FoodForward, the first corporate accelerator dedicated to foodtech, is born
MILAN (ITALY), MAY 8 – FoodForward, the first accelerator dedicated to innovative projects and startups related to the Food & Retail sector, has been presented today at Seed & Chips – the Global Food Innovation Summit. The initiative, coordinated by Deloitte, is developed in collaboration with three leading corporations such as Amadori, Cereal Docks and Finiper Group – who will work with startups to develop the new businesses of the future. FoodForward is also supported by leading players in the innovation ecosystem such as Innogest, Digital Magics, Seeds & Chips and Federalimentare Giovani.
The main goal of FoodForward is to transform Milan in a global Foodtech hub by combining Italian tradition and excellence with the ability to catalyze the most advanced technological solutions coming from the best international innovation hubs.
«At Deloitte, Food industry has always been one of the key sectors capable to sustain the growth in Italy», explains Andrea Poggi, Innovation Leader at Deloitte Italy and CEO of Officine Innovazione, Deloitte’s startup dedicated to innovation. «In this perspective, FoodForward will combine Italian expertise with the necessary drive for innovation. Leveraging an extensive knowledge of the sector and a massive activity in the Innovation Ecosystem, it is natural for Deloitte to mediate between the innovative drive of startups and the strength of industry.»
«Amadori is a successful example of the combination between traditional entrepreneurship and the willingness to innovate that perfectly represent italian companies», explains Gianluca Giovannetti, Chief Innovation and Business Services Officer at Amadori. «The company will celebrate its first 50 years of history in 2019, an important goal and a fresh start all together. In the next 5 years Amadori will invest over 200 millions of euros on its integrated supply chain, focusing on the innovation of production processes and on the expansion of its offer: the aim is to become the market leader and a modern food company ambassador of Made in Italy. FoodForward, as part of our growth strategy, represents an important opportunity: the project, thanks to the collaboration with Deloitte and in an ideal context like Seeds & Chips, will match companies and start-ups that will be able to combine their skills and ideas to ‘go further’ and develop new business together.»
«Food Forward – says Giacomo Fanin Business Developer at Cereal Docks – gives the opportunity to open up to a global innovation ecosystem and also to enhance the heritage of skills, traditions and culture connected with Made in Italy. For over 35 years, Cereal Docks has been a link between agriculture and the processing industry close to the consumers. Today we can strengthen this bond by triggering new ideas and projects: we would like to thank Deloitte by confirming our enthusiasm for the project.»
«Joining FoodForward initiative is a great challenge for the Finiper Group as well as an honor», says Gian Maria Gentile, Digital Manager at Unes. «Being part of an international open innovation program that involves all the main players in the food sector is the best choice as we support Italy and its excellences. Finiper Group has always been alongside cutting-edge agri-food companies that produce respecting land and environment. By supporting this project, together with great innovation players, we can spread our vision in the international arena in a perspective of sharing and support, to encourage young people to consider a career related with food production and distribution as well as to develop startups with high technological value.»
FoodForward is live now: the call is open from today and until July 29, 2018. Up to seven startups will be selected for the acceleration program and will have access to a initial equity investment of € 150,000 in total, as well as support in terms of services and advisory services equal to a counter-value of up to € 350,000. In addition, at the end of the acceleration program, the partners are committed to further invest up to 1 million euros.
«Innogest has been active in identifying investment opportunities operating in technologies applied to the world of food, such as foodtech. This is because we believe that there are enormous opportunities in this sector and major problems to solve that can have a global impact. Italy can have a leading role at international level given the skills and resources present in our country. Innogest has always been focused on startups that can become global leaders. This is why we consider it essential to be partners of an initiative such as FoodForward, which brings together technology innovation, startups, industrial and financial skills to identify high-potential initiatives and supports them in their development», says Stefano Molino, Innogest Partner.
The acceleration phase
Once the startups have been selected, between January and May 2019 there will be a 15-week acceleration program. It will includes project development and consolidation, managerial skills training, challenging sessions with mentors and experts as well as networking events with entrepreneurs, managers and investors from both the Deloitte network and the foodtech ecosystem.
The program aims to stimulate collaborations between corporate and startups in order to develop new business through the synergies between innovative startups and the food industry. The call is open to Italian and foreign companies working in the food production and distribution sectors. The innovative trends in scope are, among others: new foods, quality and traceability, healthy lifestyle, circular economy, new delivery models, smart packaging and precision farming.
«After launching the “Magic Wand” acceleration program for finance and insurance, we want to innovate together with Deloitte, Innogest and other partners in Made in Italy Food and Retail, a sector very traditional and innovative at the same time», said Layla Pavone, Director and Chief Innovation Marketing and Communication Officer at Digital Magics. «FoodTech startups represent more than 15% of our incubator portfolio and FoodForward will become the center of excellence in Italy for the food and agri-food industry.»
The international roadshow
Deloitte’s global network and the active contribution of the partners involved will allow the activation of a FoodForward roadshow that will touch some of the world’s most important innovation hubs and industry events: from Tel Aviv to New York, from Hong Kong in Paris and Dublin.
Apply and find additional information at www.food-forward.it