A group of Belgian startups in food and agritech is travelling to Israel during the first week of September to get to know the local food tech scene, and to work together with some of the biggest food corporations in the world. “Linking our startups to those multinationals is of the utmost importance”, stresses organizer Philippe Rangoni of Startups.be.

Israel is becoming an undisputable hub for foodtech, combining the rise in culinary awareness with the Israeli aptitude for technology. “Israel has few natural resources”, explains project lead Philippe Rangoni, “the country is faced with a limited water supply and has to import almost all its grain.”

“In such a context, it’s not surprising that food- and agriculture tech are becoming focus areas for young entrepreneurs. There are already more than 200 food tech startups in the ‘Silicon Wadi’-area around Tel Aviv. It’s one of the booming businesses in the country.”

This is one of the reasons why Startups.be is organizing a week-long ‘food and agritech’ mission to the Middle-Eastern state for a select group of Belgian startups and established companies. Both Odyseed and Youmeal, as well as Foodpairing, Fyteko, Apicbase, Forganiser, the Puratos group and Living Tomorrow participate in the trip.

One of the important topics on the agenda is a ‘mini labs’-series at Google Campus in Tel Aviv, where the participants get to work together with big corporates like Nestlé, Danone, Mondelez, Bonduelle and PepsiCo on such topics as genomics, smart farming, food security, food data, novel ingredients and nutrition.

“Linking our startups to those multinationals is of the utmost importance”, streses Rangoni, “as are the contacts that will be established between the participating startups and corporates among each other. The goal is to create new ties between the young and the more established companies, both parties are looking to accomplish this.”

During the mission, the participants also visit the DLD Festival in Tel Aviv, Israel’s biggest tech event, where they will meet the most prominent foodtech innovators from all over the world, and where they’ll discover why the foodtech ecosystem in the country can be key to their ‘go global’-strategy.

Israel Mission 2017 

The Food and Agritech mission takes place at the same time as a larger ‘Mission to Israel 2017’ that Startups.be organizes for the City of Antwerp in collaboration with Flanders Cleantech Association (FCA) and i-Cleantech Flanders.

This economic ‘working visit’ features multiple tracks (Digital Innovation, Cleantech and Healthtech), is chaired by alderwoman of Antwerp Caroline Bastiaens, and has 70 people participating. You’ll hear more about it in the next few days. www.missionisrael2017.be.