India Good Food Startup Manual

Dear Good Food Innovator,

As I write this in February 2021, the global alternative protein sector continues to go from strength to strength. Rain, shine, or pandemic — foods made from plant-based, cultivated, and fermentation-derived proteins are a juggernaut, and are demonstrating a model to save the planet. Products that taste the same or better, while turning the tide of climate change, public health risk, and food insecurity? Now that’s smart protein. The best time to devote our collective talents to this sector was decades ago. The next best time is now — and we’re here to help you get started.

At the inaugural Good Food Conference (2018) in Berkeley, U.S.A., our partners at the Good Food Institute U.S. launched the first Good Food Startup Manual — the first ever dedicated guide to help smart protein entrepreneurs get their good food dream up and running. The response was truly fantastic, with hundreds of current and aspiring entrepreneurs benefiting from the Manual’s all-you-can-read buffet of unmissable knowledge, and Fast Company honoring it in its World Changing Ideas awards in 2019.

Meanwhile, the Good Food Institute India team has been working diligently to build the smart protein ecosystem from the ground up in India. We’re currently seeing the sector take exciting strides, with investor attention focused on the space and multiple product launches and startups formed across all categories. These innovators are working with us to leverage India’s unique potential - our wonderful talent base, agricultural biodiversity, and track record in manufacturing and biopharma - and grapple with its unique challenges. The opportunity to cater to domestic demand for delicious, sustainable, nutritious smart protein foods as well as become a supply and manufacturing hub for the global sector is immense. All of this progress is set against the backdrop of growing demand for meat, eggs, and dairy as incomes continue to rise — making this the critical decade for food system transformation in the world’s largest democracy.

The India Good Food Startup Manual is our guide to making that transformation happen. It distills our expertise and experiences with the challenges of planning, setting up, and funding a company, as well as developing and launching a smart protein product. We’ve accounted for India’s unique business and scientific environment, and jam-packed the Manual with nuggets of knowledge that will supercharge you on your startup journey.

As you navigate the Manual and your own path, remember that your success is our success. It won’t always be easy, but the GFI India team will be with you every step of the way. We’re here to provide mentorship, resources, community, access to our network, and more. We’ve helped companies like Memphis Meats, Good Catch, and many more from their very early stages to where they are today, and we can help do that for you, too. You’re in for an exciting time with plenty of hurdles along the way — but when the potential payoff is a more healthy, sustainable and just food system, that makes it all worth it.

Lastly, I’d like to highlight that the global network of Good Food Institute organizations is enabled entirely by philanthropy, which is critical to achieving our mission. To discuss how you can be part of this transformative work with your gift or grant, please get in touch at We’re deeply grateful for your support and partnership in our Mission for Smart Protein.

Wishing you the best on your own transformative good food startup journey,

Varun Deshpande
Managing Director,
The Good Food Institute India

Download the India Good Food Startup Manual