CHICAGO, Ill. – February 1, 2023 – Food tech startup Aqua Cultured Foods today announced it has received an EDGE incentive from the State of Illinois to assist its expansion and foster job creation.
The Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), offers growing businesses tax incentives to locate or expand operations in Illinois. The EDGE program was expanded to include startups in 2022 to spur additional investment for when companies are staged to grow.
The program will provide incentives as Aqua establishes a production facility in Chicago’s West Loop area and prepares to increase its team. The EDGE program provides competitive tax incentives over the next ten years, which will enable Aqua to invest more dollars into growing the business.
“The EDGE program gives us a major advantage as we plan to take on larger commercial production space and hire additional employees,” said Brittany Chibe, CGO at Aqua. “The resources provided by EDGE will immediately help us have a positive economic impact on the state, and ultimately help build the local food tech industry, an important industry for Illinois’ future.”
“Supporting innovative startups like Aqua Cultured Foods is an investment in Illinois’ vibrant and growing food and technology sector,” said DCEO Acting Director Kristin A. Richards. “EDGE for Startups is a competitive incentive designed to support new businesses and we’re excited to see Aqua Cultured Foods make its mark in this growing industry.”
Aqua is developing mycoprotein-based calamari, shrimp, scallops, and filets of animal-free tuna and whitefish with a realistic taste and texture. Aqua’s fermentation methods do not use any animal inputs, genetic altering or modification, and can be marketed as non-GMO. Unlike plant-based processed foods formulated with starches and protein isolates, Aqua’s alt-seafood retains its naturally occurring fiber, protein, and other micronutrients.
Aqua is currently holding tasting events with strategic partners including restaurants, and expects to introduce products in late Spring 2023.
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About Aqua Cultured Foods Aqua Cultured Foods is an innovative food technology startup developing the world’s first whole-muscle cut seafood alternatives created through microbial fermentation. Its novel technology produces a sustainable, complete protein source using only a fraction of the resources required by traditional aquaculture. As an R&D company with a focus on product commercialization, Aqua Cultured Foods occupies a unique position in the burgeoning alt-seafood market as well as within the fermentation industry. The company’s mission is to mitigate global challenges such as overfishing, climate change and feeding the world’s expanding population with delicious, nutrient-rich foods. Investors include Supply Change Capital, Aera VC, HPA, Sustainable Food Ventures, Hanfield Venture Partners, Lifely VC, Conscience VC, Kingfisher Capital, Big Idea Ventures, and Gonzalo Ramirez Martiarena. For more information visit https://www.aquaculturedfoods.com.