Cultivated meat leader Meatable raises $35 million

Meatable, the industry-leading food tech company, announced today it has raised $35 million in new funding to bring the company's total funding so far to $95 million. Led by Agronomics, the successful close saw Invest-NL, a Dutch impact fund, coming on board as a new investor. The round also drew significant renewed support from existing investors, including BlueYard, Bridford, MilkyWay, DSM Venturing and Taavet Hinrikus.

The funding will be used to further scale its processes and accelerate commercial launch of its cultivated meat products. The scale up and process optimization reduce the production costs to become cost competitive with traditional meat and reach production to commercial volumes. Starting in Singapore, Meatable is launching in selected restaurants and retailers from 2024. The company is also making solid progress on expanding to the United States and beyond, boosted by recent regulatory developments.

Krijn de Nood, co-founder and CEO of Meatable, said: "We're thrilled to welcome Invest-NL on board and to have renewed support from our existing investors. Both the regulatory landscape and the continued investments are aligning to show demonstrated momentum. This is a huge sign of confidence in the incredible quality, taste, and proven scalability of our product, especially in the current investment climate. We look forward to working closely with our investors as we enter our next growth phase and cement our position as global leaders in the cultivated meat industry."

To make its cultivated pork, Meatable takes one sample of cells from an animal without harming it and replicates the natural growth process of the cells using patented opti-ox™ technology combined with pluripotent stem cells. This technology makes it possible for Meatable to produce real muscle and fat cells in only eight days. This efficiency will enable the company to scale cultivated meat production quickly and affordably.

Meatable is an innovative, Dutch food company, aiming to deliver, at scale, cultivated meat that looks like, tastes like, and has the nutritional profile of traditional meat. The proprietary opti-ox™ technology enables Meatable to produce meat rapidly, sustainably, and without harming animals.

Rural Entrepreneurs Face Opportunities and Obstacles

Rural small businesses face a unique set of challenges, but they also have advantages over their urban and suburban counterparts – such as a tendency to be more profitable.

Entrepreneurial Benefits of a Rural Environment

Rural businesses tend to operate at a higher profitability margin than urban businesses (56 percent to 53 percent on average), and they are typically comparable in revenue to urban companies, according to a meta-analysis by SCORE, mentors to America's small businesses. This means rural entrepreneurs keep more of their business revenue and are subsequently able to provide a higher quality of life for themselves and their families.

Thanks to the rise of remote work and technology, entrepreneurs who grow up in rural areas no longer have to relocate to a major metropolis to build successful, scalable businesses. Rural areas also tend to have lower business operation costs as well as a lower cost of living than urban and suburban areas.

Entrepreneurial Challenges of a Rural Environment

Despite great potential, rural entrepreneurs continue to face significant barriers. Those challenges lie primarily in three areas:

1. Access to Capital

Cash flow is a conundrum for rural businesses. According to SCORE's Megaphone of Main Street data report, rural entrepreneurs are more likely than non-rural entrepreneurs to say they're impacted by higher costs of doing business (i.e. rent, utilities, gas), as well as higher financing expenses (i.e. higher interest rates, costs to borrow). Two-thirds of all small businesses need outside financing while three-quarters have trouble accessing it. For those in rural areas, the scarcity of local bank branches can be an added barrier.

2. Access to Labor

Rural areas aren't typically teeming with a wide array of industries, and this lack of business diversity limits the economic opportunities available to entry-level workers. With population declining in rural America, rural entrepreneurs (45.3%) are significantly more likely than non-rural entrepreneurs (25.5%) to say that population trends impact their business. In fact, over a third of rural entrepreneurs (35.9%) say there are few qualified workers in their area.

3. Access to Connectivity

Although telecommunication companies have made great strides in improving access to broadband for rural communities over the years, a technology gap remains between rural and non-rural businesses. Rural entrepreneurs (19.2%) are twice as likely as non-rural entrepreneurs (9%) to cite broadband/high-speed internet access as a technology challenge.

Limited access to high-speed internet is a significant challenge for rural small businesses. Not only does stable connectivity lead to growth, but it also helps businesses recruit and retain top talent, maintain steady supply chains and promote goods and services.

Get the support you need with SCORE

To address and overcome these challenges, SCORE offers rural small business owners free mentoring, as well as customized tools and resources online and on-demand in its hub for Rural Entrepreneurs. SCORE Des Moines mentor Don Frazer explains: "In today's competitive world, you need to have an organized plan for success. SCORE volunteer mentors are willing and able to provide advice in a variety of areas." When it comes to rural businesses, Frazer recommends utilizing local resources: "Be involved in your community."

There are many rewards to operating a small business in a rural community, but they don't come without challenges. "When you're farming, which is a 24-7 job, there's a lot to keep track of, and we needed someone to help us with the numbers," said SCORE client Jim Mansfield, co-owner of Four Hills Farm in Versailles, Ky. "SCORE can help you a lot."

Whether your business is rural, suburban, urban or online, SCORE mentors are available to provide guidance and support. Request a mentor today at

About SCORE:

Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 11 million entrepreneurs start, grow or successfully exit a business. SCORE's 10,000 volunteers provide free, expert mentoring, resources and education in all 50 U.S. states and territories. Visit SCORE at

Funded [in part] through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

TikTok Business Account Now

Home décor and furniture omnichannel company, Ballard Designs, turns 40 this year. How does a successful, mature brand stay on-trend in the fast-moving world of home fashion when the clock is ticking? TikTok.

Recent reporting on social media Trends & Behaviors by GWI marketing research confirms that social media use has leveled out worldwide, but

- TikTok alone grew 32% in the past two years.

- "And despite its youthful reputation, (TikTok) engagement has grown the most among Gen X and baby boomers," the GWI report concluded.

Home furniture and décor corporations that appeal to all ages have taken note.

Ballard launched its corporate TikTok channel in March of 2020 and has slowly built a following by serving up the latest looks in home décor and inspiring do-it-yourself decorators – with fun and a dry sense of humor.

"Witty little posts like this one work because our fans and customers love light-hearted visual snacks," notes Steve Dumas, Senior Director of Digital Marketing for Ballard Designs. "And everyone loves a gorgeous room!"

Creating a hit TikTok moment is like trying to catch lightening in a bottle, of course, especially when you're a corporation. The line between conversation and advertising is a fine one and takes a lot of luck and finesse to walk.

One of Ballard's most popular TikTok posts used actress Drew Barrymore's funny on-air rant against recessed lighting to highlight the company's selection of wall sconces. The company's post with that soundtrack really touched a nerve with interior design lovers while making them laugh.

By capitalizing on trending content, engaging early, and posting at least three times a week, companies like Ballard are using TikTok to build their brand story while the channel is still relatively uncluttered with commercial posts.

According to Ballard Designs social media specialist and videographer Kelley Bostian, "Some posts soar, some flatline. The best posts are really about people sharing laughs and ideas."

Director Dumas adds, "And when you're a commercial company, you want to avoid making people feel like they're being sold. Finding the trends and material, and then bringing it all together seamlessly is the hardest part," he confides. "But we will definitely keep trying. "

Since 1982, Ballard Designs® has offered a unique curation of home furnishings and décor from all periods and provenance. Its designers travel the world for inspiration, translating the latest trends in fashion, color and style into finely crafted products not found anywhere else. Ballard Designs is part of Qurate Retail GroupSM which includes QVC®, HSN®, Frontgate®, Garnet Hill® and Grandin Road®.

We Are The Funtrepreneurs

Social media and brand building are two crucial components of any business. These aspects of marketing allow companies to create an online presence and connect with their audience in a more personal and engaging way.

As a result, businesses can increase brand awareness, customer engagement, and loyalty. Furthermore, when a business has a strong brand, it stands out from the crowd and becomes far more memorable to potential customers.

In order to create a more sustainable base for your business, how can you turn this aspect of your business into a fun and creative experience?

WTF "We're The Funtrepreneurs" is a young family from Brisbane, QLD, specializing in social media and brand building. Matt Hamelink and Jordan Day, the brains behind the business, started their entrepreneurial journey in May 2019 with a mission to provide exceptional value to their communities by leveraging their knowledge of the online business space and marketing.

The powerhouse couple creates strong recognizable brands and sells high-ticket items while fostering an environment of acceptance, creativity, and fun. Through their personal approach, they empower entrepreneurs to reach new heights of success and make a positive impact on their industry.

Matt and Jordie faced significant challenges during the early stages of their business. They had to re-learn a lifetime of bad habits and recondition their minds with new thought patterns and behaviours, including learning better time management. They also had to block out negative and well-intentioned comments and trust in themselves and their abilities. According to the couple, "The opinions of others who have never tried for more do not pay for your bills or your dreams."

Their business model is unique as it is a 45-year-old pre-made and proven business model that you make your own, meaning you don't need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in overheads and start-up costs of most brick-and-mortar businesses. They also focus not only on the business and money, but also on the support system, money mindset, and community.

According to Matt and Jordie, less copy-and-paste trends with trending sounds/audio use, User Generated Content (UGC), and edutainment content will be trending in the coming years. “People want more real, unedited, off-the-cuff conversations. Creators will also start to be paid freelance style to create content for other brands without needing to post on their own socials. In addition, entertaining, informative content creation that makes people laugh, relate to, and learn at the same time in bite-size portions will be more apparent in the next 1-3 years.” the duo say.

The Funtrepreneurs are not your typical Instagram influencers. They are “the couple next door” who love a good pun and their animals. They have proven that with hard work, anyone can achieve success, even with less experience and qualifications than most.

They state that their success comes from having each other's back, choosing gratitude over feelings of lack, and being part of a supportive community, stating, "The community we are a part of really helped us succeed. It was amazing to see other people doing what we were doing and succeeding.”