Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation and Greentown Labs Announce the KAITEKI Challenge Startup Participants

Somerville, Mass., May 18, 2021 — Greentown Labs, the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America, and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (MCHC) have selected six startups for the KAITEKI Challenge that are innovating in the areas of alternative proteins, plastics, and packaging. The KAITEKI Challenge, the latest iteration of the Greentown Launch corporate partnerships accelerator, is focused on solutions that will enable sustainable consumption in daily life and aims to foster collaboration between MCHC and the participating startups.

The KAITEKI Challenge received more than 115 applications from 35 countries, representing a range of technologies distributed across the three topic areas. After a highly competitive selection process, six companies were chosen—one is in stealth mode and therefore not listed here:

  • BlakBear (London, England) measures freshness from inside meat and fish packaging and stores the data in the cloud. BlakBear does so by using a smart label incorporated inside packaging, which measures spoilage gases and transmits the data wirelessly. This enables supply chain improvements and reduction of waste.
  • Circularise (The Hague, The Netherlands) helps manufacturers to digitize raw materials and trace them to end products and parts. Circularise’s traceability software, built on blockchain technology, enables companies to make material information easily accessible to customers and regulators, without sharing sensitive and proprietary material composition information.
  • Impactful Health R&D (Nova Scotia, Canada) is developing sustainable active packaging to prolong the shelf life of fresh fish. This approach can increase return on investment for the entire value chain, while reducing organic waste and plastics pollution.
  • Paragon Pure (New Jersey, United States) creates ingredients to replace palm oils while delivering desirable appearance, melting performance, flavor, and mouthfeel of meat analog products. Olé pb™ is a rice bran oleogel tailored to enable the next generation of plant-based burgers.
  • STARFIELD (Shenzhen, China) uses innovative technology to create plant-based meat alternatives that are delicious, affordable, and healthy. Key technologies include protein extrusion and extraction and natural flavor enhancement solutions.

Over the next six months, the KAITEKI Challenge will provide the participating startups engagement opportunities with MCHC Group companies and visibility to MCHC top leadership.  The startups will gain access to the mentor, corporate partner, and investor networks of Greentown Labs and receive a $25,000 non-dilutive grant to cover the cost of potential proof of concept projects.

“Our corporate philosophy of KAITEKI is all about the sustainable well-being of people, society, and our planet. The KAITEKI Challenge’s emphasis on reimagining proteins, plastics, and packaging was derived from these same values. We are thrilled to work with these six terrific startups and our Greentown Labs partners to create business value and help enable a society based on sustainable consumption,” said Dr. Larry Meixner, Chief Innovation Officer and CTO of MCHC.

“At Greentown Labs, we believe that fostering a more sustainable food system will help to reduce GHG emissions, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and help build resilient communities,” said Dr. Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs. “We look forward to working with MCHC and the startups selected for the KAITEKI Challenge to build partnerships that can move us toward our shared goal of creating a sustainable future for all!”

MCHC and Greentown Labs hosted a kickoff for The KAITEKI Challenge on April 15—a recording of the event can be viewed here.


About Greentown Labs
Greentown Labs is a community of climate action pioneers working to design a more sustainable world. Greentown Labs brings together startups, corporates, investors, policymakers, and many others with a focus on scaling climate solutions. Greentown Labs offers lab space, shared office space, a machine shop, an electronics lab, software and business resources, and a large network of corporate customers, investors, and more. With its headquarters in Somerville, Mass. and a recently opened incubator in Houston, Texas, Greentown Labs is home to more than 140 startups and has supported more than 330 startups since the incubator’s founding in 2011. These startups have collectively created more than 6,500 direct jobs and have raised more than $1.2 billion in funding. For more information, visit or Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Greentown Labs Media Contact:
Julia Travaglini
VP of Marketing & Communications

About Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation conducts its corporate activities and businesses worldwide in the domains of Performance Products, Industrial Materials, and Health Care, based on the core values of “Sustainability,” “Health,” and “Comfort.” The company builds stakeholder value while contributing to the sustainable well-being of people, society and our planet Earth. For more information, visit

Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation Media Contact
Public Relations and Investor Relations Office
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation
Tel: [+81] (0)3-6748-7140