Before developing a vegan egg alternative that perfectly mimics the real deal (including the shell!), Veronica worked for Pepsi’s Caribbean branch, got a PhD in engineering, and learned all about the functionality and sensory profile of plant proteins. “I knew I wanted to study Food Engineering since I was 12. There was no other way,” today’s Neggst CEO remembers.
“I used to eat my morning cereals before school and scan the cereal box. Once I finished with the games in the back, I always moved to read the ingredients and nutrition information. I was super curious about how from flour, sugar, and starch, you can get what I was eating,” she recalls. From cereal to recreating one of the most complex foods of all – a hen’s egg – Veronica is working to freshen up people’s view on processed foods. “Even with people becoming generally more conscious, we understand that not everyone will become vegan, but most of us can significantly reduce our animal consumption, and maybe with so many great vegan products, we will turn the story around and just use animal products on rare occasions.”
In general though, Verónica believes the plant-based industry is headed in the right direction. “Us industry peers need to work together to demand better legal actions to make it easier for vegan products to come to the market and for consumers to make the decision to buy them,“ she told us. For Neggst, which just closed its first investment round and raised over $5 million, the next big step is coming to retail and working with customer feedback.
An avid goal-setter who doesn’t let a day go by without writing down the three things she is grateful for, Verónica never planned a career as a CEO. Both professionally and personally, moving to Germany has been one of the biggest leaps of her life. Back in Mexico, she had a nice job and was well on her way to getting married. Following her dream meant leaving her family and breaking the engagement, but she now sees it as the best decision she ever made: “I never imagined I’d have a chance to be an entrepreneur in the booming vegan food tech sector in Berlin!”
She attributes a lot of her success to hard work and discipline, but not at the cost of her mental health. “Running or gym sessions keep my mind off of daily tasks, and I end each day with a short guided meditation. When things get too much for exercise and meditation to help, I always turn to talking to my therapist in Mexico who helps me put things in perspective,” Verónica shares candidly.
If she could send a message to her younger self, she’d have her take some courses on business and finance. “With all my background in food technology, last year was a whirlwind of learning about financial modeling, raising capital, and so on. I usually learn better by doing, but if I’d had some background before, I’d definitely sleep better.”
“I am currently obsessed with Better Nature Tempeh, but Endori patties might be the next obsession. “
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry from Neil DeGrasse Tyson
“…my superpower would be to be in several places at the same time.”
“Motivating people to become the best version of themselves and helping others in a general sense.”
“I don’t like to eat too-spicy foods.”
“My heroes are my parents. They both love what they studied and enjoy every day at work. I never heard them complaining about going to work. They both are entrepreneurs and have always worked in the most honest and fair way, which sometimes cost them projects or clients, but their reputation and values are the best reward. They always told me to study what I like, enjoy it, work hard, and that success will come with it.”