breastfeeding, let alone exclusive breastfeeding, isn’t always possible. In fact, over 4 out of 5 moms in the US transition to dairy-based infant formula before the recommended six-month breastfeeding period ends.

Whether it’s low milk production, medical challenges, incompatible workplaces, or the ongoing stigma around breastfeeding in public, mothers often feed infant formula out of necessity rather than preference. Parents and caregivers are left with nutritionally suboptimal, mostly dairy-based options. BIOMILQ is developing a new choice for infant nutrition that lessens the trade-off between babies’ nutrition, mothers’ wellbeing, and the future of our environment.


“The BIOMILQ team is thrilled to be supported by such inspirational and mission-aligned investors who understand the needs of parents and the planet” said Michelle Egger, co-founder and CEO of BIOMILQ. “While there is no replacement for breastmilk, we believe we can harness the power of science, technology, and nature to deliver comprehensive and sustainable infant nutrition.”


With funding, BIOMILQ is optimizing its production, expanding its team, and engaging its stakeholders: families, pediatricians, and the breastfeeding community, to bring the best cultured breastmilk product to market.


“We believe parents, caregivers, and infants deserve more options in early-stage nutrition,” said Leila Strickland, co-founder and CSO of BIOMILQ. “We’re determined to give them just that and to create a better world for future generations.”


“There are immense opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from livestock used in the production of foods like dairy, and BIOMILQ offers a superb dairy alternative for the production of infant nutrition,” said Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. “The company has created a firstof-its-kind product that not only offers a better solution for the environment, but will also improve nutrition for infants around the globe.”


BIOMILQ is currently hiring a number of roles in Durham, North Carolina. To learn more, visit biomilq.com.


Republished with the permission of the Future FoodTech Summit. See the original article at https://futurefoodtech.com/press-release-and-interview-biomilq/

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