Class of 2022

Fengru Lin

Tech Disruptors

34 / Singapore

The forward-thinking Singaporean making alternative milk from stem cells

As co-founder and CEO of TurtleTree, a biotech company that uses stem cell technology to produce high-quality milk in the lab by extracting cells from mammals, Fengru Lin is at the forefront of change in reducing use of animal products and their consequent effect on the environment. Employing a process that uses less land, water and energy while reducing disease risk, her company creates a delicious milk alternative that is helping to pave the way to a more sustainable future. Based in Singapore, TurtleTree is currently working on scaling up its processes and producing samples for development and regulatory approval, while also launching a cell-based commercial product called human lactoferrin that helps strengthen the immune system, improve gut health and benefit brain development.

With a degree in information systems management and marketing, Singaporean Fengru has worked as an account manager and executive for companies like Salesforce and Google. A cheese lover, she came up with the idea for TurtleTree while learning how to make cheese, when she realised the sustainability issues concerning traditional milk production and the environmental impact of cattle farming. In 2019, with Max Rye, she co-founded the company, discovering a way to synthesise milk from mammals using stem cell technology. Under her leadership, TurtleTree has won multiple awards and competitions and has received international media attention, as well as raising more than $40 million in funding. With support from major investors, Fengru is focused on the causes she cares deeply about: ending animal cruelty, making sure the world’s growing population is fed and improving the way people eat, drink and live worldwide.

“Our current food systems and traditional methods of dairy production are unsustainable… As the demand for dairy and dairy products increases with the rising global population, novel strategies for food production are more important than ever.” – Fengru Lin

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