The Startup Playbook Podcast

Insights and lessons from the world's best entrepreneurs and investors

Ep187 – George Peppou (Founder & CEO – Vow) on talent, health and building the future of food

My guest for Ep187 of The Startup Playbook Podcast was George Peppou.

George is the Founder & CEO of Vow, a company on a mission to create a new category of food that is good for you, your health and the planet.

Unlike all the other players in this space, Vow isn’t looking to reproduce the meats we know. They are focused on using cultured meat technology to craft an entirely new category of food by inventing new meats that are tastier and more nutritious than animals.

In November 2022, Vow raised a AUD$73.5M (USD$49M) Series A funding round led by Blackbird and Prosperity7 Ventures. Their seed round in 2021 made them just the 3rd company to have both Blackbird and Square Peg on their cap table at the Seed stage.

In this episode we covered a range of topics including:

  • the challenges and opportunities in building a business in hard mode
  • how George has attracted world class talent from some of the world’s leading companies
  • why and how George prioritises his physical health and energy management as a founder
  • & much more


  • 1:39 George’s background in commercial kitchens and as an inventor
  • 12:33 His first experience with startups
  • 13:53 Lessons from earlier experiences he applied to Vow
  • 18:36 The early days of Vow
  • 23:26 How he approached fundraising in Australia as a deep tech company
  • 25:57 The R&D process for Vow
  • 28:35 Bringing manufacturing in house
  • 32:32 Attracting world class talent
  • 37:42 Prioritising health as a founder
  • 42:31 Handling pressure and chaos during challenging periods with the company
  • 49:49 Doing business on “hard mode”
  • 53:24 Finally launching after 5 years of work
  • 55:33 What’s next for Vow

Our partners

A big thank you to Ellen Dinsmoor and James Tynan for their help with this interview!

Also a big shout out to our partners for the show:


Scendar is the OG startup accounting firm in Australia catering to all stages of your business’ life. If you’re busy running your startup, you don’t have time to do your own books and forecast. Instead, fully outsource your finance function, giving you time and resources back to focus on what you do best in growing your business. Find out more at


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Join over six thousand fast-growing companies that use Vanta to manage risk and prove security in real time.

Startup Playbook Podcast listeners get access to an exclusive offer of USD$1000 off their plans. Head over to get access to this exclusive discount.

Links mentioned

George’s links

People mentioned

Companies mentioned

Feedback/connect/say hello:

[email protected]
@RohitBhargava7 (Twitter)
/rohbhargava (LinkedIn)
@rohit_bhargava (Instagram)
My Youtube Channel


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