Food Evolutions: start-up talent to transform agrifood SMEs
Some projects are, right from the start, filled with an energy that can transform a whole industry. Like Food Evolutions, a new investment and accelerator hub for the Spanish food tech sector that connects start-ups with agrifood SMEs looking to transform the industry in order to activate their innovation and internationalisation.
Food Evolutions has launched its inaugural accelerator program, which will funnel up to 150,000 euros into some of the best five participating start-ups. “In its first weeks, this program has already attracted start-ups from ten countries, and five Spanish, which will be joined by others by the 22nd of October”, explains Pedro A. Bretones. For the founder of -ivoro and managing partner of this hub: “Food Evolutions is going to become a link between the most innovative ventures and food SMEs, providing the sector with the talent it needs to become more competitive and global”.
This is the first initiative driven by food tech companies with a disruptive value, such as -ivoro and the accelerator investor network Linkup Partners, among others. Food Evolutions is also supported by sponsorships within the agrifood industry, including the multinational company Ebro Foods –global leader in the rice market and second most important pasta manufacturer–, providing the support needed to acquire a 360-degree viewpoint capable of enriching every link in the value chain.
The missing piece of the food tech ecosystem
Food Evolutions becomes the piece that was missing from the Spanish food tech ecosystem by providing the efficiency it needs. A platform capable of bringing together the interests of the more than 120 start-ups and specialised agents looking to boost the Spanish agrifood industry, which accounts for 3% of GDP and 21% of the whole manufacturing industry (according to FIAB’s economic survey for 2016).
Thanks to this inclusive vision, the platform is also a unique player in the European arena. Food Evolutions will be an investor, accelerator, incubator and internationalisation patron, uniting under two core targets the ten areas that provide added value to the system.
The collaboration target
Food Evolutions is presented as a meeting point for that necessary collaboration that will make the Spanish agrifood industry a benchmark in a time of deep change. A target that can only be achieved with local and cross-border interaction. To do so, Food Evolutions brings together the interests of:
- The primary sector: A European benchmark, in addition to being the backbone of the Spanish economy, accounting for 2.6% of GDP (data from the National Statistical Institute).
- Agrifood SMEs: Over 29,000 companies with productive and export potential. Their value depends on the innovation and efficiency of its offer.
- Distribution: Spain has one of the strongest, most sophisticated and efficient commercial networks, thanks to the important national and international companies that run it. A network that is ready to collaborate in search for synergies.
- Internationalization. Achieve an international presence in every link in the value chain is a must, and Food Evolutions takes part in multinational collaboration networks that enable its partners to enrich their offer in contrast and in collaboration with some of the most active institutions in the world.
The transformation target
Food Evolutions offers the following tools for change through a 360-degree platform:
- Agrifood start-ups: They are the raw material of the project. The start-up revolution that is sweeping the world with its digital transformation and innovation proposals in all sectors must take the Spanish agrifood sector into the 21st century global economy. To make this talent emerge, the ecosystem must develop tools that support it and encourage it.
- Investment fund: With an initial capital of 1.5 million euros, this investment fund will be managed by an entity registered with the Spanish National Securities Market Commission, guaranteeing the financial sustainability of the accelerated projects, especially in seed phase.
- A network of cooperating companies: This is where a large part of Food Evolutions’ distinctive value resides. The presence of Ebro Foods becomes an endless source of knowledge and experience. Other investors, mentors, experts in international trade, branding, packaging, digital marketing o transmedia content creation also provide their know-how to boost the added value of each one of the accelerated projects.
- Advisory board: An international team of experts in the many areas that take part in the value chain contributes and renews the business viewpoint, anticipating trends and focusing on the ones that have the potential for development and scalability.
- Open Innovation: Under the world’s most efficient innovation models, Food Evolutions offers transformative SMEs a new way to design, prototype, test, validate and develop projects.
- International network of accelerators, incubators and venture builders: Food Evolutions has been launched with an international mindset and looks after its partnership agreements with other European, North American and Asian agents.
Specialisation can lead transformation
“There is a new player in the Spanish food tech ecosystem that will provide new ideas to an industry in need of talent and innovation, transformative SMEs in the food industry”, as Pedro A. Bretones summarizes Food Evolutions mission. An innovative project in content and medium that places the focus of its differential value in sectoral specialization. “Only from the experience and collaboration we can turn start-up innovation into something tangible for the small and medium enterprise”.