Meet the Alumni: Le Room Service

 

The impact of room service on hotels is a management problem since it affects the flow of food and beverage services in hotels that offer room service as well as the burden it places on staff and hotels that do not have kitchen facilities.

Le Room Service aims to improve the hotel offer and increase sales by making room service itself more attractive, adding value to the hotel sector. You’ll discover their secrets and learn about their experience in the Eatable Adventures Acceleration Program as you read on.

 

  1. How do you manage to add value to the hotel sector from Le Room Service? What are the services you offer?

 

Le Room Service is a company specialized in outsourcing the F&B service of hotel rooms, apart-hotels and tourist apartments.

We were born in 2017 with the aim of revolutionizing the hospitality sector by offering the cost-effective alternative to room service through operational innovation and specialization in gastronomic trends. As of today, we operate with more than 300 Hotel establishments among which stand out groups such as Meliá, NH, Vincci, Iberoestar, Turim or Barceló in Seville, Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon.

We focus on bringing value to the hotel sector in 5 aspects: improved profitability, new customer experience, disruptive concept, standardization of processes and increased valuation, allowing hotels to focus on their core business.

 

  1. Why did you decide to join EA’s Acceleration Program?

 

At that time we were in a very early stage of the project, but we already had the first positive results that validated the viability of the business model.

We saw Eatable Adventures as a great opportunity to introduce my company to the startup ecosystem and exponentially accelerate its growth. Additionally, being able to rely on corporate mentors from Grupo Meliá and Banco Sabadell increased the chances of success.

 

  1. How has Eatable Adventures helped you achieve your goals?

 

Eatable Adventures helped us in different ways to professionalize our project.

Firstly, we had an initial mentoring phase where we drew up a medium-term plan, set goals and followed up on them. As part of this plan, Le Room Service aimed to obtain an investment round for national expansion, which later culminated in the opening of its second location (after Seville), Madrid.

Secondly, Eatable Adventures opened doors for us through its network of contacts. With partners like Meliá as well as with investment funds and angel investors. Thanks to all this, we got our first round of investment at the end of the program.

 

  1. What is the most valuable advice José Luis has given you during our Acceleration Program?

 

First of all, we would like to thank José Luis for his involvement and trust in the Le Room Service project. He has always followed our evolution very closely, offering, from his experience, the impulse and stimulus that the startup required in each phase.

More than a specific advice, we keep his mentality to think big, eliminating the barriers that we could have and transmitting the limitless scalability that our project has.

 

  1. How do you see Le Room Service in the medium/long term?

 

At the moment we are immersed and focused on our international expansion, we have just opened in Lisbon and we are working on future openings in Berlin and Paris. We have outlined an ambitious expansion plan and, in the next 3 years we want to be offering our services in the main European capitals.

In addition, we are also growing horizontally in services; we no longer only offer Room Service, but we are now a more comprehensive solution for Food & Beverage departments. We have the possibility to complete the hotel’s offer with breakfast, events or lobby services.

We are also rebranding to adapt to the new positioning that the business requires at this stage. Using our new exclusive packaging, we can operate without barriers in 5-star hotels and raise the brand’s perception.

There are many changes happening right now, and we are determined to successfully navigate them. Among other things, we owe our success to the experience and know-how acquired over the years and to the invaluable support provided by Eatable Adventures.

Get to know more of our Alumni here.

Baking the Future seeks startups for its second edition 

  • Baking the Future, Europastry’s startup acceleration program, begins the selection process for its second edition with Google Cloud and Eatable Adventures as collaborators.
  • Google Cloud, which recently landed in Barcelona, will collaborate hand in hand with Cereal and its accelerator Baking the Future, to boost the digital transformation of bakery startups.
  • The startups chosen for this second edition will enjoy a workspace, mentoring sessions, access to Europastry’s R&D department and will gain global impact through direct contact with the most relevant agents of the bakery industry value chain.

 

Baking the Future, Europastry’s startup acceleration program, opens the selection process for its second edition, which aims to find the next startups that will revolutionize the bakery sector.

After the success of the first program’s edition, we have teamed up with two collaborators that will bring a lot of value: Google Cloud and Eatable Adventures.

Google landed this June in Barcelona with a team of business consultants and experts in digital and cloud marketing to support and boost the digital transformation of companies by working and collaborating hand-in-hand with projects such as Baking the Future.

 Google Cloud will be close to the startups in the program, offering mentoring sessions, and providing support on its Cloud services. In addition to being part of the jury that will decide which startups will be with us in this second edition.

On the other hand, Eatable Adventures, the leading company in detecting and promoting the world’s most innovative and disruptive food startups, will offer entrepreneurship and business plan sessions.

 “We are proud to continue driving open innovation models with a leading global company like Europastry. Our collaboration started in 2019 with Baking the Future Challenge, a competition to improve processes and operations through the most disruptive startups in the industry and has derived into a more ambitious project with the accelerator program. Being able to activate a collaboration with Europastry, accessing an R&D center like Cereal, is a unique opportunity for any startup whose innovations and technologies apply to the bakery sector.” – Says José Luis Cabañero, Founder & CEO of Eatable Adventures.

 

SECOND EDITION OF THE BAKING THE FUTURE PROGRAM

The selected startups will enjoy:

  • A workspace in the Cereal, Europastry’s Innovation Center, equipped with the latest technology.
  • Mentoring sessions with highly qualified Cereal professionals from the R&D, commercial and marketing teams and the EaTable Adventures and Google Cloud teams.
  • Access to Europastry’s R&D department to develop, test and launch the product using the latest technologies to move from lab scale to pilot scale at Cereal’s facilities.
  • Global and direct project presentation with all the bakery’s industry value chain agents.

The drivers for these startups will be sustainability, improved customer experience, health and technologies aimed to improve production without losing sight of product quality.

Those interested in being part of the project can apply from today on the Baking the Future website.

 

INNOVATION AND EUROPASTRY

Innovation is part of our DNA. The company itself was born from an idea that revolutionized the bakery sector and since then, Europastry has always sought to be at the forefront of the sector, anticipating new trends and offering its customers the most disruptive products. “If you stop innovating you end up losing competitiveness and capacity for growth. That is why it is very important to keep reinventing yourself and never think that what you have is for life,” said Jordi Gallés.

Europastry currently invests 60 million euros a year in innovation and has one of the most avant-garde and pioneering R&D centers: Cereal.

“We have been part of the Baking the Future program and this is the result: a bread made with the flour of beer waste,” explains to us Aviaja, co-founder and CEO of Agrain, one of the startups accelerated in the first edition that came with a project that bet strongly on a more sustainable future of the food industry and that today already has a niche in the market. “Being part of Europastry has been a very good experience. We have met very astute and intelligent people who are passionate about the bakery sector.”

Mahou San Miguel launches a new challenge addressed to the entrepreneurial community seeking to find the beverage of the future

  • The brewery along with the accelerator Eatable Adventures, are calling for startups from all over the world to participate in a new innovation challenge for the beverage sector.
  • The selected entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to develop a product test together with Mahou San Miguel’s team of experts.

Mahou San Miguel, a 100% Spanish family-owned beverage company and leader in the beer sector in Spain, launches the Rethink Your Drink Challenge, a new challenge to discover the drink of the future. As part of its Barlab Ventures project, along with Eatable Adventures, one of the three leading global food technology accelerators, the brewery wants to offer an open innovation platform for the entire food and beverage sector.

From today until September 5, startups from around the world with a differential, sustainable and innovative proposal that generates a transformative impact on the traditional beverage industry can submit their applications through the website www.barlabventures.com.

In the words of Miguel Ángel Miguel, General Manager of Transformation at Mahou San Miguel, “BarLab Ventures allows us to unite two of our main commitments: to leverage the possibilities that technology offers in order to provide innovative solutions to new challenges of the beverage sector, as well as strengthening collaboration with other organizations to drive their transformation”. Miguel Ángel, also points out that “we are convinced that through this project we will be able to share with entrepreneurs a common perspective to make bars, restaurants, distributors and the rest of our value chain strengthen their collaboration towards generating wealth, based on aspects such as excellence, innovation, and sustainability”.

José Luis Cabañero, CEO and founder of Eatable Adventures, commented “we are delighted to launch this initiative hand in hand with Mahou San Miguel, a company that is clearly committed to innovation and entrepreneurship”. He also assures that “the beverage sector offers many opportunities for entrepreneurs and startups who seek to offer alternatives and innovative solutions to consumers, responding to the current reality but, above all, to the challenges of the future”.

 

Supporting entrepreneurs

The startups will have to present their innovative solutions in one of the following categories: innovative non-alcoholic alternatives, low alcoholic beverages (4º-7º), traditional categories reinvented, and beverages of the future.

Mahou San Miguel will offer the opportunity to develop a product test with its team of experts to accelerate the success of the winning proposals. In addition, the brewery will make available to the startups its distribution network, support in managing their territorial licenses, as well as in the field of financing, among other services.

Mylkcubator, the global incubation program for cellular agriculture technologies in the dairy industry, kicks off its second cohort

The incubator will help the selected startups in their business and R&D advancement strategies, preparing them for growth and investment rounds.

Pascual, a leading Spanish manufacturer of dairy products and beverages, has launched Mylkcubator 2.0, the second edition of the global incubation program for cellular agriculture technologies in the dairy industry. The initiative has been launched from the group’s Corporate Venture unit, Pascual Innoventures, in collaboration with Eatable Adventures, one of the top three global foodtech accelerators. The first edition of the program had recently been completed by four disruptive startups worldwide.

Mylkcubator 2.0 will last 6 months, from selection to the demo day. The goal is to enroll a new cohort of up to 5 startups or scientific projects, with innovative solutions in the cellular agriculture spectrum for the dairy industry within the following technologies: molecular farming, fermentation based, cell based, and applied technologies in this field. All the details about the program are available on the official website mylkcubator.com.

Pascual Innoventures has flexible venturing models that build, collaborate and support Foodtech startups in its early stages. The incubator will help the selected startups in their business and R&D advancement strategies, preparing them for growth and investment rounds.

In the words of Gabriel Pascual, director of Pascual Innoventures “The quality of the startups selected in the first edition has been amazing and shows us that this is, clearly, the way to go. The visibility of these projects as well as the investment rounds that they are receiving is a sign that the industry is prepared for this technological transition. Pascual has been a pioneer in shaping the path of innovation and non-conformism. An attitude that has been hatched generation after generation from my grandfather until our generation”.

On the other hand, José Luis Cabañero, CEO and founder of Eatable Adventures, has remarked “Mylkcubator has attracted the attention of companies, technology centers and professional investors from all over the world demonstrating that there is a great opportunity in the market to implement scalable technological solutions to future proof the dairy industry”. Proof of this is that investment in the dairy segment has tripled in 2021, compared with 2020, according to Dealroom data analyzed by Eatable Adventures.

The production of dairy products using cell cultures and fermentation techniques, that are complementary within the dairy industry, demonstrate industrial and commercial viability and presents a huge opportunity for the sector from both an economic and environmental point of view.

 

Mylkcubator website: mylkcubator.com

Meet the Alumni: Moon Water

Moon DrinksNacho Alonso, CEO and Founder of Moon Drinks, was hooked on traditional soft drinks for years and, fed up with not finding a healthy alternative on the market, decided to become an entrepreneur and make healthy soft drinks a reality. “The best way to predict the future is… to invent it,” he says. That’s how he founded Moon Drinks SL., the organic and vegan soft drinks company he is running today.

Find out how Eatable Adventures Accelerator Program helped him scale his business, what advice he has retained, and where he sees Moon Water going in the future.

 

  1. When and for what purpose was Moonwater born?

The project was born at the end of 2017 and has evolved a lot over the years. Our purpose is to contribute to improving the quality of life of people and the planet by creating healthy and sustainable alternatives to traditional beverages.

 

Traditional soft drinks have not changed their formulas for decades nor adapting or incorporating industry advances and consumer demands. Traditional drinks still rule the market, but they have become obsolete. Consumers are unaware of the alternatives that may exist, and therefore need to be informed about them.

 

  1. How did you come up with the formula for your soft drinks, and how does it differ from other soft drinks?

It has been a very long and laborious process. The current formula wasn’t found until May 2021 (almost 4 of work). We have launched four versions of our product on the market, and it was consumers and customers who validated it. Because of this, you could say the product was not created by us, but by the consumer only two red lines: we do not compromise health nor sustainability, which are core values for us.

 

As opposed to traditional soft drinks, we use 100% natural and organic ingredients, with very little sugar and low-calories. Our bubbles are soft, pleasant to the taste, and our flavors are not the traditional ones, we offer innovative flavor combinations that are truly delicious. Our business is to provide new experiences for consumers. In addition, our products are packaged exclusively with aluminum, the most sustainable material for packaging now a days .

 

  1. How did the Eatable Adventures Accelerator Program help you scale your project?

The experience was truly BRUTAL, completely changing the way we viewed the industry, better understanding the global market, and providing us with the tools we needed to reach our goals. And I can’t forget the most important thing, an amazing team on a professional and personal level.

 

  1. How do you see the future of Moonwater?

Our company is called Moon Water, we started this “revolution” with the soft drink category by launching Moonwater, but we are developing new products. We have already created an organic energy drink that is a healthy alternative to energy drinks that we plan to launch this year.

 

While we continue to work on new products and trends, we will also strive to improve existing products, incorporating all the new technologies, both at the production level and in packaging, and improving the entire value chain.

 

We are very happy with the evolution, we can’t believe it. The company is growing fast in Spain but also abroad, with a strong presence in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Qatar, etc. Our goal is to bring Moonwater to every corner of the world.

 

  1. What is the most valuable advice José Luis has given you during our Acceleration Program?

That the product had to be at the peak of our project, which is why we will never be completely satisfied with our products, because we are firm believers that everything can be improved, no matter how good it is.

Cocuus

Spanish startup Cocuus raises €2,5M in Funding to scale its 3D bioprinting technology for the production of alternative proteins

This round was led by Big Idea Ventures, Cargill Ventures, Eatable Adventures and Tech Transfer Agrifood.

The Spanish startup Cocuus has raised 2,5 million euros in its Pre Series A funding round for its innovative process for producing plant or cell- based animal protein food analogs. The company achieved this round after completing Eatable Adventures acceleration program, one of the top three globalaccelerators for foodtech startups.

The round was led by Big Idea Ventures, the global alternative protein fund, the U.S. multinational Cargill Ventures, the Spanish accelerator Eatable Adventures and Tech Transfer Agrifood. With a capital injection of this size, the startup can scale its business model and expand into other international markets, enabling them to utilize their disruptive 3D bioprinting and robotics technologies to create more sustainable and nutritious food products.

Patxi Larumbe, CEO and founder of Cocuus states “We are very proud to have attracted the interest of international investors with this round of financing. Thanks to this capital injection we will be able to bring our technology within reach of corporations that want to print proteins on an industrial scale”. In addition, the Founder and Managing General Partner of Big Idea Ventures, Andrew D Ive, also highlights “At Big Idea Ventures, we invest in technology which impacts the alternative protein industry’s entire value chain. Cocuus’ technology addresses a major pain point of structured plant- and cell-based meat production methods scalability. We are thrilled to support this innovative team and we look forward to
seeing their scalable food technology making an impact across the world.”

On the other hand, José Luis Cabañero, CEO and founder of Eatable Adventures notes, “The Spanish foodtech startups’ ecosystem is consolidating very quickly, attracting major investors and international corporations. Through Eatable Adventures, we offer our services to startups and corporations around the globe to accelerate the process of transformation and innovation in the food value chain”.

As Cabañero points out, this current environmental and world population scenario calls for a rethinking of production methods to achieve a much more sustainable and efficient food system. According to FAO data, in 2050, in order to feed a population of 9.1 billion, food production will have to increase by 70% and meat production by more than 200 million tons.

Cocuus, along with MOA Foodtech, Proppos, H2hydroponics, and Innomy have been selected as finalists for the first edition of Spain Foodtech, the acceleration program of Eatable Adventures supported by the National Center for Technology and Food Safety (CNTA) and ICEX Spain Export and Investment.

Cocuus has been awarded by the international Quality Innovation Award (QIA) in the category of Innovation in Microenterprises and Startups, after winning the 2021 national award.

Food 4 Future – Foodtech World Summit in Bilbao

Food 4 Future

Food 4 Future– Expo FoodTech (#F4F2022) the international reference forum where food and beverage industry professionals learn about the latest trends, solutions, and technologies to optimize and innovate throughout the value chain, will take place from May 17 to 19 in Bilbao. 

This year, Food 4 Future celebrates its second edition which is expected to attract more than 7,000 congress participants and 253 exhibiting brands. A meeting point for innovation managers, IT managers, marketing managers, and CEOS of the food industry, emphasizes the major challenges of the industry: sustainability, food safety, and the digitization and automation of industrial production processes. 

Food 4 Future encourages the transfer of knowledge and experience among international professionals and experts, including renowned scientists and researchers, startups that are redesigning the food industry, top chefs, and representatives of the public administration. Food 4 Future, organized by NEBEXT and AZTI, has the support of the Basque Government, the City Council of Bilbao, the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, the BASQUE TRADE, ICEX, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of the Government of Spain; and the associations and collaborators that are leaders in this industry as HAZI, NEIKER, ELIKA, EIT Food, ILSI Europe, Food for Life, SPRI, Eatable Adventures, SanTelmo Business School or IASP (international association of science parks and innovation areas). 

Agenda

The congress will feature more than 70 sessions and vertical forums for each sector of the agri-food industry, which will focus the debate on the major challenges facing the industry, with special emphasis on the application of automation and robotics, the transition to the new Industry 4.0, and content related to sustainable and healthy food.

As strategic partners in this event, we would like to highlight that Eatable Adventures’ Ecosystem Manager & Innovation Consultant Paula Álvarez Ameijeiras will moderate a round table where leaders in the industry such as Anthony Finbow, CEO of Eagle Genomics, Charis Galanakis, R&I Director of Galanakis Laboratories & Mathew Gorton from New Castle Unversity will be discussing “R&I for sustainable and healthy food systems” on May 17th at 12.00h. 

Furthermore, Eatable Adventures’ ​​Managing Partner & Co-Founder Mila Valcárcel will be speaking in a session about “Building a strong global foodtech ecosystem from Spain” on May 18th at 12.45h. 

For more details about the Agenda of Food 4 Future Summit visit their webpage.

 

Mylkcubator’s First Demo Day Features Four Startups Developing The Dairy Of The Future Through Cellular Agriculture Technologies

demoday mylkcubator

The first edition of Mylkcubator, the incubation program launched by Pascual Innoventures in collaboration with Eatable Adventures, has held its eagerly anticipated Demo Day event showcasing the advances of the first cohort of startups, at its headquarters in Manoteras, Madrid.

The program not only showcased pioneering dairy projects around the world but also laid the foundation for a new path of development and innovation for the industry to face some of its greatest challenges.

As a culmination of the six-month incubation program, the participating startups presented their final pitches, paving the way for future funding rounds that will allow them to pursue their innovative development and research:  

  • De Novo Dairy, a startup based in South Africa with a mission to create the future of nutrition, the company uses precise fermentation technology to produce animal-free dairy proteins that provide the same sensory experience and nutrition as traditional dairy counterparts. De Novo Dairy is currently developing high-value proteins for the dairy industry.
  • Spanish startup Real Deal Milk develops casein and whey proteins through precision fermentation technologies with the same functional properties as traditional dairy components, with the aim to produce dairy substitutes equivalent to traditional dairy. 
  • Using bioengineering & microbial fermentation, Zero Cow Factory is reinventing dairy ingredients with India’s first milk and milk products (certainly the world’s first A2 milk protein) using bioengineering the microbes & microbial fermentation. The Zero Cow team is developing a proprietary technique to recreate milk proteins to develop real dairy products that are ethical, safe, delicious, and identical to cow milk.
  • Pure™ Mammary Factors based in the USA are accelerating the state of the art in cell-cultured dairy by crashing the cost of production by the development of growth factors used in culture media. The startup aims to make cell-cultured human milk affordable and accessible by selling food-grade off-the-shelf growth factors around the world.

Pascual Innoventures is committed to driving innovation to create a more sustainable future for all, anticipating the current trends that will shape the foods of the future. Due to the success of the first edition of Mylkcubator, Pascual Innoventures has already announced the call for the second edition of the program.

According to Sejal Ravji, director of Pascual Innoventures, “the success of the Mylkcubator Demo Day not only reaffirms the great response this program has had in the sector worldwide but also confirms what we at Innoventures already knew, in order to develop the dairy products of the future we have to continue to invest in transformational innovation and ambitious technological projects, as is the case with the four startups that have been working with us since the start of Mylkcubator six months ago”.

Furthermore, according to Jose Luis Cabañero, founder and CEO of Eatable Adventures, “In the coming years, we expect to see increased innovation in the alternative protein space, with breakthroughs in cellular agriculture and precision fermentation technologies. Mylkcubator is a pioneering global program that is and will continue to be at the forefront of developing the dairy of the future.”

Meet the EAA Alumni: Innomy

With the growing demand from the population to eat more and more sustainably, fungi-based meat is one of the new alternatives being pursued by many companies, with the aim of mimicking the taste and texture of real meat. 

Innomy, an Argentinan-based startup located in Spain, is using fungal tissue cultures combined with precision fermentation technology to create complex structures that replicate the fibrous and tender consistency of meat. Created in laboratories, fungi-based meat relies on the mycelium, which is a network of fine filaments that are similar to the muscles of animals. The company modifies the shape, color, and flavor of the filamentous structures in mycelial matrices to make products that taste like meat.

During our interview with Francisco Kuhar, CSO & Technology Partner of Innomy, whose company participated in our Accelerator Program in 2020, he explained how the program helped the company grow, the reasons they chose the fungi-based meat to create their product, and the best advice they received from our CEO, Jose Luis Cabañero. Read on to learn more about Innomy’s experience during the Eatable Adventures Accelerator Program.

 

What stage was Innomy at when you joined the Eatable Adventures Acceleration program? Can you tell us about the growth Innomy has had since participating in our acceleration program?

When Innomy joined the Eatable Adventures Acceleration program: ‘Spain Food Tech’, the development stage was at an advanced stage, but the team’s configuration as a startup was incipient and a lot of organizational work was needed to be able to expose itself to investors and the public. Working with CNTA in the framework of this program was a huge help, as this institution became a valuable partner along the way. The experience we gained from Eatable Adventures enabled us to develop a credible business proposal, as well as to organize the team, understand the language of communication, and present ourselves to investors. In addition, the contacts provided by the Program and the appearances at various events allowed us to increase our reach and access to financing and production proposals.

 

What has the Spanish foodtech ecosystem offered you to establish your company in Spain?

In particular, we felt very supported by the Basque ecosystem. Institutions such as Beaz, Talent, and the BIC of this community welcomed us and helped us in a very active way. On the other hand, Basque research institutions and industry have been very supportive and are allowing us to grow.

 

What are the advantages and benefits of using mycelium compared to other protein alternative raw materials on the market today?

The mycelium contains high-quality protein in terms of its amino acid composition, but also in the supply of vitamins, Beta-glucans, ergosterol, and other compounds whose health benefits include the maintenance of a competent immune system, lower cholesterol levels, and the availability of nutrients without the need for artificial additives.

What is the most valuable piece of advice José Luis has given you in our Acceleration Program?

José Luis taught us that talking with a product on the table is much more effective than communicating ideas or a project. Even if it needs to be improved, the product shows an anchor with the reality that is often valued in the European entrepreneurial environment. Our speech was crystallized into a solid demonstrable development, which changed the way investors or other partners listened to us.

Spain as a global benchmark in FoodTech during the I InnoDays Madrid

Singapore, Israel, and Madrid? FoodTech is gaining momentum in the city trying to become a global reference. Public administrations and private agents have aligned their interests to position the region in one of the sectors of the future. These intentions were evident during the first thematic session of the Innodays, a series of sectoral meetings to promote entrepreneurship in the field of innovation organized by the Madrid City Council, the Community of Madrid, and the Madrid Innovation Driven Ecosystem (MIDE).

Spain as a FoodTech Nation

Among all the guests at the first InnoDays, Eatable Adventures’ Managing Partner, Mila Valcárcel, brought up a relevant topic: the geopolitical changes (and the consequent scarcity of food or raw materials) that will act as accelerators of changes in the agri-food value chain with the incorporation of new technologies.

These changeovers are led by technologies such as robotics, fermentation, bioprinting, artificial intelligence, IoT, new ingredients, cellular technology, or innovations in packaging. “We like to talk about Spain as a FoodTech Nation, a country that is much more than gastronomy and a world power in the agri-food field,” Valcárcel detailed. In fact, 10% of the national GDP depends on these sectors.

 

Startups, the main drivers of the industry

More than 30,000 companies are engaged in agri-food in Spain. “The great challenge for the industry is digitization, technology must reach the whole system. We also need more innovative and sustainable value chains, as is the case in other sectors”. Despite everything, the Spanish FoodTech and AgroTech environments have gained dynamism at full speed, as evidenced by the 700 million in investment attracted by agri-food last year, almost triple compared to 2020.

In this ecosystem, startups are clearly in focus, they are companies that are developing and generating interesting movements at different levels. As for Madrid, there are 407 startups operating in the region, representing 25.29 % of the national total. “They are companies that touch the entire value chain, from production to logistics. Madrid can be the Silicon Valley of food, the key is to work together to achieve it,” assured Mila Valcárcel.

 

Madrid, the Silicon Valley of food

Madrid should have a global ambition regarding its positioning on the FoodTech board. “We should take advantage to change what doesn’t work. For example, technology transfer is fundamental but very complex in Spain. We must mix technology and science to generate ambitious startups capable of solving global challenges.”

At a time when supply chains are breaking down and food autarky is on the rise, Spain has scientific teams, first-rate facilities, and a testing ground, such as Madrid Food Innovation Hub, where everything can be tested. “Let’s develop technology, intellectual property, and a solid business model around food,” said Valcárcel.

 

Educating the consumer

Meanwhile, we need to educate consumers so that they are aware of and able to exploit the disruption.  “For starters, FoodTech will allow us to make food accessible to everyone. This doesn’t mean we’re going to stop having traditional livestock or crops. It means there will be many other ways of doing things in the face of a world population that is growing and demanding functional foods, proteins…”

“It is important to work with the citizen on issues of perception and valuation. Countries like Singapore do a great job of dissemination. In this way, the consumer understands that there is nothing wrong with consuming laboratory meat or lettuce harvested in a vertical garden”.

During its first day, InnoDays aimed to highlight the needs of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and generate synergies between it. Watch the recorded session here.