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Beyond Meat

Venture capital leader Kleiner Perkins and Twitter co-founders invest in MU startup

dr-hsieh.jpgMU_LR.pngSuccessful commercialization requires cutting-edge innovations business savvy entrepreneurs and dedicated investors—all of which came together for Savage River Farm’s Beyond Meat. In an effort to provide a high quality, low cost alternative to meat protein, Beyond Meat founder Ethan Brown searched for a substitute and after many years, he found what he was looking for in a University of Missouri technology. 

Scientists Fu-hung Hsieh (pictured left) and Harold Huff from MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources had been working on a technology that uses soy protein to mimic the fiber structure of chicken. Brown decided to partner with the university.

The company chose Columbia, in part, to be closer to the MU researchers who developed the licensed technology. The factory opened its doors in November 2012. This technology has attracted Kleiner Perkins and Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams to invest in Beyond Meat.

Currently, the factory employs 15 at the production facility. Beyond Meat is estimated to create 60 jobs by the end of 2017 for the Columbia area. Brown is continuing to work with researchers at MU to develop new meat substitute products in the future.



“Beyond Meat demonstrates how intellectual property generated in a lab can be commercialized. We were excited to have the opportunity to assist the company in the establishment of their first production facility!”

—Mike Brooks, President
Regional Economic Development, Inc.

For more information on this technology, click here


Research Parks & Incubators

The University of Missouri System’s statewide network of research parks provides a thriving environment for discoveries to move from the laboratory to the marketplace. The atmosphere of innovation and collaboration attracts national and international tenants who create quality employment opportunities for Missouri citizens and millions of dollars of capital investment across the state.

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Office of Intellectual Property Administration

The Office of Intellectual Property Administration (OIPA) supports the economic development mission by encouraging broad practical application of university research for the public benefit; assisting those associated with the technology transfer program with evaluating, protecting, licensing and commercializing university discoveries; and carrying out new economic development initiatives designed to create jobs in Missouri.

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Funding Opportunities

The Office of Research and Economic Development is dedicated to commercializing university technologies - one of the biggest challenges to that mission is funding. To proactively combat the constant obstacle, the office has formulated different funding programs for faculty, students and innovations in all stages of the discovery process.

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Office of Research & Economic Development

The Office of Research and Economic Development was established in 2005 to link research and commercialization from the four University of Missouri System campuses with emerging and existing firms across the state and around the world. Working closely with the chief research officers, chancellors and technology transfer offices from each campus, the office also serves as a conduit to local, state and federal agencies to ensure research results aid the growth of Missouri’s economy.

The Office is dedicated to advancing Missouri through innovation, investment and infrastructure.

Our enthusiasm for these three categories revolves around the development of intellectual property, funding programs and research parks and incubators. Providing support during critical stages in university inventions’ path to the marketplace stimulates Missouri’s economy, jobs and entrepreneurship.

Our vision is to enable and lead Missouri’s transformation toward a knowledge-based economy dependent upon innovation and entrepreneurship.

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309 University Hall
Columbia MO, 65211
Phone: 573-882-6726
Email: email