Ten days after closing our call for applications, which ended on June 18th, we are finally ready to provide some first insights into the startups that applied to our program.
First of all, let me say that this year, it was particularly hard to go through all of the applications received. In general, we noticed a significant increase in the quality of applications, which, of course, makes the screening process all the more hard for us to complete.
Top trending foodtech segments
Overall we received almost 700 applications. As per the previous years, the New Food and Food Retail segments lead the way with tens of startups offering innovative ingredients, new food solutions, emerging consumer packaged goods and smart retail solutions. Yet, this year we’ve seen also a significant increase in the quality and the number of Biotech and Certification startups, with a lot of companies actively following the blockchain trend. Food Discovery and Food Delivery remain active segments of startup origination. Yet this year, we have seen a general increase in the number of companies that actively target specific needs and operational nodes of the food delivery and promotion markets. A clear sign of maturity of these segments which have experienced a lot of hype in the past years. And a trend that is reflected also in the growing number of companies that are addressing specific needs in the Food Supply Chain. Precision Agriculture confirms to be a very active segment, with a lot of applications by companies operating in livestock. Applications from Home IOT and Restech startups are also topping the list.
Applications came from 86 different countries (5 continents)
This year, we have seen a significant increase in the geographical origin of applications, with 86 countries represented (22% more than the last year). As per the previous years, startups from Italy (17.1%) lead the number of applications, but with a strong contraction with respect to the last year when more than 1 out of 5 applications came from Italy. And, as per the last year, the US comes second with 11.1% of all applications, confirming the global attractiveness of our program for startups operating even in the most advanced markets such as Silicon Valley.
The third country is UK (9.4%) followed by France (4.6%), India (4.2%), the Netherlands (3.4%), Israel (3.1%), Germany (2.9%), Poland (2.7%), and Canada (1.4%). While the number of applications from UK and Poland represent a dramatic increase compared to last year, this year we have also new names on the list including Hong Kong, Senegal, Panama, Ireland, Zimbabwe, South Korea, Panama and many more.
How did we get here?
As the leading accelerator in the foodtech ecosystem, we have been working hard to make sure we do our best to support those who innovate the food chain. For this purpose, since we opened the call for applications on the 1st of March, we organized 11 FastTrack events, all aimed to reach out to the most promising startups across the globe and to connect them with a strong network of mentors.
|26 March||Silicon Valley||Cisco HQ||World Agri-Tech, Future of FoodTech, The Bithouse|
|28 March||New York||Rockefeller Center||DWT, SBC NYC|
|13 April||Warsaw||Hub Hub||Reaktor Warsaw|
|16 April||Munich||WFP Accelerator||WFP Accelerator, Bithouse Group|
|23 April||Amsterdam||B-Amsterdam||SBC Amsterdam|
|25 April||London||Tech Space||SBC London, Five Seasons Ventures|
|6 May||Tel Aviv||Google Campus||The Kitchen Food Tech, PeakBridge partners|
|28 May||Paris||Station F||Station F, Danone|
|5 June||Rome||Spazio M3||Lventure, GOP, Gambero Rosso|
In 3 months, we have visited 11 destinations from 9 countries for our Global FastTrack Tour which hosted more than 200 mentors and 100 startups. Traveling across continents on a short time period definitely paid off thanks to the huge value we could create together to innovate the food chain and the applications we have received for our call.
We owe a big THANK YOU to all our partners who supported us during our call for applications, all of our mentors who brought an incomparable value to our network and to all the startups that took the time to apply to our program.
In the next few weeks, we will be announcing the 20 teams that will be invited to the Selection Days, which will take place on July 25th, 26th. Hold tight!