The field of foodtech has experienced remarkable growth in France in recent years. However, there is still progress to be made in structuring and developing support mechanisms for innovative startups in the agrifood sector. To meet this challenge through resource pooling, several regional ecosystems have come together within the Foodtech® France network to unite, promote, and accelerate innovative entrepreneurs in the food industry, from farm to fork.
Interview with Anaïs Zanin, Foodtech® France Coordinator.
What is foodtech?
Anaïs Zanin: Foodtech refers to the sector of agrifood startups that bring innovative solutions. These solutions cover the entire value chain, from agricultural production to consumer services. It can involve innovative products, technologies, raw materials or ingredients, as well as solutions to facilitate delivery or access to information, or even consumer support services.
The Foodtech® network, which we launched at the end of last year, brings together all the stakeholders in this sector. We represent and support the community of innovative entrepreneurs, as well as other ecosystem actors. This community includes not only innovative startups operating from farm to fork but also all stakeholders who play a role in their development, such as investors, banks, retailers, lawyers, and experts.
Today, the network includes more than 300 startups! We are delighted to contribute to the promotion of innovative solutions throughout the national territory.
How are you structured?
Anaïs Zanin: FoodTech® France brings together five ecosystems: Grand-Est, Paris Ile-de-France, Grand Sud, Pays de la Loire, and Dijon Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. These ecosystems are respectively led by the association FoodTech Grand Est, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Paris Ile-de-France, the competitiveness cluster Innov’Alliance, Technocampus, and Vitagora. The network is coordinated by myself and Elise Bourcier, who is the president of a Foodtech startup: C&DAC.
With this strategic alliance of five private and public structures, mostly associations, the national network promotes exchanges among startups while collectively fostering interactions and collaborations between startups, companies, investors, public and academic actors.
What are your goals and ambitions?
Anaïs Zanin: Our motto is about making the right connections and providing the right tools at the right time. We want to help entrepreneurs in the sector, focus on their core business of entrepreneurship and innovation. We are their entry point and reference to guide them towards the most relevant actors based on their needs. At the same time, we work on enhancing their visibility and reputation through various actions.
What are your initiatives?
We have developed several tools and actions, which we continue to improve:
- We offer support services and associated tools to accelerate and secure the development of agrifood startups.
- We provide visibility to startups and ecosystem innovations, both in France and internationally (for example, by facilitating access to major national and international trade shows such as NATEXPO or SIAL Paris), and assist them in exporting and entering new markets.
- We provide high-quality information on industry news and leverage the expertise of FoodTech® network members for the benefit of the community (conferences, workshops, monitoring, etc.).
- We organize unifying events across the country covering all foodtech topics.
- We represent the foodtech community and raise awareness (among government authorities, citizens, youth, etc.) about the challenges of entrepreneurship in the agrifood sector.
How can someone join you?
For startups, they need to have an innovative character (technologies across the entire value chain, products, processes, services, etc.) that serves delicious, healthy, and sustainable food. For other actors, they need to offer useful services for supporting and developing these entrepreneurs.
To join us, simply:
- Subscribe to our newsletter.
- Attend one of our events.
- Or simply reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why are you present at NATEXPO?
Startups are often motivated by the ambition to create an impact in the transition towards a more sustainable agrifood sector. When it comes to innovation in sustainable and eco-responsible agrifood, Natexpo is an essential trade show! We enable our organic startups or solution providers to exhibit under the Foodtech banner, making it easier for them to be identified as innovative companies. We also enhance their visibility through our communication on social media.
It’s also an opportunity for us to meet new startups in the sector and invite them to join our community!
INFORMATION AND CONTACT
Anaïs Zanin – email@example.com
FoodTech® Manager for Dijon Bourgogne Franche-Comté and co-coordinator of the national network.