Interview: Food Tech Matters Partner Eatable Adventures on the agri-foodtech sector in Spain and desirable start-up qualities
Eatable Adventures is a food-tech accelerator spanning across Europe and Latin America with more than 20 corporate programs launched, a deal flow of 1,400 global food-tech start-ups each year and operations in three continents.
Eatable Adventures detects, promotes and invests in the most disruptive start-ups that promise a relevant impact on the agri-food value chain. By developing and implementing successful collaboration models with leading companies in the food industry, Eatable Adventures generates start-up innovation opportunities at high speed.
The company has built a global network of partnerships with incubators, accelerators, foodtech and agritech events, academics, investors and governments.
What does the agri-foodtech sector in your country look like?
Spain is known globally for its excellent gastronomy and cutting edge food sector that is continuously growing each year and gaining more presence in the global market. The entire agri-food value chain, including the primary sector, the transformation industry and sales and marketing activities, generates more than 9.1% of the country’s GDP, positioning itself as a driving force for the country’s growth and development. Compared to other European countries, Spain is on average 34% more productive and 30% more competitive within the agri-food sector.
What is the most important progress made in agri-foodtech in your region?
The most important progress made in agri-foodtech in Spain can be summarised by the graphic below from ICEX’s Foodtech In Spain 2021 Report.
What are the challenges currently faced by the agri-foodtech industry? Which areas of the agri-foodtech sector are in particular need of innovation?
The food system is one of the most recent systems to be digitalised and rightly so, as we ‘need to become digital’. It is is a big challenge. The food value chain we have built is very complex and so digitising it is more difficult than other industries. Focus is shifting from downstream to the end-to-end value chain, and technologies that facilitate the implementation of sustainability are also gaining increased attention.
What are the most important characteristics you look for when investing in start-ups?
We pay special attention to the technology behind the start-up as it is the only way to increase efficiency without increasing the cost of production. Technological competence and a clear business vision is a winning combination.
Which start-ups have you worked with/accelerated and why?
Over the past few years, we have been working with start-ups that are applying technology throughout the entire food value chain. Our agri-tech start-ups include Ekonoke and H2Hydroponics, who both develop vertical farming systems, and have been part of our acceleration programs. We have also worked with Innomy, Cocuus, and MOA Foodtech who are transforming the alternative protein space.
What is your advice for start-ups beginning in this industry?
An important piece of advice is to focus on what the market is demanding, which we believe is sustainability. Having the right team is also key factor of success.