Neil Patel

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In the field of culinary innovation, few stories are as captivating as that of Eshchar Ben-Shitrit, the co-founder and CEO of Redefine Meat. His journey from a childhood in an Israeli kibbutz to spearheading one of the most groundbreaking companies in the meat industry is as inspiring as it is insightful.

Listen to the full podcast episode and review the transcript here.

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A Childhood in Paradise

Growing up in a kibbutz, Eshchar experienced a childhood, unlike many others. For him, the kibbutz was a paradise, a country club of sorts where independence was fostered from a young age.

He recalls riding bikes at age four, dining with friends instead of family, and immersing himself in nature and animals. The kibbutz provided a unique blend of freedom and communal living, shaping Eshchar’s confidence and independence from an early age.

From Farm to Table: A Passion for Food

Eshchar’s upbringing also laid the foundation for his passion for food. With parents working on a dairy farm and a turkey farm, he was exposed to the inner workings of the food industry from a young age.

His love for cooking, especially meat, began at the tender age of nine when he started experimenting with recipes for his family.

This passion eventually led him to volunteer at his uncle’s restaurant in Tel Aviv, where he honed his skills and developed a fascination with elevating meat cuisine to new heights. Eschchar remembers being keenly interested in high-level culinary art.

A Journey of Unexpected Twists

While Eshchar’s early interests revolved around food and cooking, his career path took unexpected turns into the fields of law and finance. Reflecting on his decision to pursue law despite his initial aversion to mathematics, Eshchar attributes it to the flexibility and lack of stringent math requirements.

He remembers writing an essay when interviewing for an internship as a lawyer and mentioning that he had initially wanted to be a chef. That wouldn’t have made sense in any other country, but in Israel, people are encouraged to experiment with different fields before choosing the right one.

This decision eventually led Eshchar to combine his legal background with an MBA, setting the stage for a diverse skill set that would serve him well in his entrepreneurial endeavors.

He was very good in law studies, got good grades, and was accepted into MBA school directly. He honed his skills by working as a law clerk for a short time.

Eshchat candidly admits that his thought processes and way of working are very scattered, recalling his interest in food, then law and math, and circling back to 3D printing meat. But each experience has contributed to his evolving vision.

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Working at Hewlett Packard

Eshchar recalls how a close relative had advised him to be a product manager, which is the stepping stone to becoming a potential CEO. Then, Eshchar spotted an advertisement in a paper for product managers at an industrial printing press.

When he went for the interview, he met some very smart people he wanted to emulate. He was impressed by their analytical mindset, clarity of vision, and passion for developing this technology for industrial printing presses. Since he finished his internship, Eshchar joined Hewlett Packard (HP).

The Birth of a Vision

Eshchar’s business idea started with his obsession with meat alternatives. He quit eating meat when he became a father after 30 years of being a carnivore. That’s when he started looking for foods that taste like meat.

Eshchar was fascinated by the concept of building a company that could solve this issue. His initial idea was to send emails to Impossible Foods with the suggestion to work on 3D-printed meat.

He also informed them that he was open to having a conversation about this idea. However, they never responded.

Determined to find solutions, Eshchar set a deadline for himself–to build a company when his second son is born. His entrepreneurial journey truly began when he serendipitously met his future co-founder, Adam Lahav, at HP.

The pivotal moment came when Eshchar made the bold decision to leave HP and pursue his dream of founding a company.

It was a leap of faith driven by a desire to make a tangible impact and a refusal to settle for anything less than his true calling. Eshchar saw that being a founder meant that he could raise funding and work with investors, boards, and customers worldwide.

He recognized that every venture is risky and has huge uncertainty. He was also well aware that to be successful, entrepreneurs have to have the guts and resilience to follow their dreams.

The initial year of entrepreneurship was very challenging and emotionally taxing for Eshchar. Giving up a successful career and facing constant failure was hard. But he was able to pull through because of sheer grit and determination.

Redefining the Future of Meat

With Redefine Meat, Eshchar set out to revolutionize the meat industry by harnessing cutting-edge technology to create plant-based alternatives that rival traditional meat in taste, texture, and nutritional composition.

The innovative approach to 3D-printed meat has garnered attention worldwide, positioning them as pioneers in the field of alternative proteins. As Eshchar explains, they are a meat company that is developing, producing, and selling new meat products in 10 different countries.

Their technology allows them to recreate an animal’s massive structure, like meat tissues and muscles that consumers eat today. They have developed plant-based tissue by engineering tissue from plants to recreate steaks and meat burgers.

Redefine Meat developed the products and technology and launched them into the market around two years ago. They are now producing new meat in Israel and in the Netherlands and sending it to restaurants, food service operators, and retailers across many countries.

Some of their customers are vegans and vegetarians, but most are flexitarians people who still eat meat but want to reduce consumption. They have usually never participated in what is called plant-based meat, like, for example, steaks.

Redefine Meat became the first company in history to launch a steak food service made from plants and not animals.

The company is working to introduce new and better products every three months to cater to more and more consumers. It is now an incredible brand that addresses what meat eaters want.

Navigating Funding Challenges and Embracing Risk

Eshchar looks back at the challenges he faced when fundraising for Redefine Meat. He talks about the constant rejections and the inability to progress and realize his vision. He had a viable idea, a small team, and was bootstrapping the project with his co-founder.

The duo started off by reaching out to angel investors in Israel and getting the initial $200K. Next, they went into an accelerator program and won recognition and money.

They moved their workspace out of Eshchar’s parents’ garage and hired skilled advisors with food technology expertise. This took a year to execute, which was emotionally and physically draining and an extremely difficult time.

But, almost overnight, the first shift happened. Eshchar and Adam had a lab with a 10-person-strong team; they were building machines and had investors who were bringing their friends on board.

The second shift happened when they created and tasted the first product that was simply “amazing.”

Redefine Meat has raised $190M, as Eshchar reveals. It has a lot of patents and talented people who are building factories and brands. The journey of building the company and convincing people wasn’t easy since there was no industry benchmark to meet.

The initial funding amount of $6M that they raised was possibly the most difficult money ever, as Eshchar recalls. They were working on a mission but without industry experience or expertise in the technology.

After this initial amount, they were able to show some results and then raised an added $29M from angels, small investors, family offices, and more.

Storytelling is everything, which is something that Eshchar Ben-Shitrit was able to master. Being able to capture the essence of what you are doing in 15 to 20 slides is the key. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend Peter Thiel (see it here), where the most critical slides are highlighted.

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Staying Grounded

Despite the company’s success, Eshchar remains grounded, acknowledging the inherent challenges of entrepreneurship. From navigating the complexities of fundraising to overcoming self-doubt, his journey has been defined by resilience, perseverance, and a willingness to embrace risk.

For Eshchar, risk isn’t just a necessary component of entrepreneurship; it’s an addiction—an inherent part of the journey toward realizing a bold vision. He reveals that Redefine Meat is growing at a massive pace, like a software company, but is essentially a food company.

Although they have amazing customers, the industry is not that trending. This makes it difficult to raise funding or find investors interested in food tech.

Looking Ahead: A Journey Without End

As Redefine Meat continues to expand its reach and impact, Eshchar remains steadfast in his commitment to building the world’s largest meat company. Yet, for him, success isn’t just about achieving a destination—it’s about embracing the journey and embracing the unknown.

With an unwavering belief in his mission and a relentless pursuit of innovation, Eshchar Ben-Shitrit exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurship—one fueled by passion, vision, and an insatiable appetite for change.

His mission is to transform Redefine Meat into the world’s largest meat company in the next 20 years by 2040.

Eshchar and Adam have successfully scaled the company to 10 countries and are now attempting to expand further to every place around the planet, like Tokyo, Sao Paolo, and New York.

They hope to develop more technologies and reach more consumers for a lasting impact on the planet, similar to other food companies worldwide that are more than 100 years old.

For Eshchar, success means walking on the streets of Tel Avis wearing a Redefine Meat t-shirt and having someone come up to him and talk about how his products impacted their life.

But, he looks back at the risks they took to get there and the products they experimented with before developing something consumers would buy.

As the interview rounds off, Eshchar quotes a Nelson Mandela line that resonates with him, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” He loves to hear opinions and ideas from people who reach out and talk about the products they would like to try.

In Conclusion

In the ever-evolving landscape of food technology, Eshchar Ben-Shitrit’s story serves as a testament to the power of perseverance, innovation, and the relentless pursuit of a bold vision.

As Redefine Meat continues to redefine the future of meat, one thing is certain: the journey is far from over, and the best is yet to come.

Listen to the full podcast episode to know more, including:

  • Eshchar’s upbringing in a kibbutz fostered independence from a young age, laying the foundation for his entrepreneurial journey.
  • Eshchar’s early passion for cooking, especially meat, fueled his desire to push culinary boundaries and elevate meat cuisine to new heights.
  • From law to finance to product management, Eshchar’s diverse career experiences contributed to his adaptability and resilience as an entrepreneur.
  • Chance encounters at Hewlett Packard led to the formation of Redefine Meat, highlighting the importance of seizing unexpected opportunities.
  • Eshchar’s willingness to embrace risk and navigate challenges has been essential to Redefine Meat’s success in disrupting the meat industry.
  • Eshchar’s unwavering commitment to building the world’s largest meat company drives him forward, even in the face of uncertainty and adversity.
  • For Eshchar, success isn’t just about reaching a destination—it’s about embracing the journey, embracing risk, and continuing to innovate and evolve.



For a winning deck, see the commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400M (see it here). 

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Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.


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Neil Patel

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