Tag Archive for: innovation

Meet the EAA Alumni: MOA Foodtech

MOA Foodtech is a Spanish startup that combines biotechnology and artificial intelligence to transform waste and by-products from the agri-food industry into a 100% sustainable ‘‘new generation protein” of high nutritional value.  Their goal is to implement new technologies that promote a fairer, more compassionate, and more sustainable food system while still being appealing to consumers.

We had the opportunity to interview Bosco Emparanza García, CEO and founder of MOA Foodtech, one year after going through our Accelerator Program. Discover what this meant to them, the advice he still retains, and how he sees MOA Foodtech in the future.

 

How did the idea of founding a company as MOA Foodtech arise? What is the main goal of the company?

The world is currently in a critical environmental situation. By 2050, agriculture will need to feed 40% more people, produce 70% more food, using only 10% more land.
The whole MOA team was concerned about the situation and the huge impact the agri-food industry has. For this reason, the three founding partners, Susana, José María, and I, made this decision to leave our jobs as scientific directors in a biopharmaceutical, M&A, and commercial company, respectively. As a step towards developing a sustainable agriculture-food model, we set out to investigate the following: Can we use waste and by-products from the agri-food industry to produce high-value food using biotechnology?

 

What were the benefits of working with Eatable Adventures in your first steps until the business was consolidated?

The beginning of our journey was a time of uncertainty. That same year was the confinement, and we found ourselves leaving our jobs. At that point, the Eatable Adventures team came on board; they believed in the project and shared our ambition. The solution we wanted had to be global, and thanks to Eatable’s way of working and networking, we were able to start a global project. As time passed, the most rewarding and intense hours of the week were our meetings with Mila and José Luis, when we wrote down our plans to overcome the next hurdle, and we did.

 

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

Having spent so many hours working together, it is impossible to choose just one. But without a doubt, there have been two in particular that made us change our approach and begin to see things more clearly.

The first, and undoubtedly essential, was that we had to seek international investment. This was the best way to position ourselves as a credible project and thus begin to grow.
And the second was to consider what we really were. Instead of thinking, we were just a protein manufacturer, we had to think of ourselves as a platform.

 

What is in the near future for MOA Foodtech and where do you aspire to go in the long term?

Our goal is to be a global project, so we are scaling the technology to an industrial level and developing solutions focusing on the Asian (where protein consumption will grow the most), European and American markets. In addition, we are working on applications not only in meat analogs but also in snacks and dairy analogs. We are also developing new processes utilizing by-products and residues, and perhaps most importantly, we’ve developed an artificial intelligence tool that helps us develop all of the above more efficiently and quickly.

Check out our other Alumni Interviews here.

Foodtech Opportunities in The Spanish Market

The foodtech sector is an emerging and dynamic sector dedicated to improving the entire food industry value chain sustainably. This intersection between nutrition and technology is changing the traditional food and beverage sector, prompting existing players to rethink many of their insights into manufacturing processes, consumers, and the market in general.

In recent years, Israel has positioned itself as one of the world’s FoodTech leaders, and it has succeeded. In just 70 years, it has managed to turn its threats into opportunities and become a world reference in innovation, responsible for some of the most disruptive and revolutionary technologies in multiple areas. 

 

Investing in Spain’s FoodTech Sector

In our country, investment in the foodtech sector has tripled in one year after national startups have raised 695 million euros in 2021, which is 220% more than the previous year, according to data from ICEX’s recent report. Thus, the Spanish ecosystem is the fifth foodtech ecosystem with the highest investment in Europe after Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the Netherlands, offering numerous opportunities for innovation, some of which make this country a global benchmark.

Webinar Israel

Imagine how powerful these two ecosystems would be if they were connected? That’s exactly what happened during the webinar on February 22. The Foreign Trade Administration of the Ministry of Economy of the State of Israel engaged Eatable Adventures and leading Spanish corporations, such as Europastry and Pascual, to be part of the conversation and share best practices in open innovation.

Although we still have many challenges ahead of us, all levels of government, associations, clusters, and large food companies are working simultaneously to address them. We live in the era of collaboration, in which people, startups, investors, and administrations, are allied to build a better future; and of course corporations in the agri-food sector cannot miss this joint work.

 

Open Innovation Programs: Mylkcubator & Baking the Future

Startups in this sector are undoubtedly an engine of innovation that can bring a lot to the industry. In order to benefit from this, we need to create open innovation programs that identify the best startups to partner with, lay the groundwork for this collaboration, and channel joint efforts that benefit both parties.

Mylkcubator Companies of all sizes and nationalities are implementing programs along these lines every day. Important Spanish food companies have developed their open innovation programs, accelerators, and investment arms, such as Pascual’s Mylkcubator and Europastry’s Baking the Future. With these programs, companies can discover new business models, explore new channels with their consumers, reinforce the sustainability of their operations, diversify in categories or geographically and, above all, increase the efficiency of their business.

baking the futureThere are many ways in which companies in the sector work on open innovation, and it will depend a lot on the culture of the company, the position it is in, and the structure it has. In this regard, it is always helpful to have an ally who can advise the company on how to move forward, identify startups to work with, and lay the groundwork for collaboration with them, such as us, Eatable Adventures. 

If you want to know more about the Spanish foodtech sector, visit our recent article.

Unmissable Foodtech Events in 2022

Get your calendars ready for all the exciting foodtech events in 2022!

2021 proved the industry’s resilience when faced with a global pandemic by quickly shifting years of dynamic face-to-face events to an online format in a matter of months. Thankfully, we are slowly getting back to a pre-covid world and foodtech events all over the globe will mostly offer a hybrid in-person and online experience.

January

January 18-20
Fermentation-Enabled Alternative Protein Summit

This is the only industry-led event designed to scale-up production platforms to commercialize clean-label, animal-free, and regulatory-approved alternative meat, dairy, eggs, and functional protein ingredients. The in-person event will explore key challenges and opportunities in the successful commercialization of fermentation-enabled alternative proteins for human consumption.

March

March 8-10
The Future of Protein Production Summit

The Future of Protein Production Summit is an event targeting companies involved in making the global food system more sustainable. Over 1000 attendees are expected to converge online for the three-day virtual conference, which will showcase the latest research and trends to help develop sustainable production technologies and exploration of highly sustainable processes and solutions to help make the global food system more sustainable, kind, and fair for the planet, people, and animals.

Use our exclusive code FPPEAA20 to save 20% off your ticket. 

March 22-23
World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit

The event will take place in San Francisco and will gather 1,300+ global agri-food corporates, investors, and technology start-ups from around the world to uncover the most exciting innovations in the agri-food sector and to forge the right partnerships to take those solutions to market.

March 24-25
Future Food-tech San Francisco

The Future Food-Tech Summit has become the annual meeting place for the global food-tech ecosystem. Food brands, active investors, start-ups, and technology leaders come together to exchange insights, be inspired, and identify future partners.

You will be able to join in-person or online as it is a hybrid summit. This allows you to meet and collaborate on the same platform, opening up the summit to a bigger global network than ever before.

Use our exclusive code EA10 to save 10% off a delegate pass.

April

April 4-7
Alimentaria

Alimentaria is an international event of reference that takes place in Barcelona, Spain, for all professionals in the food, beverage, and foodservice industry that allows the attendees to be up-to-date with the latest food industry trends, promoting internationalization, innovation, gastronomy, and sector specialization.

April 27-29
Anuga Foodtec 

As the leading global trade fair, Anuga FoodTec, taking place in Cologne or online, is the most important source of impetus for the international food and beverage industry. As the world’s only supplier fair, it covers all aspects of food production. Here, the industry presents its latest innovations and technological visions – from process technology to filling and packaging technology to food safety, from packaging materials to digitalization and intralogistics. And beyond that, there’s plenty more to discover.

May

May 4-5
Rethinking Materials 2022

Join a world-class gathering of visionary CPG Brands, Retailers, Producers, Converters, Regulators, Innovators, and Investors focused on scaling bio-based and circular solutions in plastics & packaging. Whether in-person in London or online anywhere in the world, all delegates will be able to meet and collaborate on the same platform.

Use our exclusive code EatableAdventures10 to get 10% off your ticket. 

May 10-12
Bridge2Food Plant-Based Foods & Proteins Summit Americas

Bridge2Food brings together key leaders from all along the value chain who are working to drive transformation. Join the three-day event to learn the latest innovations and research, find solutions and strategies, grow your network, and discover where the plant-based sector is heading next.

May 12-13
FoodHack Summit 2022

A 2-day event in Lausanne bringing together the world’s best and brightest food tech founders, leaders, and innovators. You will network with the best and brightest minds in FoodTech, discover upcoming startups and taste the latest industry innovations.

Use our exclusive code EATABLE-15 for a 15% discount on all ticket types.

May 16-17
New Food Forum

The New Food Forum at Frankfurt, is a bite-sized item on the program of the newly established IFFA Factory area, providing insights into the developments in the alternative-protein sector at IFFA, the world’s leading trade fair for the meat industry.

May 17-19
Food4Future

Food 4 Future, in Bilbao, is the place to be for any professional in the food industry and its value chain, where you can acquire the latest and most promising food technology applications, robotics and automation, data technology or processing techniques. The event aims to be the platform to discover the latest innovations and trends that are driving the transformation of the food industry.

May 18-19
F&A Next

F&A Next is about thought leadership and connecting promising start-ups and scale-ups, dedicated to food & agtech investors and innovative corporates. Expect top executives and opinion leaders to discuss the impact of innovation in the agrifood industry and consumer behavior. Plus, selected startups will be presented as the Next Heroes in Food- & AgTech.

 

June

June 1-2
Sweden Foodtech BigMeet

Expect five days of bold ideas, stunning demos, and insightful comments galore! You will meet key actors in the private sector, government, and grassroots initiatives.

Use our discount code BIGMEET20 for a 20% discount on your ticket.

June 13-14
Food Innovate Milan

Join a global network of food innovators and discover how to distinguish your product in a saturated market, achieve a cleaner label without sacrificing taste or tradition, discover and define the latest trends in consumer behavior and buying patterns across the world, enhance product formulation with some of the most innovative and exciting ingredients, plan your product life-cycle journey with break-through technologies, and much more!

Use our discount code EA895 for more than 50% off your ticket. 
This code will need to be inserted on the third page of the booking form, where it says ‘Enter promotional code’.

June 20-22
Bridge2Food Plant-Based Foods & Proteins Summit Europe

Bridge2Food brings together key leaders from all along the value chain who are working to drive transformation. Join the three-day event to learn the latest innovations and research, find solutions and strategies, grow your network, and discover where the plant-based sector is heading next.

June 21-22
Future Foodtech Alternative Proteins

Future Foodtech Alternative Proteins will take place in New York, connecting global food leaders to map out the future of protein. They will be focusing on three key pillars: plant-based, cell-based, and microbial fermentation. You should expect different discussions that will explore all facets of alternative proteins, providing a comprehensive overview of key players, markets, and solutions, handling topics from ingredient discovery and product formulation to regulation, communication, and commercialization

June 28-29
World Agritech Latam

World Agri-Tech Latam will connect international agri-food leaders to advance financial and environmental sustainability across the value chain. Join this event in São Paulo!

September

August 30 – September 1
Industrializing Cultivated Meats & Seafood Summit

Industrializing Cultivated Meats & Seafood will host the industry leaders from Food Techs, Investors, Multinational Consumer Packaged Goods, and Food Brands and Manufacturers, to focus on preparing for Cultivated Meat & Seafood Commercialization.

If you are creating a new cultivated meat or seafood product, looking to scale-up your current process to the industrial level, waiting on regulatory approval to go to market, or wishing to build new partnerships to optimize your processes, this is the go-to forum to attend in person in 2022.

September 16-19
Edible Planet Ventures

The Edible Planet Ventures Summit in Italy brings industry leaders and activists together alongside visionaries and change-makers, to set the table for a radically different food system.

Coming from all corners of the globe and all points in the food chain, our participants are a symbol of the progress that can be achieved through collaboration and innovation.

September 20-21
World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit London

World Agri-Tech will bring together leading agribusinesses, co-operatives, CPG brands, entrepreneurs, investors, and policy makers to accelerate the transition to sustainable and resilient agri-food systems.

Two days of full in-person sessions and networking including panel debates, roundtables, fireside chats, start-up pitching and 1-1 meetings.

Use code EAFRIEND to get an extra 10% off ticket price.

September 22-23
Future Food-Tech London

Join 500+ C-Suite food brand executives, investors, and entrepreneurs from around the globe working together to scale solutions in health, nutrition, and alternative proteins. The next Future Food-Tech event will be in London!

Use our codeEA10 to get an extra 10% off ticket price.

September 29-30
New Food Conference

The New Food Conference is a unique, industry-oriented event that aims to accelerate and empower these innovative food technologies by bringing together key stakeholders.  The New Food Conference team is excited to welcome leading pioneers in the alternative-protein realm to Berlin – on-site and in-person – with a program packed with insights, an exhibition space, a startup area, food tastings, and loads of networking opportunities.

October

October 26-28
Asia Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit

In its fourth year, the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit will bring together the world’s leading agribusinesses, growers, CPG and ingredient brands, entrepreneurs, investors, retailers, and policymakers to share ideas and collaborate towards greater security and sustainability in Asia’s agri-food system.

Save 10% with our partner code EAT10

November

November 1-4
Web Summit

At a time of great uncertainty for many industries and, indeed, the world itself, this event gathers the founders and CEOs of technology companies, fast-growing startups, policymakers, and heads of state to ask a simple question: Where to next?
This year will be held in Lisbon, make sure you don’t miss it!

November 7
FoodTechIL

FoodTechIL is the main event of the Israeli FoodTech ecosystem.

After long anticipation, FoodTech IL 2022 will bring the entire community – entrepreneurs, investors, food industry leaders, government officials, researchers and service providers, together under one roof.

November 28-30
Bridge2Food Plant-Based Foods & Proteins Summit Asia

Bridge2Food brings together key leaders from all along the value chain who are working to drive transformation. Join the three-day event to learn the latest innovations and research, find solutions and strategies, grow your network, and discover where the plant-based sector is heading next.

November 30- December 1
Plant-Based World Conference

This is the only 100% plant-based event for trade professionals – retailers, food service, hospitality, distributors, manufacturers, and investors. Network with professionals who have successfully embarked on both personal and professional plant-based journeys, many of whom have created some of the world’s most revolutionary plant-based products and foods. Share experiences, learn from peers, and immerse yourself in a truly collaborative industry. 

December

December 6-8
Fi Europe

Discover innovative products and solutions from 1000+ exhibitors, and hear firsthand from them at the Exhibitor Showcases. Stay updated on the latest industry trends through the comprehensive agenda of live and on-demand content sessions from global experts, and build relationships by networking with current and prospective business partners, thought leaders, and industry peers.

We will be regularly updating this article with foodtech events in 2022 as they come along! Make sure you don’t miss any of them!

5 Spanish Startups Leading Investments in 2021

Spanish foodtech startups are attracting higher investments, even from initial rounds. As a result, investment in foodtech projects has experienced an important growth during 2021 reaching a total of 695 million euros. This represents a 220% increase compared to 2020, which demonstrates the potential of the foodtech sector in the coming years. 

The investment momentum is determined by a set of relevant factors: greater knowledge of the sector by non-specialized national investors, the entry of international venture capital with bets similar to those of more developed ecosystems, and access to larger rounds by more mature startups and scale ups. 

 

GLOVO

The Barcelona-based multi-category delivery startup landed the largest funding round for a Spanish startup earlier this year of 450 million euros. Glovo’s intention is to use the investment to expand their presence in their existing 20 markets, plus focus more on the Q-Commerce (Quick Commerce) division. 

 

BIOTECH FOODS

BioTech Foods is a Spanish start-up founded in 2017 with the mission of producing and commercializing cultured meat. JBS, the Brazilian meat giant, is looking to expand into the cultured meat sector and invested 36 million euros on BioTech Foods to enable the firm to build an industrial plant in the Basque Country with the main objective being to have the new plant ready in 2024, when commercialization is expected to begin. 

 

HEURA

Most famously known for their vegan chicken alternative, foodtech startup Heura received 16 million euros in funding. The funds will go towards developing vegan pork and increasing its global expansion, especially in the British and American markets. This investment came just weeks after Heura’s crowdfunding campaign that raised 4 million euros in just 24 hours. 

 

BIOME MAKERS

Biome Makers raised 15 million dollars to secure their position as a global leader in biological soil analysis. The funds will go towards accelerating the global expansion of BeCrop® as the industry standard for functional soil analysis and sustainable soil health recovery, and Gheom® as an independent assessment program measuring the impact of crop inputs and farming practices to support a personalized agriculture.

 

CROWDFARMING

CrowdFarming raised 15 million euros to facilitate the entry of new producers onto its platform, improve its logistics and help more producers obtain EU organic certification. The startup’s mission is to democratize the food supply chain through direct sales to the end consumer, for which they have developed a marketplace where customers can access products in this way.

 

Download Eatable Adventure’s Report THE STATE OF FOODTECH IN SPAIN 2021 here.

 

Investment received by foodtech startups in Spain triples in 2021

Spain has more than 400 Foodtech startups, being one of the major powers in the sector worldwide.

The agri-food sector is one of the engines of the Spanish economy, concentrating almost 10% of GDP, but we also have the opportunity to become a world power in innovation in the sector, thanks to “Foodtech”, a term with which any technology applied to the agri-food value chain is known. And this is demonstrated by the 2021 edition of the report on the State of Foodtech in Spain, a quantitative study that analyzes the sector that has been prepared for the second year by Eatable Adventures, one of the three leading foodtech accelerators globally.

2021 has been a great year for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in new technologies applied to food. Despite the difficulties suffered by the economy as a result of COVID-19, the net figure of 407 startups in the sector was consolidated, with 9% of them having been born this year. Spain is positioned as one of the main global powers in the sector, similar to France, ahead of the United Kingdom, but far behind the 900 startups in Israel or the 200 in Singapore, much smaller territories than our country. 

However, the most remarkable fact is the significant growth in investment received by these startups throughout 2021, reaching 695 million Euros, a growth of +220%, more than triple that in 2020. This figure places foodtech as the second category of investment in startups in our country, behind only transportation. Most of this investment takes place in very early stages (23% preseed and 46% seed). The 23% is in series A and only 5% in later stages or 2% in acquisitions. Glovo leads the highest round, with 450 million euros, followed by Biotech Foods with 36 million euros, Heura with 16 million euros and Biome Makers and Crowdfaming with 15 million euros each. 

Startups and the agri-food value chain

The concern of our entire society for sustainability, combined with the growing demand of consumers for healthier products, has been understood by the sector as great opportunities, increasing the number of startups that focus on the primary sector of the chain, on agriculture and livestock, seeking more sustainable formulas in production. Thus, 24% of startups work in agrifoodtech (vs. 17% in 2020), 35% in production and transformation, 24% in distribution and retail, and 17% in restaurant tech. 

Of those startups working in the primary sector, this year there is a greater weight in projects focused on the modernization of crops, applying software and automation in the processes (36%), while the weight of new methods of cultivation (18%) or the application of biotechnology in the fields (16%) is slightly reduced.

Analyzing the food process, which continues to be the most important point in the agri-food value chain (35%), there is a change in the search for new ingredients with which to produce alternative foods (47%), as opposed to plant-based or insect-based foods, which was the main driver until now (24%).

In the logistics section, the weight of direct-to-consumer models (74%), which in 2020 had gained very significant weight due to COVID-19, is slightly reduced. However, we see how many of these startups, which started out focused on the distribution of cooked food in restaurants (delivery), are expanding their catalogs to shift towards e-grocery.

Finally, in restaurant tech, we can clearly see how projects related to improved management thanks to artificial intelligence and the use of data are growing (40%), whereas until now this category was led by reservation platforms.

An important point of the study is the technology used in these projects. In 2021 we see how the use of biotechnology (32.05%) grows, mainly in food processing and crop improvement, but also Artificial Intelligence (28.21%) and Machine Learning (24.36%), in this case in a much more transversal way as they have applications in practically all points of the value chain. Robotics (12.82%) and Blockchain (6.41%) have a lower use in the volume of projects analyzed, for having a lower versatility and being more specific technologies but we see how there is growth compared to the 2020 report, confirming their consolidation as base technologies of foodtech.

It is important to highlight that 30.2% of the projects have patents, which helps to build a solid ecosystem with its own intellectual property that places our country in an opportune position of leadership, allowing us to export not only materials and processes, but also knowledge.

The profile of the entrepreneur is similar to that of the previous year: 40 years old, male (80%), starting up alone (14%) or with 1 partner (26%), and with less than 5 employees (46%), but 92% of them declare that in 2022 they will increase their workforce, confirming the employment generation capacity of the ecosystem.

 

What still needs to be improved, according to entrepreneurs

The study also includes a qualitative dimension that seeks to reflect the sector’s unfinished business. According to this, entrepreneurs state the importance of research centers in the development of startups in the sector (89% in 2021 vs. 65% in 2020), although it is perceived that universities do not fulfill this role, although this has improved slightly (50% in 2021 vs. 61% in 2020).

Knowledge of the sector by international investors is attributed as a reason why they invest in the sector (88% in 2021 vs 85% in 2020), which contrasts with the sentiment that the domestic investor lacks this knowledge, although this has improved this year (41% in 2021 vs 63% in 2020). It is important to highlight how the data reflects the change that the food industry is undergoing and is perceived as supporting the development of startups (67% in 2021 vs 43% in 2020).

And the point of subsidies is still pending, although it has improved. Entrepreneurs continue to demand greater ease of access to specific public aid for the sector (53% in 2021 state that this is a problem vs 72% in 2020).

For José Luis Cabañero, CEO of Eatable Adventures: “The tripling of investment data in 2021 and the significant volume of startups operating in our country show how the foodtech sector is confirmed as a great opportunity for the economy of our country, which will grow even more with the involvement of the public sector, corporations, research centers and universities”.

Download here the report and get to know more about our thriving food technology scene.

Do you have THE IDEA that will revolutionize Consumer Packaged Goods?

The first incubation program for consumer packaged foods and beverages in the city of Madrid has launched, promoting entrepreneurship, innovation and technology in the food sector. It is a pioneering experience in the world that will revolutionize the industry from our city, by Madrid Food Innovation Hub.

This incubation program is dedicated to projects developing packaged food products and packaged beverages by applying new technologies during formulation and/or production. They also may be accompanied by the development of new business models in the digital environment that allows a direct relationship with the consumer and the disintermediation of the sale of these innovative products. 

The selected startups must have the ambition to revolutionize the sector, and have a very clear focus on the commercial viability of the projects and their contribution to the industry, with a real impact on the economy and society. The program is focused on the establishment and consolidation of new companies. 

 

What kind of projects is the program looking for?

  • Packaged products with a focus on sustainability.
  • Foods or beverages with a positive effect on health (extra energy intake, proteins, superfoods…).
  • Products with improved nutritional composition (short list of ingredients or without superfluous additives).
  • Ready-to-eat or easy-to-prepare foods and beverages (snacks/prepared meals).

Who is the program aimed at?

The incubator is aiming to receive projects with less than 12 months of life, still in the idea phase or projects that need to transform/pivot. Also, innovative projects developing packaged food and beverages, responding to new consumer needs.

Some of the areas considered of interest may be:

  • Packaged products with a focus on sustainability.
  • Foods or beverages with a positive effect on health (extra energy intake, proteins, superfoods, etc.).
  • Products with improved nutritional composition (short ingredient lists or without superfluous additives).
  • Ready-to-eat or easy-to-prepare foods and beverages (snacks/prepared meals).

Projects that will also be especially valued include having advanced business models that allow a direct relationship with consumers and facilitate access to these new products; projects that have an ambitious team willing to scale their project; projects that have not yet received their first investment or are planned as self-employment projects; and projects promoted by unemployed or economically vulnerable people will be especially valued. All projects must be based in the Community of Madrid.

What does the program offer?

A 12-week personalized theoretical and practical program in which participants will enjoy a free coworking space in Madrid Food Innovation Hub, located in the Villaverde district of Madrid, equipped with a kitchen and laboratory with everything necessary for concept testing.

Participants will also benefit from weekly tutorials with the program director to advance in the development of the project, in addition to mentoring sessions with experts. They will also have access to the largest network of food entrepreneurs with more than 25,000 people.

Moreover, there will be a demo day to present the projects and test days with consumers. This wil include a network of potential investors, venture capitals, business angels and corporations.

 

Visit the website for more information!

Mylkcubator kicks off its first edition with four startups to shape the future of dairy

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

Madrid Food Innovation Hub Inauguration

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.”

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.

Baking the Future kicks off with three revolutionary projects that will change the world of baking

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).

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.

 

Interview with Loan Bensadon from Baïa Food

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.

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.