Agrifood Investment Launchpad Recap: Connecting Investors and Startups in Foodtech

On the 14th of May, Lisbon played host to the Agrifood Investment Launchpad, a dynamic event organized by COREangels, EIT Food, and YAngel. The event aimed to bridge the gap between angel investors and startups in the Foodtech and Agritech sectors across Europe. Here's a detailed summary of the event's agenda and highlights.

Opening Session

The event kicked off at 17:00h with an introduction by key organizers: Isabel Faria from COREangels Food, Sarah Sommersguter from YAngels, and Amparo de San José from EIT Food. They set the tone for the evening, outlining the agenda and welcoming the participants. Isabel Faria then introduced Rui Falcão, setting the stage for the first keynote.

Introduction to Angel Investment by Rui Falcão

Rui took the floor to discuss the significance of angel investment, drawing parallels with historical investments in now-iconic companies like Google and Uber. He emphasized the crucial role of business angels in the early stages of startups and delved into the scientific approach to angel investing. He shared personal insights on being an impactful angel investor, stressing the importance of seeing potential, trusting young entrepreneurs, and being prepared for both successes and failures.

Best Practices in Angel Investment

At 17:40h, a panel featuring Cíntia Mano, Isabel Faria, and Alexander Griekspoor discussed best practices in angel investment. Cíntia emphasized patience, relationship-building, and aligning expectations. The panelists shared their perspectives on the evolving landscape of angel investing and provided advice on evaluating risks, learning continuously, and the benefits of investing in groups.

Keynote: Trends and Opportunities in the Agrifood Sector

Marta Miraldes delivered a keynote at 18:00h, focusing on the trends and opportunities in the agrifood sector. She highlighted the role of acceleration programs in supporting startups within the foodtech ecosystem and provided examples of successful startups. The discussion with Marta, Faria, and Amparo touched on sustainability trends, the scalability challenges of agrifood startups, and the importance of resilience and adaptability in this sector.

A short break at 18:30h provided attendees with the opportunity to network and discuss the insights shared so far.

Startup Pitches Moderated by Pedro Bandeira

At 18:45h, the event transitioned to the highly anticipated startup pitches, moderated by Pedro Bandeira. Ten innovative startups presented their solutions:
  1. ADECI: Telmo Taipa introduced their food and beverage solution prediction tool, boasting a 92% accuracy rate and widespread use in Portugal and Spain.
  2. B’ZEOS: Camila presented sustainable packaging made from seaweed, highlighting its environmental benefits.
  3. Lazare Farms: Gonzalo showcased their fully automated indoor robotic farming technology and discussed their plans for a pilot farm.
  4. Nolita Foods: Fernanda introduced a fiber-based alternative to sugar and sweeteners with no taste difference.
  5. Omnium AI: Oscar Dias explained their AI-driven food reformulation technology, a spinoff from Universidade do Minho.
  6. Pink Albatross: Pepe Biaggio presented their all-natural ingredient ice cream, now a top brand in Spain's billion-euro market.
  7. Plantz: Jorge Boabaid discussed their chef-made, plant-based meals, experiencing significant growth.
  8. Portugal Bugs: Guilherme Pereira talked about their insect-based food products, focusing on powdered goods.
  9. Bolder Foods: Michael Minx-Dixon, presenting online, highlighted their cheese alternatives and growing market prospects.
  10. Bosque Foods: Paul Ritch showcased their sustainable, better-than-meat products.

Wrap-up and Key Next Steps

At 20:15h, Isabel Faria wrapped up the event, summarizing the key takeaways and outlining the next steps. This included pop-up 30-second pitches from various startups focused on innovative food solutions such as soy replacements, digital technologies for regenerative purposes, and ready-to-eat, health-focused meals.

Networking Session

The event concluded at 20:30h with a networking session, allowing participants to connect over food and beverages. This informal setting provided an excellent opportunity for investors and startups to discuss potential collaborations and further explore the innovative solutions presented throughout the evening.