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See how Xinova partners with PepsiCo and Innit to launch the new Seattle restaurant tech startup, SousZen, that aims to digitize ‘back of house’.

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Innovation Opportunities

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Innovation Opportunities

Be the Big Cheese: Call for Applicants


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Xinova is looking for innovators to participate in a virtual Rapid Innovation Session (RIS) to find creative solutions for plant-based cheese.

Consumers are moving away from animal-based foods for a variety of reasons, from environmental to health. To meet their needs and encourage more consumers to choose plant-based alternatives, there are now many options for plant-based burgers, sausages, and even bacon that have come quite close to mimicking animal meat.

However, plant-based cheese hasn’t seen the same level of progress. While some options exist, none of them have all of the traits that cheese-lovers enjoy:

  • a range of melting properties, from gooey and stringy like mozzarella, to gently softening like cheddar
  • delicious umami flavor that mimics the real thing, ranging from sharp to milky smooth
  • the right appearance, for shredded and block cheeses
  • stretch in texture for softer cheeses
  • smooth incorporate of fat all throughout, with no separation when cooked or melted

This space is ripe for development, so Xinova’s customers are eager for innovative solutions that will help them create a better plant-based cheese.

The Opportunity
Xinova is looking for innovators to participate in a virtual Rapid Innovation Session (RIS). This is an 8-week project in which you will work with 3-4 fellow innovators, led by a facilitator, towards finding creative, novel solutions to the problem at hand.

Participants can expect to:

  • Contribute 4-6 hours per week, over 8 weeks
  • Work with your team in real-time (virtually) to identify solutions using a variety of ideation techniques
  • Research independently and with the team to understand the topic, what solutions currently exist, and why they are inadequate
  • Identify the novelty in each of the solutions, especially any potential for patentability
  • Attend virtual meetings with the Xinova customer and the Xinova manager to:
    • share initial solutions and receive feedback
    • present final solutions for evaluation
  • Prepare a final report for each high-value solution
  • Prepare an initial proposal for proof-of-concept work.

Participants will earn a total of $5000, paid as milestones are completed over the course of the project.


  • Demonstrate sufficient experience in one or more the following topics, through either technical or consultative work:
    • food processing
    • food formulations
    • biochemistry
    • food science in general
    • plant-based foods
  • Available for 4-6 hours per week from June 15 to August 15, 2020
  • Comfortable working remotely (video conferencing capabilities)
  • Able to attend meetings in US time-zone
  • Experience working in teams; remote teamwork experience is a plus
  • Experience in client-facing role(s)

For general questions or clarifications, please hit “post a question” on the right side. For more specific inquiries, please contact Nick Milanovich at

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We are always seeking new problems to solve, as well as innovators and entrepreneurs to help us solve them. Let’s work together to create the future.

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