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Startmate

Meet…Michael Fox, Founder of Fable Food Co (Startmate Mentor)

Michael Fox, Founder of Fable Food Co and Startmate Mentor

Name: Michael Fox

Company: Fable Food Co — responsibly produced plant-based meat products.

HQ: Sunshine Coast, Qld

What were you doing before Startmate?: I’ve co-founded three tech startups — Shoes of Prey, Sneaking Duck and Fable Food Co.

Why did you decide to get involved in Startmate?: Moving back to Australia from the US two years ago I’ve loved connecting back into the tech community and offering learnings from my Shoes of Prey experience where it’s helpful.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given and who gave it to you?: It’s a relatively common piece of advice, so much so that it’s almost a cliche, but in my experience it’s hugely valuable — Work on a problem and product that you’re personally very passionate about.

I loved many things about Shoes of Prey but wasn’t particularly passionate about fashion and women’s shoes. Fable has been a different experience in a very positive way. The biggest problem in the world I want to work on is helping to end industrial animal agriculture. Plus I’ve been vegetarian for 5 years so eat meat alternatives.

Fable Food Tacos

I never woke up on a Saturday morning wanting to read fashion magazines. I can’t think of anything I’d rather be reading about than happenings in the alternative protein space. That makes working that much more enjoyable and I think it also gives Fable a higher probability of success.

What is a daily habit you swear by?: A swim in the ocean, regardless of time of the year or weather.

A book that has impacted you?: “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer. It’s the best laid out case for anything I’ve ever read. Turned me vegetarian as I finished reading it.

What is one problem begging to be solved by a Startmate company?: Just as we’re headed for close to 100% renewable energy generation within the next 20 years as it becomes cheaper than fossil fuel energy generation, I think we’re headed for the majority of “meat” to be made from plants and fungi as those products start to taste better than animal meat and are available at a lower price than animal meat.

As this happens, we’re going to free up approximately 30% of the world’s habitable land mass which is currently used for animal grazing and growing crops to feed factory farmed animals.

Problem: What’s the most efficient way to reforest all that land to capture the most carbon out of the atmosphere as quickly as possible?

What is the best change that has occurred in the local startup ecosystem over the past five years?: There are so many more people with tech / fast growth startup experience who are able and willing to share this with newer companies. That’s resulting in more VCs, excellent angel investors and a great group of mentors in accelerator programs like Startmate.

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