Tag Archives: foodtech

Four Startups Driving Change In Food and Agriculture

StartLife proudly support startups from all over the world that aim to solve pertinent issues in food and agriculture. We present you four promising agrifoodtech startups that are working hard to make a difference: Solmeyea, Trabotyx, Allozymes and Feltwood Ecomaterials.

Solmeyea (Greece) – Producing Carbon Neutral Microalgae Ingredients

Solmeyea - Microalgae Ingredients Biotech company Solmeyea is using patented hybrid vertical farming technology to produce carbon neutral microalgae ingredients that are increasingly sought by FMCG manufacturers as they move away from conventionally-grown proteins.

“Our end-products consist of a range of high-quality protein isolates, oils rich in Omega-3’s, fatty-acids and antioxidants, suitable for plant-based food applications, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and 3rd generation of biofuels. Our technology is 29x more efficient than the carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen volumes a forest can handle,” said Vasilis Stenos, founder and CEO of Solmeyea.

The company is on a mission to transform CO2 into valuable products, hence helping humanity solve three main problems: Climate change, Food scarcity and Energy. Operating in the Alternative Protein (9.5% CAGR) and the Carbon Offset market ($270B – 12% CAGR), they serve 9 out of the 17 SDGs.

“With the support of StartLife, we aim for strong collaborations and new initiatives, and connect with equally driven and visionary individuals willing to make profit without further harming the environment,” said Vasilis.

Trabotyx (Netherlands) – Providing Automatic Weeding For Organic Precision Farming

Trabotyx - Weeding Robot
Trabotyx automates manual weeding for organic farmers, allowing the farmers to improve their yield and soil health whilst reducing costs and reducing risk related to shortage of labor.

“With the use of computer vision we detect 90%+ of all the weeds and weed with high accuracy. Our precision weeding robot takes away the recurring hassle of organizing seasonal workers for tedious manual labor dependent tasks. Currently robots are able to weed 1/3 hectare on a single battery charge,” said Tim Kreukniet, co-founder and CEO of Trabotyx.

“We support organic farmers in improving their bottom-line by reducing their operational weeding cost up to 25%. Ultimately, we want to be competitive with herbicide spraying, taking away the need of chemicals and improving soil, biodiversity, and water quality. Early 2023 we launch our MVP for 10 farmers with organic carrots,” Tim said.

“It goes without saying that the support of StartLife, the premier agrifoodtech accelerator in the world, just 50km from our head-office, is invaluable to us and helps us move and grow faster.”

Allozymes (Singapore) – Producing Novel Enzymes For Natural Products

Allozymes applies its proprietary platform technology to develop novel enzymes, revolutionizing the way industries manufacture natural products.

“We are unlocking infinite possibilities through enzymatic development with the plan of having a database of custom enzymes for a variety of production lanes. Our novel enzymes will reduce emissions substantially and offer sustainable solutions across sectors. We are able to leverage our technology into the food and plant protein, flavor, and other industries,” explains Peyman Salehian, co-founder and CEO of Allozymes.

Allozymes’ mission is to leverage its technology to generate sustainable alternatives across food production. “Our Hero Enzyme can direct nutrient recovery from lignocellulosic biomass and convert nutrients into fiber-derived sugar. This process enables efficient and sustainable sourcing of raw materials while reducing the harmful impact on our environment.”

Peyman says he is keen to embark Allozymes’ journey to ‘start’ food application testing for their hero enzymes allowing them to be optimized for upcycling different agrifood side streams and produce healthier fiber ingredients. “Together with StartLife, we endeavor to accelerate the development of different food applications with fiber ingredients.”

Feltwood Ecomateriales (Spain) – Upcycling Vegetable Side Streams Into Biobased Materials

Upcycling Vegetable Waste

Biotech company Feltwood develops technologies that reuses and upcycles waste produced from agriculture and vegetable processing to produce industrial materials composed of 100% vegetable fibers. The new biobased materials and final products are fully biodegradable, recyclable and compostable; thus becoming a real alternative to, among others, plastic.

Eduardo Paz, Feltwood’s CEO, said: “We reduce food waste by valorizing agricultural side streams and upcycle it to relevant alternatives for manufacturers, which allows them to fulfill the rapidly rising demand for sustainable products. Our circular technology can already upcycle more than 40 different residual and side stream products, and more will follow.”

“StartLife provides us valuable coaching, gives access to suitable events where we can showcase our solutions and introduces us to potential partners and investors. They really help us build a strong company and accelerate our business development and growth. Shortly, we will open a funding round. We foresee that StartLife will be a helpful hand in attracting the right investors.”

Startup Support for Agrifoodtech Startups

The above-mentioned startups take part in StartLife à la Carte through which they receive tailored support. Are you also working on a startup with novel technologies that may contribute the transformation to a sustainable food system and do you want to see how StartLife can be of help? Check the StartLife Accelerate and StartLife à la Carte program and get in touch with us.

p.s. Stay up to date with the latest news about and for agrifood startups, scale-ups and more via StartLife’s Linkedin or Twitter account or via the StartLife newsletter (8x a year).

Kraft Heinz Partners With StartLife To Tap Into Startup Innovation

Partnership between Kraft Heinz and StartLifeToday, we welcome The Kraft Heinz Company as the latest strategic partner of StartLife. StartLife will help Kraft Heinz connect with startups and drive innovation to meet consumer expectations for taste, nutrition and the planet. The partnership was announced today at the Future Food Tech event in London.

Although Kraft Heinz already works with startups through various platforms, this partnership marks the first time the company has collaborated with an accelerator program. Miriam Ueberall, VP R&D International at Kraft Heinz, said the company was impressed with StartLife’s ambition, the strength of its network, and its track record in developing successful partnerships in the agrifoodtech sector.

“We maintain and grow skills in our core capabilities, but with our portfolio expanding and as consumer needs become more demanding, startups play a very important role,” she said.

“As we continue to transform Kraft Heinz into an agile, insight-led company with scale, we see startups as key partners in helping us learn, innovate and adopt new technologies or channels even faster, so we can give our consumers and partners the products, flavors and brand experiences they want the most.”

Seeking innovation for taste, health and sustainability

The company is looking for novel technologies to produce healthier, tastier and more sustainable products in areas like clean label ingredients, sugar and salt reduction, waste reduction, as well as new delivery channels and acquisition opportunities. The company also aims to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.Among other key challenges, Kraft Heinz is targeting ways to ensure security of supply, and to tackle cost pressures as raw material prices have increased across the global food industry.

"We see startups as key partners in helping us learn, innovate and adopt new technologies or channels even faster" ~ Miriam Ueberall, Kraft Heinz

“We are looking for solutions across our entire  value chain  to make sure the global population is able to buy healthy, affordable food at an appropriate price point,” Ueberall said. “We need to re-stitch the value chain in new ways, and that’s where we can benefit from the unique approaches and diverse  thinking most startups have.”

Bringing global markets and R&D facilities within reach

Startups also have much to gain from collaboration with Kraft Heinz, including access to its global network, expertise and market intelligence, as well as R&D facilities to test concepts on a pilot scale.

StartLife’s partnership with Kraft Heinz will give startups the tools they need to scale their business, which can be a knowledge-intensive and capital-intensive process,” said StartLife’s Managing Director Jan Meiling.

"Kraft Heinz will give startups the tools they need to scale their business." ~ Jan Meiling, StartLife

“Many startups in foodtech are first-time entrepreneurs trying to navigate a complicated value chain. At some stage in their development, they need an existing player, either for access to raw materials, to the market and their brands, or to certain facilities. Our partnership with Kraft Heinz brings together the world of startups with the corporate world – and we have already shown that we know how to make this formula work.”

StartLife provides significant coaching to around 40 startups a year, but also works with around 400 more each year from all over the world.

Startups interested in partnering with Kraft Heinz should contact StartLife to arrange an introduction.

About The Kraft Heinz Company

We are driving transformation at The Kraft Heinz Company (Nasdaq: KHC), inspired by our Purpose, Let’s Make Life Delicious. Consumers are at the center of everything we do. With 2021 net sales of approximately $26 billion, we are committed to growing our iconic and emerging food and beverage brands on a global scale. We leverage our scale and agility to unleash the full power of Kraft Heinz across a portfolio of six consumer-driven product platforms. As global citizens, we’re dedicated to making a sustainable, ethical impact while helping feed the world in healthy, responsible ways.


p.s. Stay up to date with the latest news about and for agrifood startups, scale-ups and more via StartLife’s Linkedin or Twitter account or via the StartLife newsletter (8x a year).

StartLife Selects 9 Early-stage Startups To Revolutionize Global Food Systems

Greenhouse agricultural technology

We proudly announce the nine early-stage startups selected for our Fall 2022 accelerate program. The startups, from 8 different countries spread over 3 continents, introduce new technologies tackling big challenges in our current food system. The solutions include alternatives for fish and cheese, and technologies that improve of crop productivity and soil health and reduce energy consumption in greenhouses.

 Join StartLife’s FAll 2022 DEMO DAY ( 8 December)

In the coming 3 months, the startups will sharpen their business case, improve their technologies and prepare for (further) investments. The startup founders will receive training, feedback and insights from experienced agrifoodtech entrepreneurs, industry experts and investors. A large pool of mentors, trainers and corporate leaders will accelerate their path to becoming ‘top startup athletes’.

“We can’t wait to get started with this pool of startup founders. It’s exciting and a privilege to work with these rising entrepreneurial talents and help them grow and scale their business,” says Jean Boudillon, StartLife’s Program Manager and newest team member. “We look forward helping them bring their vision to the market and are thrilled to introduce them to a wider audience.”

Meet the startups


  • FÆRM (Denmark) – Redefining cheese hand in hand with the established dairy industry to create a future where beans are the new cows
  • Umami Meats (Singapore) – Pioneering cultivated seafood by crafting delicious, nutritious and affordable cultivated fish


  • Albotherm (UK) – Improving crop productivity by up to 20% through optimizing light in greenhouses
  • Heliopas AI (Germany) – Providing insights to farmers to increase yields while enriching soil and environment
  • Veridi Technologies (Netherlands) – Pioneering the use of AI and automated microscopy to scale up soil microbiome diagnostics
  • Voltiris (Switzerland) – transforming greenhouses into renewable powerplants with solar modules optimized for agriculture

Agbio & Biobased tech

  • Alghètica (Italy) – Unleashing the true potential of microalgae in becoming a molecular factory of new and improved plant-based ingredients (through CRISPR)
  • BioMosae (Netherlands) – Developing a widely effective, low-cost biological crop protection & enzyme-based ingredient Canto®
  • Bsafe (Brazil) – Helping agriculture to become more sustainable by providing specific and safer biopesticides based on RNAs

Demo Day: Meet StartLife’s Fall 2022 Cohort on 8 December

On Thursday, December 8th, the startups will conclude StartLife’s 9th acceleration program with a live presentation to a global audience of investors, corporates, partners and other agrifoodtech enthusiasts. Join us to be inspired and get a glimpse of the future in food and ag!

Depending on your preference you can join us in person in Wageningen or online through Crowdcast. (All people registered will automatically have access to the online streaming and recordings of the event.)

You can register here or via the form below.

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Martin Braun-Gruppe and StartLife Call On Startups To Disrupt The Baking Industry

Image Partnership MartinBraunGruppe-StartLife

Today, we proudly announce that the Martin Braun-Gruppe, the food division of the Geschwister Oetker Beteiligungen KG, has partnered up with StartLife for an injection of innovation from foodtech startups. As one of the leading European bakery, confectionery and frozen bakery suppliers, the company is particularly targeting alternative ingredients and ideas that address a host of challenges surrounding current challenges within the food industry.

Grown through traditional M&A activities in the past, the Martin Braun-Gruppe is going to launch a corporate venture capital arm for startup investments and collaborations in the area of alternative ingredients, better-for-you products and technology driven business around the category of baking.

The partnership with StartLife, Europe’s longest-running accelerator for agrifoodtech startups, is geared towards a fast and successful engagement with the foodtech startup community in Europe with the aim to push the baking industry forward in its quest for a sustainable food system.

Shift in demand: targeting reformulation and environment

“Consumers are more conscious about the nutritional value of the food they consume. But ingredients are not easily substituted. Because of food regulation, it takes a long time to get a new, alternative ingredient approved. Another challenge is that consumers are accustomed to the taste and texture of their indulgence. When consumers treat themselves to an indulgence, they don’t want to compromise on these aspects,” explains Andreas Gockeln, Corporate Development Manager of the Martin Braun-Gruppe.

"There is a growing desire to lower the footprint of the baking industry."

In addition to health, environmental sustainability and technology-driven business models are other areas of attention.

“There is a growing desire to lower the footprint of the industry. For example, palm oil, a much-used ingredient in the industry, has a negative impact on the environment. In addition to that we see on our markets new and technology driven business models. We are conscious of these developments and want to act on it,” details Gockeln.

Open innovation

Photo-Andreas-Gockeln-(Martin Braun Gruppe)-Caroline-Bijkerk-(StartLife)

“There’s a lot of growth in alternatives and substitutes for traditional bakery ingredients, especially by startups. It only makes sense for large companies to open up to new ways of thinking and collaborate with these startups,” notes Caroline Bijkerk, Global Partnership Manager of StartLife.

"Startups will be able tap into decades of industry knowledge by the Martin Braun-Gruppe and its ability to scale fast."

“Adding a bakery and confectionery business of this scale to StartLife’s global partnership network is also truly ‘icing on the cake’ for both StartLife and the impact-driven startups we support. Startups will be able tap into decades of industry knowledge by the Martin Braun-Gruppe and its ability to scale fast and grow internationally,” says Bijkerk.

“When innovations by startups are fueled with the scale of large companies, it can truly accelerate impactful changes,” Bijkerk adds.

The Martin Braun-Gruppe positions itself as a strategic partner and financial investor, aiming to strengthen its core. “We are looking forward to exploring opportunities for commercial partnerships and joint product developments with ambitious startups,” says Gockeln.

About the Martin Braun-Gruppe

The Martin Braun-Gruppe, headquartered in Hanover, Germany, develops, produces and sells a full range of convenience products for the baking, confectionery and catering industries. It delivers its products to wholesalers and retailers, bakeries, pastry shops and food service and industrial companies worldwide.

Today, the Martin Braun-Gruppe has more than 2,500 employees at 23 locations and is represented in all relevant sales channels with its wide range of products in more than 70 countries worldwide.

Startups that are interested should contact StartLife to arrange an introduction.


p.s. Stay up to date with the latest news about and for agrifood startups, scale-ups and more via StartLife’s Linkedin or Twitter account or via the StartLife newsletter (8x a year).

Verdify Bags Another €800K To Scale Up Personalised Recipe Platform

Dutch foodtech company Verdify, a StartLife alumnus, has raised €800,000 on top of the €1.3 million seed funding the company obtained last December. Verdify will use the  additional funding to accelerate the market introduction of its platform for recipe personalisation and roll out an entirely new business model for nudging people towards healthy and sustainable eating.

More than 90 million consumers in the EU struggle with food challenges because of their health condition or the aspiration of a more sustainable diet. Verdify enables people to make the right food choices by providing matching and reliable meal inspiration.

Fleur Pasman - Nutrition Director of VerdifyFleur Pasman, Nutrition Director at Verdify: “We aim to make knowhow about healthy and sustainable nutrition easily applicable in daily life through smart use of technology. The extension of this funding round enables accelerated implementation of our concept to facilitate better food choices at a large scale.”

The additional capital will be provided by Brave New Food Investments and existing shareholders Brightlands Venture Partners and Joles.

Vincent van Gorkom, Partner at Brave New Food Investments: The additional capital enables Verdify to accelerate the market introduction of the platform for recipe personalisation. This entails expansion of the commercial team and reaching an increasing number of consumers. We are excited to be on board and trust the competences of the Verdify team.

Swapmeals: tailormade recipes for healthy and sustainable diets

Verdify develops innovative software for recipe personalisation. The company combines strong expertise in the life sciences, dietetics and  artificial intelligence to adapt online recipes to lifestyle and nutrient requirements. With its technology platform, Verdify unlocks the potential of personalised nutrition for consumers, healthcare and companies in the food sector.

Verdify’s website Swapmeals.com currently generates more than 40,000 monthly visits. There, the composition of any meal can be optimised by manually swapping ingredients. This can also be done fully automatically based on extensive personal nutrition profiles, in which case a nutrition score indicates the personal match with the adapted meal. The required ingredients can be ordered from affiliated food retailers. Soon, the technology will also be activated on other recipe platforms to reach vast numbers of consumers.

Verdify Raises €1.3M To Scale Its Swapmeals Platform For Personalized Recipes

Recipe personalisation technology

Over the past years Verdify has invested heavily in the development of technology for recipe personalisation. A joint effort of Verdify’s dietitians, software engineers and artificial intelligence specialists has been key to creating the platform. Now, the software can be applied to tailor virtually all recipes on the internet – fully in line with the applicable nutrition guidelines. Recipes can be converted into a plant-based or lactose-free variant, for example, or optimised for someone with heart disease, at the touch of a button.

Promoting healthy and sustainable food

Companies in the food sector can now use Verdify’s technology to let their brands appear automatically in matching recipes on frequently visited websites or ecommerce platforms. Online meal inspiration is widely used for food brand promotion but development of this type of content is resource intensive. Verdify offers a solution by matching food brands with generic ingredients in a recipe, or with their plant-based or low-salt swap alternative. This option is offered to companies with products in their portfolio that fit in a generally healthy lifestyle.


p.s. Stay up to date with the latest news about and for agrifoodtech startups, scale-ups and more via StartLife’s Linkedin or Twitter account and/or via the StartLife newsletter (8x a year).

StartLife Arms Next Generation of Agrifoodtech Startups with Crucial Insights

StartLife Graduation Day Spring 22 - Team PhotoOn 23 June, a cohort of nine early-stage startups graduated from StartLife’s latest acceleration program and are now raring up to tackle global issues across the agrifood domain. StartLife also announced the launch of a new program: StartLife à la Carte.

On the graduation day, StartLife’s managing director Jan Meiling spotlighted the urgency of innovation in the agrifood space. “Two weeks ago, there was a message to the world that we’re not going to meet our climate goals,” he stated. Nonetheless, a more sustainable food system would play a crucial role in addressing this. “Therefore, we need to speed up innovation. Even if we’re just a small part of a complicated puzzle, we need to take responsibility,” Meiling urged.

From alternative proteins to waste reduction and more effective agriculture, this cohort’s startups all offer innovative means of addressing these vital questions.

Bringing goals into focus

StartLife’s acceleration program graduates highlight the connections they have gained over the last few months.

The startups flagged StartLife’s help in terms of structure. “We learned how to handle business and investment strategies and validate the market, for example,” explains Saptarshi Mukhopadhya, Development Manager at InsectSensewhich has developed a biochip that mimics insects’ extremely sensitive sense of smell.

For  Upstream Foods, which is developing cell-based fish fat, co-founder Kianti Figler says that each of StartLife’s coaches brings decades of experience that is crucial to young entrepreneurs. “We have the vision, the drive, the ambition, but to plug into that experience is great for us.”

The co-founders of Upstream Foods also agree that structure has been a key aspect of the program. “We were given an ecosystem of support that helped us grow and prioritize our focuses,” says Figler.

Everyone on the Upstream Foods team has a biotech background. They have found that the food space has a completely different culture and rhythm. “Understanding that space and market, plus getting connected with industry professionals, was very valuable for us,” Figler continues.

For Naturanova, the Chile-based company behind a computational peptide discovery platform, StartLife gave key advice about the EU’s regulatory scene:

“We’re working with companies from Europe that are also established in the US and Latin America because there are regulatory challenges that we are figuring out,” says co-founder Antonella De Lazzari.

Curating connections

“A key part of the program that helped me both personally and the company as a whole is networking,” says Mukhopadhyay. “StartLife has an extensive network in the agrifood domain, which adds a lot of value for both market validation and business opportunities. This helps understand the exact problem that is in the market, as well as potentially converting it into a business opportunity,” he continues.

For the Germany-based Organifarms, the StartLife program was very beneficial for understanding the Dutch market for farm robots and helped it gain local contacts.

“We had some early contacts, but StartLife gave us a better understanding of the market to scale up and be successful here in the Netherlands,” says CEO and co-founder Dominik Feiden. One example is connecting Organifarms with different banks to help finance equipment.

What’s coming next?

The startups are now fizzing with energy for their next steps. Upstream Foods has recently raised pre-seed funding and is now stepping into the lab to develop a proof of concept. “Our seed round will probably take place around 18 months from now, so we’re casually talking with investors to understand what it is they value,” adds Figler.

Naturannova is also at a very different stage after working with StartLife. “We can now prove high traction for our team. We’ve got a lot of homework to do with exciting challenges ahead,” says De Lazzari.

Meanwhile, InsectSense is speaking with investors to see which will align best with its strategy: “We’ve also learned that success is not just about external activities, like validation and strategy. It’s also about product development, because unless you have that, nothing else matters. Now we’re focused on real tangible product development,” explains Mukhopadhyay.

Finally, Organifarms is celebrating the release of its product demonstration video and is now carrying out pilot customer trials: “We’re showing how it works – we can prove that we’re not just talking and actually can deliver. Then we will bring the first units onto the market,” details Feiden.

Among the other graduating startups are NoA Biosciences, Gaia Tech, Lite+Fog, Groam and Next Probiotics. More information about the cohort can be found here. You can view the complete recording of StartLife’s Accelerate Spring 2022 Graduation Day below.

"The next cohort of the StartLife Accelerate program will start in September, with applications open until 19 July. Want to join? Check the StartLife Accelerate page.

Introducing “StartLife à la Carte”

The graduation day also unveiled StartLife’s latest program: StartLife à la Carte. It will allow startups to access the support they need on a fully tailored level. Informally, the support has been in place for some time already but has been kept under wraps until now. 

Each year, StartLife takes up to 40 new startups under its wing. While around half enter its acceleration program each spring and fall, personalized tailored support is also given to about 10 to 20 individual startups throughout the year.

 “Although I had fun referring to our ‘secret program’ when talking to startups, it made more sense to also get this program out in the open,” says Bram van Beek, StartLife’s Marketing & Communications Manager.

Loet Rammelsberg, StartLife’s Program Director adds that making connections is a central focus within the program.

“In the end, connections are what matters most – and that’s why most startups don’t make it. They might end up building something that nobody needs. There’s a nice combination in connecting investor and corporate feedback with the new technology startups bring to the table,” he details.


p.s. Stay up to date with the latest news about and for agrifood startups, scale-ups and more via StartLife’s Linkedin or Twitter account and/or via the StartLife newsletter (8x a year).

StartLife Selects 9 Early-stage Startups Targeting Global Agrifood Challenges

StartLife has selected nine new (very) early-stage startups to join its eighth acceleration program this spring. The startups have been selected for their promising technological solutions to tackling global agrifood challenges, including sustainable farming, food waste prevention and the protein transition.


The startups selected will enter StartLife’s 3-month acceleration program, which is entirely dedicated to guiding foodtech and agtech startups in validating their business, raising funding and accelerating their impact. Loet Rammelsberg, StartLife’s program director, is excited to start StartLife’s eighth cohort, which will have some extra challenges.

Rammelsberg, “Though StartLife’s acceleration program is already fully tailored to early-stage agrifoodtech startups, this cohort includes numerous very early-stage startups. The companies and their technologies are, so to speak, yet to be born. However, considering their highly promising solutions and the great teams, we are confident as to the potential impact and their chances for success.”

Smart, sustainable food and ag technologies

For its spring 2022 program, StartLife received a record number of applications from startups all over the world. For the first time ever, even from five continents. Rammelsberg, “This underlines the fact that worldwide a growing number of entrepreneurial talents are dedicated to providing novel solutions that tackle our global challenges in food and agriculture.”

The following startups, including StartLife’s very first Latin-American startup, are fortunate to be accepted into the acceleration program. And StartLife is proud to have them onboard and to be working with them.


  • Naturannova (Chile)– plant protein discovery platform for the design of tailor-made ingredients
  • NoA Biosciences (Netherlands)– Fermentation of woody biomass into alternative protein for feed and food
  • Upstream Foods (Netherlands) – Animal-free, cell-based fish fat to improve plant-based protein


  • Gaia Tech (Switzerland) – Valorization of high-value food, feed and pharmaceutical ingredients from olive oil by-products
  • Organifarms (Germany) – farming robots for indoor farms, starting with a strawberry harvester
  • Lite+Fog (Germany)– Novel vertical farming setup using fogponics and textile-based technology

Agbio & Biobased tech

  • Groam (Switzerland)– Provider of sustainable foamed biomaterials
  • InsectSense (Netherlands) – Insect-behavioral based technological solutions
  • Next Probiotics (Israel) – Technology enabling the growing of vegetables and fruits rich in probiotics

Join StartLife’s virtual Demo Day on 23 June

In the coming months, the startups will sharpen their business case, improve their technologies and prepare for (further) investments.

On June 23rd, the startups will conclude the program with a live (virtual) presentation to a global audience of investors, corporates, partners and other agrifoodtech enthusiasts. Those who are interested in joining the Graduation Day (Demo Day), in person in Wageningen or online, can register here or via the form below.  All people registered will automatically have access to the online streaming and the recordings that become available after the event.

In Person Venue
Wageningen Campus | Plus Ultra II Building
Bronland 10-D
6708 WH Wageningen

Online Venue

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p.s. Stay up to date with the latest news about and for agrifood startups, scale-ups and more via StartLife’s Linkedin or Twitter account or via the StartLife newsletter (8x a year).

Verdify Raises €1.3M To Scale Its Swapmeals Platform For Personalized Recipes


Startlife alumnus Verdify has raised €1.3 million financing from Brightlands Venture Partners, Joles and the company’s founders. The investment will be used by Verdify to scale up its Swapmeals recipe platform that enables consumers to get tailored meal inspiration based on personal nutrition profiles.

This round follows last year’s capital injection of €750,000 for developing and launching the platform in the UK and The Netherlands. Jochem Bossenbroek, CEO at Verdify said: “In our endeavor to create lasting impact on people’s lives through healthy and sustainable eating we have found a strong companion in Brightlands Venture Partners. With the new investment and access to this innovative ecosystem we can not only scale up, but also build a bridge between the food sector and healthcare domain”.

Recipes adapted to individual nutrition needs

Consumers are increasingly on the lookout for a healthy and sustainable diet but struggle with the complexity of food choices. Verdify aims to tackle this issue by providing truly personalized recipe inspiration. This is accomplished on Swapmeals.com where recipes automatically adapt to consumers’ individual nutrition profiles. Personal parameters such as health conditions, food allergies, activity levels, lifestyle, location and taste preferences can be factored in.

Swapmeals® offers an enabling environment where the healthy and sustainable food choice becomes the default. The personal nutrition profiles can be easily created by consumers on the Verdify website and activated on Swapmeals.com to find fully personalized and shoppable recipes.

Algorithm automatically rewrites recipe instructions

Under the hood of the platform is Verdify’s recipe personalization engine that can map the composition of virtually all recipes on the internet and tailor them according to consumer nutrition profiles. A proprietary swapping algorithm replaces non-matching ingredients with suitable alternatives whilst another algorithm ‘rewrites’ the recipe instructions according to the new composition. The software makes sure the result is still tasty and nutritious.

Verdify can enable personalization on any other recipe platform with its engine, as well as link recipes to the digital shopping basket of local retailers.

Scaling up to healthcare domain

The investment will be used for scaling up the Swapmeals® platform, including introduction of the concept into the healthcare domain. This will enable consumers to receive nutritional advice from dietitians and medical professionals directly in their Verdify nutrition profile. Furthermore, it will be possible to enrich the profile with data from wearables and biomarker tests. Besides that, Verdify can support companies in the food industry by promoting their brands in personalized recipes on Swapmeals® – creating a podium for products that Verdify endorses.

Founder Story of Verdify: Better Health Through AI And Personalized Nutrition

“Verdify is a forerunner”

Kim de Boer, Partner at Brightlands Venture Partners believes Verdify responds to a clear and logical market need in personalized nutrition. “This is a fast scalable business in which Verdify is a forerunner. Brightlands Venture Partners is an ecosystem investor and we believe that the interaction of the company with the Brightlands ecosystem in the field of personalized nutrition and available AI knowledge will be beneficial for the company’s time to market and chances of success”.

p.s. Stay up to date with the latest news about and for agrifood startups, scale-ups and more via StartLife’s Linkedin or Twitter account or via the StartLife newsletter (8x a year).

F&A Next Presents ‘Eight Next Heroes In Food & AgTech 2020’

F&A Next 'Next Heroes in Food- and Agtech 2020'

For the fifth year in a row StartLife is one of the leading organizers of the international agrifood event F&A Next.  Together with Foodbytes! by Rabobank eight most promising startups have been selected as this years’ ‘Next Heroes in Food & AgTech’. On May 13, they will pitch their innovations during a (free) live webinar of F&A Next to an international audience of agrifood investors, corporates, media and fellow entrepreneurs.

The eight startups were selected from a record number of applications. The applications came from 29 countries, from Sweden to Australia and from Hong Kong to the United States. Most solutions were in machine learning (28%), artificial intelligence (25%) and digital platforms (23%).

Next Heroes in FoodTech 2020

The following four startups have been selected as the F&A Next ‘Next Heroes in FoodTech 2020’. Join the live webinar to view their pitches.

 |  FUMI Ingredients (The Netherlands) : Develops functional food ingredients from microorganisms. The novel animal-free ingredients work as egg replacers and have no allergens. The production process allows a carbon footprint reduction of over 90% compared to conventional egg-white production.
 |  Connecting Food (France) : Tracks and digitally audits food products in real-time from farm to fork. The blockchain solution maps food supply chains and improve internal traceability. They also help brands and retailers improve their external transparency via a QR code & storytelling.
 |  COGZ (UK) : Offers a B2B online marketplace for food & beverage manufacturers and processors to buy surplus produce directly from farmers and growers. COGZ’s technology saves time, increases profitability and prevents food waste in primary production.
 |  Verdify (The Netherlands) : Enables companies active in the food domain to personalize their recipes for individual customers, supporting prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. Their digital platform fully personalizes meal recipes according to guideline-based medical diets, biomarkers and individual preferences.

Next Heroes in AgTech 2020

The following four startups have been selected as the F&A Next ‘Next Heroes in AgTech 2020’. Join the live webinar to view their pitches.

 |  Evologic Technologies (Austria) : Produces microbial bioactives (biostimulants and biopesticides) for seed distributors, thanks to its proprietary production platform technology. This allows distributors sell an upgraded product to farmers.
 |  Pebble Labs (USA) : Develops solutions to safely and sustainably increase natural crop yield and food security. Its mission is to develop breakthrough disruptive technologies that address the greatest agricultural, aquaculture, and environmental challenges facing the globe.
 |  FarmRaise (USA) : Unlocks public and private funding for farmers through cataloguing each grower’s unique options and simplifying the funding application process. FarmRaise makes it easy for farmers to invest in their operations today and steward their assets for future generations.
 |  Edete (Israel) : Offers a high-efficiency artificial pollination service solution for companies and growers. By reducing the deficiencies of erratic and dwindling insect-based pollination, Edete’s controlled and manageable solution has been proven to increase the yield of almond orchards.

Impact of the Coronavirus on the agrifood industry

F&A Next normally is a 2-day in-person event taking place in Wageningen (NL). Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the event is going digital, offering a live webinar on May 13th for free. For obvious reasons the impact of the Coronavirus on the agrifood industry has become a main theme. Top executives and opinion leaders discuss the impact of the Coronavirus crisis on business and consumer behavior. A panel of global investors will openly discuss if and how the current crisis affects investment decisions. And the above eight startups will pitch their innovations.

Join F&A Next Live Webinar for free

Registration is open to agrifood investors, corporates, media and fellow startups. Check the full webinar program here.



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Personalized Nutrition Planning Platform Verdify Has Launched

Screenshot website Verdify 13-10-2020

After two years of preparation and development nutrition startup Verdi Food has launched their platform for evidence-based personalized nutrition planning: Verdify. The platform empowers patients with a chronic medical condition to easily implement medically prescribed diets in their daily routine. Verdify will also soon be integrated with a large Dutch supermarket. This will allow users to order recipe ingredients directly via their application. A great start for this promising startup that is part of the StartLife community since 2018.

Effortless nutrition planning

People who have considered following a health-related nutrition program or diet know what a daunting task this can be. A growing number of companies try to solve this problem by means of applications that provides customized meal plans. However, most of these applications are limited in their flexibility to the user – offering meal recipes that do not fully meet individual preferences and nutritional needs. As a result, these companies fail to solve the real challenge that people encounter after having received dietary advice. The nutrition startup Verdi Food may have struck gold by developing a truly smart and evidence-based solution.

Verdify: a smart, personalized nutrition planning platform

Verdi Food generated a software engine that automatically adapts virtually any meal recipe to a detailed personal nutrition and health profile – including food preferences, allergies, medical diets and in 2020 biomarker outcomes (blood, microbiome) as well. Meanwhile, taste, nutritional value and fit with the recipe is safeguarded. The company designed the engine to accommodate the full spectrum of patient needs. By doing so they go far beyond what is possible with other meal planning apps.

The application is great for all to use, but most of all for patients with a chronic medical condition. It is developed to be a highly convenient tool for patients to plan, purchase and prepare healthy meals that fit into a personal diet prescribed by healthcare providers. To ensure that meals meet specific health conditions Verdify works with evidence-based diets only. And for each medical indication its approach is verified with medical experts.

Scaling up fast

The first version of Verdify is made ready for people with food allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and hypertension. The nutrition startup intends to demonstrate the potential of the personalized recipe service first in these domains and then scale up further. They expect to go fast forward in the coming months, so they already prepare for a first external funding round.

Jochem Bossenbroek, co-founder and CEO of Verdi Food, accredits StartLife for an invaluable contribution to the development of Verdify: “The coaching and feedback of StartLife has supported us in adopting a fully evidence-based approach, positioning Verdify in such manner that it can be used as an extension of current medical practice.