Dr. Avital Beck: An Evolutionary Leader Transforming Future of Milk Benefits for the World

Milk is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium. It has an important role in bone health. Nutritionists recommend that people have milk and other dairy products, such as yoghurt and cheese, every day as part of a balanced diet.

For most mammals, life starts with milk. About 10,000 years ago, we discovered that we could harvest the milk of other species as a convenient, nutrient-rich food source. In the 20th century, innovations in pasteurization, refrigeration, and the manufacturing of powdered, or dried, milk led to milk products becoming a household staple.

As significant companies try to grab the sustainable & environmental problems of the dairy industry by producing alternatives such as plant based & fermentation based products. Such Innovation has being led by Dr. Avital Beck, CEO of WILK who is producing REAL MILK through cells in an independent manner. Wilk is the first company to produce personalized milk & milk ingredients while overcoming environmental and supply challenges.

The InspireZones Magazine interviews Avital Beck, CEO of WILK:  A lady who inspires others to flourish the business by following “Integrity, Innovation & Serenity”

Tell us something about yourself?  What inspired you to start your journey in this industry?

I am a mother of 7 children, and I am also a scientist. The combination of both inspired me to embark on a journey that utilizes my knowledge in science to make the world better for mothers. In my first startup I developed home diagnostic tests for breastfeeding mothers. Building on that now we are trying to produce real breast milk for mothers and parents who cannot breastfeed, in a lab, using my scientific and personal understanding as well as scientific and business experience that I have gained.

What solutions or services does Wilk offer to its clients? would you tell us the overall vision behind Wilk and your focus today?

WILK is a dynamic startup at the forefront of the dairy revolution. We’re pioneering the production of lab-cultivated dairy and breast milk that are virtually indistinguishable from those derived from traditional source, by cultivating mammary cells.  We are a women-led company that develops cultured breast milk (medical food)  from mammary cells, which is sustainable and eco-friendly in a lab. Our Milk ingredients will also give solutions for preterm and sensitive babies.

When did you recognize the need for Wilk and what were some of the challenges in putting together your offering?

Our company is the only one developing cell-based fats for the dairy and formula industries. This gives Wilk a competitive advantage, as cell-based fats have many potential benefits, such as improved nutritional quality, sustainability, and ethics. The challenge is both a scientific challenge to succeed in upscaling the cells and a financial one, as it requires deep pockets to fund deep tech companies and biological labs.

Every business leader has numerous responsibilities, being a fearless leader at Wilk what added responsibilities are you dealing with?

As a leader at Wilk, I confront a multitude of added responsibilities that go beyond the conventional duties of a business leader. Steering the ship in times of uncertainty and change requires me to make complex decisions, foster innovation, and nurture growth. Additionally, my role involves prioritizing the well-being and unity of the team, ensuring open communication channels, and strategically navigating the company through the dynamic challenges of the business landscape.

Moreover, being a woman in a leadership position adds an extra layer of complexity, requiring me to break through barriers and overcome gender-related challenges. Furthermore, being Israeli, especially in times of conflict, introduces unique pressures that demand resilience and adept decision-making to steer the company through turbulent waters. In essence, my leadership at Wilk involves a multifaceted approach that addresses both the intricacies of the business world and the specific challenges associated with my gender and the geopolitical context.

How would you describe your leadership style, and what has been your success mantra?

I firmly believe in the power of teamwork, recognizing that individual success is often a collective achievement. My guiding principle for success revolves around the understanding that it’s not about winning or losing; rather, it’s a continuous journey. While we celebrate our successes, the very next day marks the beginning of a new struggle to achieve the next goal. Similarly, setbacks are not seen as failures but as opportunities to learn, prompting us to rise the next morning armed with a fresh plan and novel approaches to try again..

How do you help a company understand what they want to achieve, how are you able to encourage people in that?

First and foremost, I clarify things for myself what the company wants to achieve and, more importantly, why. Once I’ve got a clear picture that resonates with me, I work on keeping everyone hooked on this vibe and mindset, especially when faced with setbacks. It’s mostly in trying to spread the positive energy!

Tell us something about your team and the culture of your company. How are you keeping them motivated in current times?

We have a weekly happy hour when we sit and small talk, but mostly we are here for one another in these times of war.

What are the key milestones you have set for your company for the year 2025? What does the next six months to a year look like for Wilk?

We are currently focusing on finalizing our first human mammary fat product and are working very hard on fundraising and looking for potential strategic partners.

What has been your biggest learning experience in the industry? What did it teach you?

Guiding principle is persistence never giving up. When faced with closed doors, I’ve learned to seek new windows and explore unconventional opportunities. The lesson is to think creatively and not dismiss any potential avenue.

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