Food Venture & Partnering Days provide an arena for startups, successful entrepreneurs, experts, investors, business angels and other stakeholders in the food industry to come together to identify possible collaborations. Two such stakeholders who did find one another via this event are IBM and startup IQ Chef. This meeting led to a collaboration in which IQ Chef was able to take part in IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Programme.
Food Venture & Partnering Days gather over a hundred participants for the purpose of commercialising innovative ideas and creating sustainable growth in the food industry. The event is hosted by the Food Accelerator, which is managed by RISE.
RISE’s business developers in the food sector select the startups, and participants have the opportunity to meet some of Sweden’s most innovative food companies over a short period of time. For startups – developers of products, services and technologies – this is an opportunity to present their companies and to network with established stakeholders and financiers. All startups are offered pitch coaching and advice from the Food Accelerator in preparation for the event.
Startup IQ Chef found partner
For Christopher Heybroek, CEO of startup IQ Chef, a company offering food industry stakeholders systems for creating personal recommendations based on AI and machine learning, attending Food Venture & Partnering Days 2017 led to what proved to be an important meeting.
“I suddenly found myself talking to IBM, something that would never have happened if it wasn’t for Food Venture & Partnering Days. We began by discussing various possibilities and we have now joined IBM’s Global Entrepreneurs Programme and can offer our customers solutions based on their technology,” explains Christopher Heybroek.
Arena for partnership and collaboration
Kenth Juthberg of IBM, who sat on the other side of that particular meeting table, sees Food Venture & Partnering Days as an opportunity to identify partners from among the attending startups.
“For me personally, it is extremely stimulating to see and hear all of these driven entrepreneurs as they tell me all about their companies. For IBM’s Entrepreneur Team, which I manage, this is crucial to our desire to initiate win-win collaborations and, by participating in Food Venture & Partnering Days, we are able to identify new collaborators more rapidly,” says Kenth Juthberg.
According to Susanna Moore, business developer at RISE, this is exactly how Food Venture & Partnering Days are intended to work.
“Our intention is to create an arena in which startups, the industry and investors can meet and discuss collaboration, open innovation and partnerships. This is our way of contributing to the Government’s vision as stated in the National Food Strategy for Sweden of creating a competitive, innovative and sustainable food supply chain,” says Susanna Moore.