Munich Startup: What does your startup do? What problem are you solving?
Koralo: The fishing industry can no longer keep up with demand due to overfishing and the destruction of ecosystems. And from a consumer perspective, there are growing health concerns in terms of microplastics, heavy metals and antibiotics in fish.
Our production process mimics nature with traditional fermentation (like for beer) that feeds on microalgae. The result is a very natural, tasty and nutritious white fish filet that offers even fish enthusiasts a better alternative not only for themselves, but for the planet.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Koralo: It’s true that there are fish alternatives on the market, but they are only ready-to-eat or minced/baked products with a list of 10 to 25 ingredients. And when compared to real fish, they fall short in terms of taste, texture and/or nutritional value.
Algae becomes fish
Munich Startup: What is your founding story?
Koralo: It all began with a walk on the beach. Sina saw the seaweed on the sand and asked Guido if he could somehow make some kind of tasty food out of it. This sparked an idea in Guido’s mind: “A vegan fish alternative!”. With technological assistance from the two scientists Karen and Harshitha, Koralo was born from the shared vision of using innovation to revolutionize the food industry in order to have a positive impact on oceans and people.
Munich Startup: What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Koralo: The biggest challenge so far has been using our innovative technology, which is based on traditional fermentation (like beer & yoghurt) to mimic the exact sensory properties of fish, from taste to texture.
Munich Startup: Where would you like to be in one year, and where in five years?
Koralo: In one year, we want to have our product in German supermarkets. Consumers should also be able to find our product in restaurants. In five years, it should be possible to find our product throughout Europe and we will have entered markets in the US and Asia.
Our goals are all based on our core values to not only do something good for the planet, but also for people. Sustainability and innovation are not just something we talk about, but are truly behind everything we do.
Support from the TUM Venture Labs
Munich Startup: How have you experienced Munich as a startup location so far?
Koralo: We have received so much support from Munich, including the TUM Venture Labs and all of the Munich incubator and accelerator programs that we have been honored to take part in and very much enjoyed.
Munich Startup: Quick exit or staying power?
Koralo: The question answers itself when you see the motivation that drives the Koralo team: using innovation to have a positive impact on people and the planet. And a sustainable company has to be just that: sustainable so it can exist over the long term.