Seedhouse meets Israel- Online FoodTech Webinar: Event Report

GINSUM had the great pleasure to cooperate with Seedhouse a to bring together the exciting technologies of Israeli FoodTech startups together with the Seedhouse network partners, including leading Mittelstand food manufacturing companies.

Seedhouse is an accelerator program focusing on digitalization in the field of food and agriculture. In cooperation with its 32 network partners, from various fields, business, academia, politics, and the public sector, it offers a platform for innovation where startup teams in all developmental phases can receive mentorship and support from leading experts in the field. The companies also receive a strong network of potential customers, investors, and partners from the wider Osnabrück area and beyond.

Throughout the event, the selected Israeli companies had the opportunity to present their products to key representatives of some of the largest food manufacturing companies in Germany, which also belong to the wide network of the Seedhouse accelerator.

The B2B webinar, a private event which was open only to Seedhouse’s network partners, was initiated by Seedhouse to enable the German participating companies a glimpse into the Israel’s vibrant high-tech ecosystem in the field of FoodTech, and the innovative digital solutions it has to offer.

Israel has over 300 active FoodTech startups, and the number is still on the rise. The Israeli FoodTech sector includes solutions in numerous fields and areas such as: nutrition advice, novel ingredients, food safety and traceability, food aesthetics, retail, restaurant and ecommerce, kitchen appliances, production and processing systems, infant nutrition, personalized nutrition and food experience, alternative protein, “better for you food”, packaging and containers. According to Amir Zaidman, VP of business development at the Kitchen FoodTech hub, Israel has all the right configuration to turn the FoodTech sector into one of its strongest areas of expertise. The combination of the innovative eco system, Israel’s sense of being a geopolitical island and its need to therefore secure a self-sufficient food system along with its entrepreneur’s large agility guarantee that it has all the necessary conditions to establish a significant ecosystem for the development of groundbreaking food technologies that are relevant worldwide.

The event was kicked off by welcoming remarks by Mr. Florian Stoehr, Managing Director of Seedhouse, followed by a general introduction by Mr. Carsten Ovens, Executive Director of ELNET-Germany, about the Israeli FoodTech eco system. Mr. Ovens once again emphasized the importance of mutual collaboration between Germany and Israel, and the great potential and growth opportunities for both eco systems.

Following the opening remarks and introductions, we had the pleasure of hearing from 5 Israeli startups, who presented their groundbreaking technologies and ideas to the German Mittelstand companies, also enabling them a glimpse into the wide variety of areas the Israeli FoodTech sector is active in.

Tzvika Furman, CEO, Kiinns– Eliminating contamination from food production lines.
Each year 6 million people worldwide get sick from food contamination, while food safety is a problem of 93 billion dollars in the U.S alone. Furthermore, according to the FDA, 1 in 3 food recalls relates to cleaning and sanitation in food production lines. Kiinns invented a technology that for the first time ever eliminates cleaning processes in the food industry. The technology not only eliminates contamination from the food production lines but also has a great impact on the environment.
Once a food processing cycle begins, Kiinns robotic system will drive towards the specific food processing equipment, scan, and acquire the equipment’s geometry and apply its uniquely developed biodegradable isolating polymer by spraying it directly on the equipment’s surface. Kiinns polymer will then turn into a liner, which isolates the equipment surface from being in contact with the processed food. As such it maximizes food safety and hygiene, it minimizes the environmental impact, and it saves 70% in cleaning costs.

David Kat, Business Developer, Wasteless– Sell more, waste less with dynamic pricing and smart markdowns.
Wasteless helps increase a supermarket’s bottom line by optimally marking down fresh food based on its expiry date, through an AI- powered dynamic pricing system, resulting in reduced food waste. Shrink is the single costliest inefficiency in grocery retail. Retailers have the solution lying on their own shelves: selling food that would otherwise be wasted. Increased supply chain efficiency enables food producers to match demand and supply without the excess. A better food system rewards customers for sustainable consumption behavior, as they are incentivized to buy a product with a shorter expiration date rather than the item with a longer shelf life. As such wasteless offers 50% reduction in food waste, 20% increase in revenues and a 3% increase in net margins.

Maya Ashkenazi, CEO and Co-founder & Yuval Appelbaum, Project Manager, MAOLAC– The next generation of healthy bio-functional proteins.
Maolac was founded with the vision to harness the biological wonders of breast milk proteins to improve the wellbeing of all living creatures and to set a new standard of Active Immunity-Boosting Proteins. It manages to apply the benefits of breast milk by using over 1500 functional proteins to develop their ‘novel ingredients’ which are the next generation of healthy bio-functional ingredients.
MAOLAC’s proteins are fully capable of enriching and integrating with a myriad of foods, supplements and even skincare products. Using computational biology, MAOLAC develops specifically formulated mixtures for infants, athletes, adults, elders, livestock, and pets that will strengthen their immune systems and provide them with active and targeted protection.

Eyal Afergan, Founder and CEO, Imagindairy– Animal free dairy proteins for nourishing the world with sustainable, healthy, and tasty products.
The main challenges of the dairy market today is that it’s not sustainable, has long and expensive production phase, involves animal suffering, and the health concerns surrounding it. In recent years we have seen a rise in alternative products to milk, but the taste is incomparable. On the other hand, today’s consumers want it all. Tasty, healthy, and nutritious dairy products that are environmentally friendly and care for animal welfare at an affordable price. That is exactly the main goal of Imagindairy which produces animal free dairy protein which nourishes the world with sustainable, healthy, and tasty products. The outcome is a better protein profile, cholesterol free and lactose free. Furthermore, Imagindairy is the only company that integrates computer science, system, and synthetic biology throughout its entire development stages for cost effective manufacturing of milk proteins.

Avital Zivile Levy, Senior Marketing Associate, TIPA- Compostable packaging: Nature will not even notice we were here.
Flexible plastic is the number one polluting source to our oceans, while less than 4% is being recycled. TIPA was founded to address the challenge that flexible plastic packaging poses to the world, and therefore developed revolutionary biodegradable packaging solutions for the food industry. TIPA’s packaging solutions offer a protective layer that decompose back into the soils with no toxic residue, microplastics or any other pollutants. These unique packaging solutions also degrade biologically in up to 180 days in industrial compost – compared to regular common plastic packages which take dozens of years to degrade. Furthermore, TIPA’s flexible packaging offers all the qualities conventional plastics have to offer, such as durability, transparency, barrier, sealability, printability, and shelf-life-but at the same time end life as an organic matter while its materials return safely into the biosphere.

The immediate follow up meetings that evolved through this event are a great indicator of the far-reaching collaborations that can be achieved between German Mittelstand companies and Israeli technological solutions. According to David Kat, Business development at wasteless: “The opportunity to engage with German entrepreneurs, that understand how innovation can improve their business, delight their customers and reduce our carbon footprint was an inspiring experience. Their readiness to investigate new solutions was manifest: we were able to follow-up hours after having first discussed the opportunities. At Wasteless we’re keen to bring value to this network of leading entrepreneurs and we’d love to inspire other start-ups to engage with this inspiring group as well”.

This was another event which allowed GINSUM to foster new connections and collaborations between the Israeli ecosystem and its path breaking technology and Germany’s small and medium enterprises, to further improve and advance existing technology and digitalization processes.

About the author

Jill Wyler

Jill Wyler held various professional positions in Israel and was until recently the Israel representative of a Washington based independent academic organization which focused on enhancing knowledge about modern Israel at universities in the United States and around the world.

At ELNET she works for the German Israeli Network of Startups & Mittelstand (GINSUM), as the Program Coordinator at the Israel office. Jill has a master’s degree in International Relations, with a focus on diplomacy and foreign policy, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem