Checkoff News

Soy Innovation Challenge Winner Offers New Approach to Soy Meal Processing

Lasse Jakobsen, Satavie, addressing a group of soybean farmers at the 2023 Commodity Classic event in Orlando.

Satavie President Lasse Jakobsen speaks to soybean farmers at the 2023 Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida.

Satavie takes home $100,000 for their revolutionary approach to extract protein from soybean meal, removing anti-nutritional factors and improving gut development in livestock and aquaculture.

ST. LOUIS (May 23, 2023) — The United Soybean Board, in partnership with The Yield Lab Institute, is proud to announce Satavie as the winner of the 2022 Soy Innovation Challenge. The Challenge called on entrepreneurs, innovators, startups and research teams to bring new ways to advance soybean meal use and demand in existing markets.

Satavie was selected out of nearly 80 applicants from around the world for their approach to extract concentrated soy protein from soybean meal. Their method ensures high levels of digestibility, improved nutrient absorption, and increased feed conversion rates ideal for swine, poultry and aquaculture feed. As the winner, the company received $100,000 courtesy of the United Soybean Board and $5,000 of in-kind technical services and credits from Amazon Web Services.

“The impact for the soy industry is enormous. Our water extraction patented technique leads to better health outcomes, overall growth and improved meat quality. It ultimately aids in digestion early on in animal diets to nutritionally set them up for success,” said Satavie President Lasse Jakobsen. “This innovation expands market opportunities and opens up new sectors for U.S. soybean farmers.”

The Soy Innovation Challenge discovers new ways to utilize and add value to U.S. soybeans. This year’s contest focuses on strengthening soybean meal markets, as the supply of soybean meal continues to increase. This is primarily due to growing demand for soybean oil used as a feedstock for renewable energy.

“In reviewing all the applicants’ proposals and hearing from these forward-thinking finalists, it reiterates that soy can be the solution for so many applications,” said April Hemmes, USB farmer-leader from Iowa, Demand Action Team Chair and Soy Innovation Challenge judge. “These are four totally different ideas all using soybean meal. It’s neat to see this sustainable product that U.S. farmers grow bring an added value, which is a great way to invest soy checkoff dollars. Everyone is looking for a sustainable solution these days, and U.S. Soy can be the answer.”

Each finalist received a cash prize, mentoring and resources to help advance their ideas in the areas of technical, business and financial impact. Finalists include:

  • POLARISqb — POLARISqb utilizes quantum computing and artificial intelligence to revolutionize drug design. They are developing a feed additive, specifically a peptide, that makes soymeal feed digestible and nutritious for livestock without relying on costly extraction methods. — First runner-up awarded $50,000.
  • SoyKitty — SoyKitty is an innovative pet company that creates premium companion animal products that are safer for people, pets and the planet. Their flagship product will be an eco-friendly, nontoxic cat litter made predominantly from soybean byproducts (spent flakes, carbohydrates, etc.) for eco-conscious cat owners that demand an odor-free household without hurting the planet. — Second runner-up awarded $20,000.
  • Ichthus Unlimited — Ichthus Unlimited aims at resolving bottleneck issues for the aquaculture industry and providing solutions for its sustainability and permanence. A key research and development focus of Ichthus is to develop soy-based (from soy hulls) animal feed binders to replace costly alternatives. — Third runner-up awarded $10,000.

“I am proud of all of our finalists,” said Brandon Day, COO of The Yield Lab Institute. “They have brought forth innovative solutions to solve some of the industry’s biggest challenges. Because of our sponsors — USB, Amazon Web Services and Solis Agrosciences — and their continued support of these entrepreneurs, the trajectory and potential of these ideas bring new ways of thinking to the marketplace. They, in addition to our mentors and partners, have played an important role in accelerating their technologies to market.”

The $100,000 awarded to Satavie will be used to scale the company, verify the product in-market (similar to its use in Denmark and Canada) and start to build a customer base in the U.S. This includes bringing the technology into a facility to start processing U.S. soybean meal creating the soy protein concentrate directly in the U.S. The prize money for the other finalists will help commercialize their products/technologies to further the use of U.S. soybean meal, additionally driving soy’s reputation as a sustainable ingredient.

About United Soybean Board: United Soybean Board’s 77 volunteer farmer-leaders work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers create value by investing in research, education and promotion with the vision to deliver sustainable soy solutions to every life, every day across the three priority areas of Infrastructure & Connectivity, Health & Nutrition, and Innovation & Technology. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff. For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit

About The Yield Lab Institute
The Yield Lab Institute is a non-profit, agtech think tank focused on supporting, advancing global agtech startups, entrepreneurs and ecosystems. The Institute’s initiatives include open innovation challenges (The Manure Challenge, The Soy Innovation Challenge, The Sustainable Agtech Challenge and more), ecosystems assessments (e.g. Rosario, Argentina, Piracicaba, Brazil, East Africa (long and short form) and technical studies (e.g. St. Louis soilless ag Phase I and II). The Institute is the non-profit arm of The Yield Lab Group, a global federation of venture capital funds that invest in early stage agtech. For more information, please visit The Yield Lab Institute.



Paul Murphy-Spooner at United Soybean Board, 515.975.6584.

Brandon Day at The Yield Lab Institute.

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