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Soy Innovation Challenge winner offers new approach to soy meal processing

Satavie was selected out of nearly 80 applicants from around the world for their approach to extracting concentrated soy protein from soybean meal.

Satavie President Lasse Jakobsen speaks to soybean farmers at the 2023 Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida.
May 25, 2023

The United Soybean Board, in partnership with The Yield Lab Institute, announced Satavie as the winner of the 2022 Soy Innovation Challenge. The Challenge called on entrepreneurs, innovators, startups and research teams to bring new ways to advance soybean meal use and demand in existing markets.

Satavie was selected out of nearly 80 applicants from around the world for their approach to extracting concentrated soy protein from soybean meal. Their method ensures high levels of digestibility, improved nutrient absorption, and increased feed conversion rates ideal for swine, poultry and aquafeed. As the winner, the company received $100,000 courtesy of the United Soybean Board and $5,000 of in-kind technical services and credits from Amazon Web Services.

“The impact on the soy industry is enormous. Our water extraction patented technique leads to better health outcomes, overall growth and improved meat quality. It ultimately aids in digestion early on in animal diets to nutritionally set them up for success,” said Satavie president, Lasse Jakobsen. “This innovation expands market opportunities and opens up new sectors for U.S. soybean farmers.”

The Soy Innovation Challenge discovers new ways to utilize and add value to U.S. soybeans. This year’s contest focuses on strengthening soybean meal markets, as the supply of soybean meal continues to increase. This is primarily due to the growing demand for soybean oil used as a feedstock for renewable energy.

“In reviewing all the applicants’ proposals and hearing from these forward-thinking finalists, it reiterates that soy can be the solution for so many applications,” said April Hemmes, USB farmer-leader from Iowa, Demand Action Team Chair and Soy Innovation Challenge judge. “These are four totally different ideas all using soybean meal. It’s neat to see this sustainable product that U.S. farmers grow to bring added value, which is a great way to invest soy checkoff dollars. Everyone is looking for a sustainable solution these days, and U.S. soy can be the answer.”

Each finalist received a cash prize, mentoring and resources to help advance their ideas in the areas of technical, business and financial impact. Finalists include POLARISqb which utilizes quantum computing and artificial intelligence to revolutionize drug design. They are developing a feed additive, specifically a peptide, that makes soymeal feed digestible and nutritious for livestock without relying on costly extraction methods. The company was the first runner-up and was awarded $50,000.

The second and third awarded were SoyKitty, a pet company that creates premium companion animal products, and Ichthus Unlimited, which develops soy-based (from soy hulls) animal feed binders to replace costly alternatives, awarded $20,000 and $10,000, respectively.

“I am proud of all of our finalists,” said Brandon Day, COO of The Yield Lab Institute. “They have brought forth innovative solutions to solve some of the industry’s biggest challenges. Because of our sponsors — USB, Amazon Web Services and Solis Agrosciences — and their continued support of these entrepreneurs, the trajectory and potential of these ideas bring new ways of thinking to the marketplace. They, in addition to our mentors and partners, have played an important role in accelerating their technologies to market.”

The $100,000 awarded to Satavie will be used to scale the company, verify the product in-market (similar to its use in Denmark and Canada) and start to build a customer base in the U.S. This includes bringing the technology into a facility to start processing U.S. soybean meal creating the soy protein concentrate directly in the U.S. The prize money for the other finalists will help commercialize their products/technologies to further the use of U.S. soybean meal, additionally driving soy’s reputation as a sustainable ingredient.