We created AQUA to feed the world endless helpings of hope through delicious seafood that is neither fished nor farmed. Because it’s 100% fish-free.
Tastes better than what’s popping in and out of coral because we hyper-control the growing conditions like a neurotic brewmaster.
Our brewing vats grow delicious fish-free seafood in Chicago—and can scale anywhere else on Earth.
Anne Palermo is a second-time founder and passionate sustainability enthusiast who believes technology is the key to delivering a lasting impact on our global community. This mission-centric drive led her to the creation of AQUA’s version 1 product. As a result, she co-founded AQUA Cultured Foods, a leading future food startup in the alternative protein space. Anne is focused on using AQUA’s novel fermentation technology to bring to market a food tech platform with the ability to disrupt the traditional food manufacturing industry. Prior to co-founding AQUA, Anne had a prestigious career in banking with Morgan Stanley and BMO Capital Markets. However, she felt that she could contribute more to making the world a little bit better. So, she decided to further her education in product development and culinary sciences. Upon graduation, she co-founded a consumer product goods startup in the food and beverage industry. There, she developed two types of novel and proprietary technologies centered around the commercial scale up of a healthy snacking platform. This positioned the brand favorably to capture significant traction in a market white space, resulting in sales velocities of 10x expectations for the category. She quickly scaled the company to a multimillion dollar platform. Anne is currently a guest lecturer at Northwestern University and is a member of the Industrial Leadership Council for World Business Chicago.
Brittany Chibe is a serial entrepreneur passionate about world-changing ideas that restore the oceans, increase food security, and protect the planet for future generations. In her role as co-founder and CGO, she leads AQUA’s growth efforts across sales, marketing, and operations. Brittany started her career working for a global dairy company and was responsible for a $100mm book of business across both retail and foodservice channels. She acquired, managed, and grew businesses with the top food companies in the world including Aldi, Target, Whole Foods Market, Arby’s, Shake Shack, and other national accounts. While pursuing her MBA, she founded a predictive analytic tech company with a DOE technology to detect and forewarn damage in civil infrastructure. After graduating from business school, she founded a grain-free snack company, profitably growing the business to an exit in six years. Brittany holds an MBA from the University of Illinois Chicago and a B.S. from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.
Stefan Baier is a passionate food material scientist, who serves as AQUA’s CSO, where he is responsible for the company’s technical strategy, R&D capabilities, and delivering enabling science to help deliver its first products. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor with the University of Queensland’s School of Chemical Engineering in Brisbane, Australia and sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Texture Studies and with Frontiers | Food and Soft Materials. Stefan’s career spans renowned organizations such as the Bühler Group AG, Motif FoodWorks, PepsiCo, Frito lay NA, and Cargill, accumulating over 22 years of experience in the food industry. Over his career, he has contributed to a portfolio of 10+ patents, 35+ peer-reviewed publications, and has secured over $10 million in research grants. He holds a PhD in Food Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and an Engineering degree (Dipl.-Ing) in Food Technology & Engineering from the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität in Bonn, Germany. Stefan envisions a future where biotechnology and insights from food oral processing synergize to create affordable, sustainable, and delicious food solutions.