Skip to main content

Calysta boss named as regional Entrepreneur of the Year finalist

Alan Shaw in Middlesbrough, where FeedKind was developed. Photo: Calysta.
Alan Shaw in Middlesbrough, where FeedKind was developed. Photo: Calysta.

Alan Shaw, chief executive and co-founder of alternative feed ingredients company Calysta, has been named as one of 19 finalists for the Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 Northern California Award.

Calysta produces FeedKind, a feed ingredient made from single-cell protein (SCP) produced by bacteria that feed off methane (natural gas).

The company has attracted investment from oil and gas driller BP and feed producer Cargill, and in February Calysta signed a joint venture agreement with Chinese feed additives maker Bluestar Adisseo to build the world’s first commercial production facility for FeedKind.

Calysta's FeedKind will be produced at scale in China from 2022. Photo: Calysta.
Calysta's FeedKind will be produced at scale in China from 2022. Photo: Calysta.

100,000 tonnes a year

The first phase of the plant, to be built in China, is expected to start operating in 2022 and will deliver 20,000 tonnes of FeedKind annually exclusively for the Asian market.

A second phase will add another 80,000 tonnes of capacity.

The method, first developed by scientists working for Norwegian state-owned oil company Statoil in the Eighties and later bought and refined by Calysta in Middlesbrough in north-east England, is exceptionally space efficient. Shaw last year told Fish Farming Expert magazine that a 10-acre site for FeedKind could produce as much protein as a soy plantation the size of greater Chicago.

‘Ideal for fish’

Reacting to his nomination, Shaw said: “In a year of extraordinary challenges for businesses across the world, being shortlisted as a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year, the world’s most prestigious award for entrepreneurs, is particularly humbling and an honour.

“Now is the climate for innovation and entrepreneurialism. For Calysta and companies like us, the opportunities created by The Great Reset to find new solutions to the challenges we face in the months and years ahead will create new markets, new opportunities and new growth.

“Calysta’s lead product, FeedKind, is one of the first commercial scale alternative proteins and is an ideal feed ingredient for fish, livestock and pets. It supports global food security by freeing land and water currently used to grow conventional proteins, helping feed an increasing population in a sustainable way.”

Six criteria

Entrepreneur of the Year is one of the preeminent competitive award programmes for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies.

The nominees are evaluated based on six criteria, including overcoming adversity; financial performance; societal impact and commitment to building a values-based company; innovation; and talent management. Since its launch, the programme has expanded to recognise business leaders in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries around the world.

Award winners will be announced through a special virtual event on October 7. Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur of the Year National Awards, to be announced in November. The national overall award winner will then move on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in June 2021.

The awards are founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, a global leader in assurance, tax, strategy, transaction and consulting services.