Nine innovative startups from four European countries presented their agritech projects to investors in IESE’s Business Angels Network as part of a continent-wide drive by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) to promote new technologies in food production and processing.
The Investment Forum was held October 27 at IESE’s Madrid campus.
The startups — five from Spain, two from Portugal and one each from Greece and the Netherlands — were selected under the EIT Food Accelerator Network (EIT FAN) program for their ground-breaking initiatives aimed at addressing pressing challenges in our food system.
EIT FAN connects impactful agrifood startups with industry-leading corporate and research partners to pilot their technology and achieve a successful market adoption. The nine startups selected under EIT FAN’s 2021 program for Southern Europe offer innovative technological solutions in the domains of sustainable agriculture, alternative proteins, targeted nutrition, circular food systems and digitalized traceability.
- AgriStarBio, Environmental Solutions, Lda. (Portugal) produces sustainable organomineral fertilizer from biosolids using an emission-free process that protects water, soil and air.
- ColorSensing (Spain) helps packaged food manufacturers and retailers cut down food waste and ensure the quality and safety of their products thanks to digital smart-packaging.
- Earth Rover Europe, S.L. (Spain) uses breakthrough solid-state technology mounted on mobile robots to carry out concentrated light weeding while protecting crops.
- Epinutra (Netherlands) has developed a food supplement that successfully targets the root cause of heartburn pain.
- Genbioma Aplicaciones S.L. (Spain) uses probiotics to achieve long-term glycaemic regulation for individuals in the early stages of diabetes.
- Oscillum (Spain) has developed SmartLabel, a smart tag that uses changing colours to notify consumers of the freshness of food products.
- Plantae (Spain) has developed wireless technology to increase agricultural productivity through the optimisation of crop irrigation.
- Solmeyea (Greece) produces high-value bioingredient-based food and feed proteins through vertical microalgae cultivation at low cost and with a significantly lower carbon footprint.
- Wisecrop (Portugal) helps agricultural businesses to boost productivity and sustainability thanks to an easy-to-use online interface system providing seamless field-to-office information flows.
The event started with presentations by a panel of investors about current and future opportunities in agriculture and food tech investments. Members of the panel included:
- Ananya Manna, Investment Director at the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund, a joint initiative of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission to support investment in enabling technologies, circular business models and sustainable bio-based products.
- Giancarlo Addario, Principal at Five Seasons Ventures, the first European impact venture fund focused on foodtech.
- Ariel Barack, Co-founder of Ordway Selections, a private investment fund based in Zug, Switzerland, that invests in food & agriculture, health & wellness and blockchain technologies.
After the panel discussion, each of the startups made their investment pitches, with a view to broadening their network and attracting investments for future growth.
About EIT Food Accelerator Network Programme
EIT Food Accelerator Network runs for four months and is delivered at six innovation hubs in Europe (Bilbao, Munich, Haifa, Lausanne, Helsinki, and Cambridge). It supports agri-food Startups tackling the biggest challenges within the European food system by developing their capacity as founders and establishing continued partnerships with EIT Food Accelerator Network community totalling +1BN € to accelerate their growth and impact
About EIT Food
EIT Food is Europe’s leading food innovation initiative, with the aim to create a sustainable and future-proof food sector.
The initiative is made up of a consortium of key industry players, Startups, research centres and universities from across Europe. It is one of eight Innovation Communities established by the European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT), an independent EU body set up in 2008 to drive innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe.
EIT Food aims to collaborate closely with consumers to develop knowledge and technology-based products and services that will ultimately deliver a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle for all European citizens.
About the IESE Business Angel Network
IESE Business Angels Network is a platform that brings together entrepreneurs seeking funds to grow and investors looking for opportunities to invest. Startups that present their projects in the Investment Forum will have the opportunity to receive funding from investors in IESE’s Business Angels Network, which is composed of more than 200 individual investors, investment clubs, family offices and large companies. Since 2003, more than 300 startups have received more than 50 million euros in funding from the Network.