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Dean Lloyd Minor welcomes Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of UPSIDE Foods, for a conversation about his company’s breakthrough venture growing cultivated meat from animal cells. They explore the roots of his interest in finding a viable meat alternative, his journey from cardiologist to entrepreneur, and what led him to take a risk on revolutionizing the way we consume animal products. They also discuss what it takes to secure investors and overcome skepticism in a nascent industry, how to inspire teams with an aspirational vision, and how leaders can combine scientific innovation and business acumen to advance positive change on the planet.
Meet Uma Valeti
Uma Valeti, MD, is the CEO and founder of UPSIDE Foods, a leading cultivated meat company. Under his leadership, UPSIDE Foods works to advance the commercial viability of meat grown directly from animal cells. Since 2015, UPSIDE Foods has achieved numerous industry-defining milestones, including being the first company to produce multiple species of meat (beef, chicken, and duck), the first cultivated meat company to break ground on a production facility, and the first to have its products cleared for human consumption by the Food and Drug Administration.
At UPSIDE Foods, Valeti leverages his clinical background as a cardiologist and extensive experience as a business leader and investor in a variety of food and technology companies. He serves on the Advisory Council of The Good Food Institute and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Aspen Ideas Festival and SXSW. In 2019 he was named a “Global Thinker of the Decade” by Foreign Policy magazine. Valeti is a Mayo Clinic-trained cardiologist and an adjunct professor in Cardiovascular Medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine.