Student-led Venture Fund Invests $100,000 in Vegan Jerky Brand

The female-owned plant-based protein company MINDWELL plans to use the investment to expand its healthy vegan snacks

$100,000 investment in vegan jerky

MINDWELL creates innovative plant-based jerky with no artificial flavours or ingredients – meaning the products are good for both people and the planet. The investment has been granted by The Zell Foundation – a student-led venture fund based in the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan.

The funds will allow the rapidly growing company to expand the business through investments in working capital and marketing. The Chicago-based company has plans to launch in a large regional grocery chain this autumn.

MINDWELL was founded by graduates Allyson Stewart and Bridget Henley in 2017. The duo combined their backgrounds in business and nutritional science to become the perfect match. Their mission is to create plant-based foods that are better for people and the planet; legume-based protein has the added benefit of creating up to 250 times fewer carbon emissions per gram of protein than beef or lamb.

The Zell Founders Fund was impressed by the company’s key differentiators and the exciting progress that it is already making. Co-leader of the Founders Fund due diligence team, Wiles Kase said:

“In addition to MINDWELL’s impressive management team, the Founders Fund was drawn to this deal because of the growing market for healthy foods”.

MINDWELL’s Cracked Black Pepper flavour vegan jerky is already available in the US Midwest in Plum Market, Dollop Coffee and in Chicago Equinox locations at Wellness Grub cafes.

Co-founder Allyson Stewart commented:

“The Founders Fund has been a critical resource providing not only access to capital, but access to a network of support that has helped transform the business from idea to a fast-growing food startup with significant regional traction

“I look forward to being a part of the Founders Fund and ZLI community as the company continues to grow.”

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