On Tuesday 27th September, EIT Food North-West launched its first ever “Start-up Discovery Series.” The series provides startups with the opportunity to pitch their company, that has a solution which aligns with one of the missions of EIT Food. These missions are:
- Promoting healthier lives through food
- Delivering a net-zero food system
- Achieving a fully transparent, fair and resilient food system
Our startup discovery series brings together the wider EIT Food community including industry experts, researchers, and investors. Through this we hope to increase exposure of our startups while encouraging collaboration and new partnerships.
Our first event in this series followed the theme of “Healthier Lives through Food,” in which we were pleased to be joined by Jochem Bossenbroek, CEO and Co-Founder of “Verdify” and David Erlandsson, Co-Founder of “Aliga Microalgae.” Both Aliga Microalgae and Verdify are part of EIT Food’s RisingFoodStars Association of game-changing startups.
Meet Aliga Microalgae: Algae ingredient specialists
During our event, David Erlandsson pitched his company - Aliga Microalgae. The startup is a Danish-based food-tech company, which specialises in developing and producing algae ingredients for food and supplements. The company’s ambition is to bring algae from a niche supplement to a core food ingredient. Why? Despite facing many challenges as a food ingredient, they believe that microalgae is one of the most nutritious and sustainable crops that can be cultivated.
As a result, they have developed a proprietary and patented white chlorella, which is chlorophyl free, and has a neutral taste and colour while maintaining the nutritional profile as algae. At present, Algae Microalgae are in the process of undertaking consumer trials with food manufacturers within the space of analogues (seafood and kebab), diary (vegan cheese), savoury (pasta and noodles) and bakery (bread and ready gluten free flour mixes).
The Q&A session included a very informative and engaging discussion regarding the barriers associated with driving the development of algae from a niche to mainstream product. This included the challenges with consumer acceptance, scale up obstacles and potential brand names for white chlorella. Also discussed was the marketing and branding strategy, the targets products when using the ingredient for reformulation and if the ingredient is applicable in the feed industry.
Meet Verdify: Personal Nutrition Management experts
Also, during our event, Jochem Bossenbroek pitched his startup - Verdify. The startup is a personal nutrition management platform that enables individuals to make better food choices to benefit both personal and planetary health. They have two different models: a consumer model and a business model.
Within the user model, consumers create their own nutrition profile including any allergies, special diet considerations, taste preferences, activity level, and any nutritional requirements. A personalised meal plan is then generated. Within the business model, the Verdify platform is integrated with that of their partners such as other recipe platforms and retailers. Within this, Verdify tailors and personalised the recipes within these platforms to meet specific dietary needs.
During the Q&A session interesting discussions took place on how the company generates its revenue streams, the positioning of Verdify as a lifestyle brand, and the social demographic of consumers was discussed. It was also debated whether consumers plan all of their meals at once or plan per occasion.
EIT Food supports Agritech startups
EIT Food support entrepreneurs, startups and scaleups to deliver new food innovations and businesses across Europe. Whether you’re seeking to validate your business innovation with potential customers, to partner with corporates, or to expand internationally, we have programmes that offer exceptional mentoring and training, with funding and access to a thriving European network of agrifood experts and resources.
Get involved with our startup event series!
We are looking for game-changing startups to pitch in our startup discovery series. To be considered you must have a product, service or technology that is helping to transform our food system. In particular, we are seeking startups that align with EIT Food's 3 missions.
If you have a question about the event, or would like to pitch during this event series, please contact Paula Almiron, Partnership and Funding Manager at EIT Food North-West: email@example.com
Register to attend the series!
We would ike to invite you to join us at the next events in this series:
- Tuesday 22nd November 10am-11am GMT. The theme of this event will be a Fully Transparent, Resilient and Fair Food System
- Tuesday 24th January 2023 - 10am-11am GMT (Theme TBC)
- Tuesday 28th February 2023 - 10am-11am GMT (Theme TBC)
- Tuesday 28th March 2023 - 10am-11am BST (Theme TBC)
- Tuesday 25th April 2023 - 10am-11am BST (Theme TBC)
- Tuesday 23rd May 2023 -10am-11am BST (Theme TBC)
About the author
Aimee Fee is a Nutrition and Partnerships Intern at EIT Food. She holds a bachelor's degree in Food Quality, Safety and Nutrition and has just completed a master's degree in Sports and Exercise Nutrition. Aimee is passionate about promoting healthier lives for all through food and nutrition.