Mylkcubator

Mylkcubator, the first global incubator specialized in the advancement of innovation projects for the dairy sector, launches its first edition with four amazing startups selected from across the world. Thanks to this incubation program, launched by Pascual Innoventures in collaboration with Eatable Adventures, these promising startups are set to lay the foundations for a new path of development and innovation for the dairy industry and respond to the big challenges it faces.

Mylkcubator is not only the world’s first incubator specialized in the dairy sector, but also establishes itself as an international reference with its four chosen startups coming from different continents. These startups were carefully selected for their projects and technological developments to obtain the dairy products of the future. 

According to Sejal Ravji, director of Pascual Innoventures, “Mylkcubator launches its first edition with the aim of marking a dramatic before and after in food innovation. I think we are facing global challenges that can only be resolved thanks to bold bets like this; it’s a starting point for the development of the dairy products of the future.  It’s a very ambitious project at many levels, including technological, but we’re partnering with leading experts, companies, and investors from all over the world who share our vision to make it happen”.

Thus, Pascual, through Pascual Innoventures continues to promote innovation, anticipate trends and create a more sustainable food system future for all. The Mylkcubator program is another testament to their commitment to this end.

The selected startups:

  • Real Deal Milk (Spain) develops milk proteins through precision fermentation in order to make dairy products that are produced without animals but are nutritionally and gastronomically equivalent to traditional dairy products.
  • Zero Cow Factory (India) producing India’s first milk & dairy products (certainly a world’s first in A2 milk protein) using microbial bioengineering & precision fermentation. 
  • De Novo Dairy (South Africa) uses precision fermentation technology to produce animal-free dairy proteins that provide the same sensory experience and nutrition as their traditional dairy counterparts.
  • M2Factors (USA) 108Labs’ subsidiary M2Factors, Inc is accelerating the state of the art in cell-cultured dairy by crashing the cost of production.

The launch of Mylkcubator has attracted the attention of companies, technology centers and professional investors from all over the world.

Renowned research hubs have already expressed their willingness to collaborate with some of the selected startups in the development of their research. In fact, these partnerships will allow the teams to work in some of the most cutting-edge facilities of these research centers, ‘professionalizing’ and boosting the development process of the projects. 

In addition, leading funds investing in startups working on technologies for developing protein alternatives in the agri-food sector, such as Blue Horizon, Lever VC, Unovis or Ninepointfive, a venture capital fund specialised in leveraging corporate acceleration, will also monitor Mylkcubator’s technological developments to advise these startups and look for future collaboration opportunities to maximize the potential of their projects.

The incubation program will commence with the first sessions to determine the state of development of each project both at a business and technological level with guidance from Pascual Innoventures, Eatable Adventures and the investors and partners involved. In addition, the feasibility of the innovations and the possible development of pilot projects for future business opportunities in the dairy sector will be studied.

Mylkcubator website: mylkcubator.com

MOA Foodtech has obtained 1.5 million euros as a seed round to scale its production of sustainable proteins for food and expand to the Asian and American markets. This investment round was led by two IBEX 35 companies, plus the leading food accelerator in Southern Europe, Eatable Adventures, and Big Idea Ventures, the New York-based alternative protein fund.

Moa is founded by Susana Sánchez (CSO), who holds a PhD in microbiology and was previously the director of innovation of a biopharmaceutical company; José María Elorza (CFO), coming from the banking / M&A sector; and Bosco Emparanza (CEO), biochemist at the University of Navarra with an MBA in biotechnology companies. 

”Our current way of producing food is unsustainable. It causes 24% of greenhouse gases and 80% of deforestation, where 77% of the surface is used for animal feed. For this same reason, industry and society need sustainable and global solutions,” says Bosco Emparanza. ‘’Our mission is to produce sustainable and nutritious food. Right now we are working on developing foods using our ingredients in the dairy, meat and snack sector, among others.’’ 

Moa is committed to R&D and so far this year it has obtained nearly 400,000 euros in grants for the development of new technologies and applications.

Moa foodtech, together with Cocuus, Proppos, H2hydroponics and Innomy are the finalists of the first edition of Spain Food Tech, the Eatable Adventures’ acceleration program supported by the National Center for Food Technology and Safety (CNTA) and ICEX Spain Export and Investment.

Moa has been awarded: Orizont award for the most innovative company, finalists in Leyton CES Challenge Las Vegas, winner of the Spanish stop of the `On The Road! Culinary Action´ of the Basque Culinary Centre.

The business incubator Madrid Food Innovation Hub was born with the mission of promoting disruptive food technologies and revolutionizing the global food industry in order to become a European reference center. This is the grand introduction of the new innovation and entrepreneur center developed by the Madrid City Council and located in the district of Villaverde. As the mayor, Jose Luis Martínez-Almeida, and the deputy mayor, Begoña Villacís, explained during the inauguration, the center is becoming one of the largest ecosystems of innovation and entrepreneurship in technology for the agri-food chain in Europe.

Madrid Food Innovation Hub is a pioneering experience in the world, whose objective is to revolutionize the global food industry. The center will develop several incubation and acceleration programs throughout the year, using different approaches and a deep training program for entrepreneurs in any area of the agri-food chain.

The innovation hub has a coworking space and a kitchen-laboratory of more than 300 m2, which is equipped with everything necessary to make concept tests, evaluation of prototypes and everything needed to develop projects. Madrid Food Innovation Hub activities, which include incubation programs, trainings and workshops with the district, will be completely free of charge for participants.

Almeida stressed that this new center is a clear example of how Madrid is capable of “reinventing itself”, since “here we were able to improvise the place from which thousands of meals for vulnerable people were provided” and, after just a few months, this has become “the place where we can reflect the will of the city of Madrid to win the future from innovation, talent and entrepreneurship”. In this sense, he stressed the need to support innovation by the administrations, assuring “that all those who want to start a professional and personal adventure in Madrid have in this City Council a faithful ally.”

Madrid Food Innovation Hub

As for Villacís, “we have the challenge of seeing how we are going to feed future generations” and for this “it is especially important that the Madrid City Council has thought about the need to create a council that is 100% focused on innovation”, something that, in her opinion, is beginning to be noticed “with projects like this, thinking, helping, creating, promoting and incubating companies that are going to dedicate themselves to thinking about how we are going to feed ourselves in the future.” According to the deputy mayor, the fact that Madrid is the second city in the world to assume this responsibility, behind Tel Aviv, “places us at the same level as the great European capitals and to be at the forefront of innovation.”

Promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the agri-food chain

With the collaboration of Eatable Adventures, one of the three largest foodtech accelerators in the world, Madrid Food Innovation Hub will work to promote entrepreneurship, supporting the ecosystem of Madrid startups in coordination with the strategy developed by the Delegated Area of ​​Innovation and Entrepreneurship that has led the capital to lead the ranking as the best Spanish city for entrepreneurship and as the sixth in Europe, according to the Financial Times.

After the inauguration of the space, Almeida y Villacís, together with the delegate of Economy, Innovation and Employment, Miguel Ángel Redondo; the delegate councilor for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Ángel Niño and the councilor of Villaverde, Concha Chapa, have seen the work developed by the startups participating in the first incubation program of the hub and have tasted a menu designed by chef Íñigo Pérez ‘Urrechu’ and the Zalacaín R&D team that was made with raw materials from the foodtech startups: alternative proteins and vegetables grown in laboratories.

Cereal, Europastry’s new bread and pastry R&D center, hosted the presentation of the startups that will be part of Baking the Future, the first acceleration program in the bakery sector.

After receiving over 100 candidacies with innovative solutions from startups all over the world, three were chosen: Done Properly (Chile), Agrain (Denmark) and Bread Free (Spain).

 

From left to right: Javier Olave (Done Properly), Aviaja Riemann (Agrain), Daniel Gomez-Bravo and Miguel Cervera (Bread Free), Ana Thielen and Jordi Caballero (Cereal)

INNOVATION IN HEALTH AND SUSTAINABLE BAKING

Health and sustainability in food products are the drivers of the solutions presented by the three selected startups.

Thus, Chile’s Done Properly has successfully developed a cutting-edge technology that, through a fermentation bioprocess, reduces the amount of salt in products by boosting the natural flavors of foods.

Denmark’s Agrain, for its part, proposes a new method of food production involving the recycling of grain used in the brewing industry to transform it into flour. This grain has been partially used, as the beer brewing process uses just the sugars and starches. With the flour made by Agrain, it is possible to produce bread products that are more sustainable and have a higher nutritional value.

Lastly, Navarre’s Bread Free is the first company in the world capable of creating gluten-free wheat flour for making bread, pasta and other bakery products. This technology, pioneering in the world, is being developed in collaboration with the CNTA (Centro Nacional de Tecnología y Seguridad Alimentaria).

 

SIX MONTHS TO REVOLUTIONIZE BREAD BAKING

The goal of the Baking the Future program is to construct an open innovation model for Europastry. In the first six months, the entrepreneurs from Done Properly, Agrain and Bread Free will benefit from all the company’s resources, including mentoring sessions, a workspace and access to Cereal’s cutting-edge laboratories, and designs of business plans, among other forms of assistance, to develop their products and test their market viability. 

These months of preparation will be followed by Demo Day, the moment when the startups will present their projects to a network of private investors and highly qualified experts.

 

Baïa Food Co. is a Spanish startup that wants to improve the quality of life of people in our society. They mainly research on exotic fruits as a source of bioactive ingredients and develop functional food products with high added value. Among the startup’s key activities is the development of an ethical and sustainable value chain of a New Food from which a unique ingredient is extracted in nature with nutraceutical, food and cosmetic applications. The company currently markets a line of organic superfoods that come from small local crops where the different botanical species are endemic with the aim of positioning their brand “baïa” by opening different marketing channels.

 

Guillermo Milans del Bosch (left) and Loan Bensadon (second from right), co-founders of Baïa Food, during a trip to Ghana, where they grow the Synsepalum dulcificum berry.

In our conversation, Loan talked about the main difficulties they encountered while developing their business, especially as young entrepreneurs, and explained how they managed to overcome them. He also spoke about the evolution of the Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem from when they started about 8 years ago until now and the support they had from the Israeli ecosystem that was already more mature. Regarding areas that can be improved, Loan believes that private investment and venture capital still have a long way to go in Spain.

In addition, since we have seen a great advance in AgriFoodTech in the last few years, we asked the co-founder about what that term means to him and how he would define it. According to him, “AgriFoodTech is a modern invention to bring together in a single term the entire food value chain (specifically plant-based) and the technology that is integrated into it to improve aspects of it. Agrifood covers from farm to table, in the traditional model of food production. The tech dimension refers to innovation in the chain, using and developing new technological tools that optimize chain management, improve productivity or the end consumer’s experience, create new and unlikely products, etc.”

You can find the full interview in Spanish here.

Eatable Adventures has just announced the launch of its first €50 million fund: EATABLE EVOLUTION FUND I FCR. The vehicle will make early and growth-stage investments targeting the most disruptive startups in food and agriculture tech across Europe and Latin America. This will be the biggest fund of its kind in Spain and one of the top 3 in Europe.

This milestone marks a new stage of growth for the company, that has already launched more than 10 accelerator and incubation programs, while collaborating as the go-to advisor on open innovation for the leading global food corporations. 

The fund’s launch arrives as the global foodtech scene demonstrates an impressive growth. According to Agfunder, in the first half of 2021, startups have globally raised $24 billion, getting very close to the total for all of 2020.

Eatable Adventures’ latest accelerator program, Spain Foodtech, included a diverse portfolio of startups ranging from upstream technologies like the hyper realistic 3D printed plant based steak of Cocuus, to the protein creation through fermentation of MOA foodtech, the mycelium based burgers of Innomy, H2hydroponics vertical farming and indoor farming facilities in the most extreme climates and downstream solutions like Proppos’ artificial intelligence and computer vision for unattended Point of Sale in foodservice. The results of this cohort have demonstrated almost a double digit growth in value in only six months.

The upcoming startups participating in the next call for projects will have access to the Eatable Adventures’ hands-on methodology, with a dedicated team focused on their business model, route to market strategy, industrial scaling, and showcasing their products and solutions to large industrial partners. 

From left to right: José de Isasa, Mila Valcárcel, José Luis Cabañero, Gonzalo Ramírez Martiarena

Eatable Adventures’ founders, José Luis Cabañero, Mila Valcárcel, José de Isasa, will be joined by new partner Gonzalo Ramírez Martiarena, Founder and CEO of Swiss Pampa and former Global CEO of Louis Dreyfus Company, one of the world’s leading companies in the industrialization and marketing of agricultural products, who is also a leading investor in foodtech startups, with investments in 18 projects with global reach.

“Through a variety of initiatives Eatable Adventures has positioned itself as one of the 3 most active foodtech accelerators worldwide, given our mission of building tomorrow’s food companies. Thanks to Eatable Evolution Fund we will have an even more impactful contribution to the future of the food industry.” states José Luis Cabañero, CEO of Eatable Adventures

The fund is currently pending approval by the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (Spanish Securities Market Commission). The management company will be Abante Asesores Gestión SGIIC, S.A., a financial institution with extensive experience in the management and administration of private equity vehicles with more than 1,200 million euros under management in these vehicles.