FROM TEL AVIV TO JERUSALEM - 1st Nordic Agri-Foodtech Bootcamp in Israel

by Federico Ronca - 27/06/2019 - 13:40


After an energic kick-off of the 1st Nordic Agri-Foodtech Bootcamp in Tel Aviv (read more here), our Danish-Swedish delegation got the opportunity to be received at the JVP – Jerusalem Venture Partners Media Quarter. JVP is an international Venture Capital firm that was founded in Jerusalem in 1993 by Erel Margarit, one of the most active and fascinating Israeli entrepreneurs. The Media Quarter is currently hosting the Venture Capital firm itself together with a tech incubator, several resident startups, a media Lab and the JVP Community ("Bakehila"), a youth empowerment program supporting up to 3,000 youngsters in the underprivileged Jerusalem neighborhoods.

An extremely interesting ecosystem with JVP investments in the middle and with a traditional focus on Ciber Security, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Digital Media. But more and more space is going to be reserved to food innovation: Michael Drayman, Partner CFO at JVP, presented us their new Agri-Foodtech Fund that will mainly invest in the areas of Ag-Biotech, Smart Farming, Healthy Foods & Ingredients, Alternative Proteins, Supply Chain and Packaging. What a better context to pitch and showcase the Nordic innovative solutions? The 10 Danish and Swedish startups had the opportunity to present their projects on stage in front of investors like Michael Drayman, Adi Vagman (Founder & Managing Partner at Agrination VC) and Ilanit Kabessa (Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Medstrada).

After getting questions and feedback from the investors, the delegates also had the chance to listen to the inspiring story of Prof. Oded Shoseyov, serial entrepreneur and Professor at the Hebrew UniversityThe will to dare: this is the main asset that any successful startup should have in Prof. Shoseyov’s opinion. “Ideas are great, but the execution is king” when it comes to succeeding. “And keep in mind – he added – that it’s all about people”: the team it was makes the difference in the develpment of a company.

Back in Tel Aviv, the delegation spent the morning working on their “Value Proposition Canvas” development with the support of Daniel Dudas-Schwarz, Danish-Israeli serial Entrepreneur & CEO at Liv. The perfect training in order to be ready for a new pitch session: this time it was in front of a panel of some more Israeli food & agriculture stakeholders, including Yaki Harel (Founder YH Enterprises) and Lee Recht (formerly Head of R&D at The Builders by Coca Cola).

FROM TEL AVIV TO JERUSALEM - 1st Nordic Agri-Foodtech Bootcamp in Israel

Just the time for a delicious traditional hummus lunch and the delegation went back to work with the help of Nadav Berger (Israeli serial food entrepreneur &  Co-Founder at PeakBridge): more than two hours focusing on one-to-one feedback and connections to offer to each startup. What an impressive impact and support: thanks, Nadav!

The conclusion of the day was a special foodtech ecosystem reception at the Danish Ambassador's residence in order to keep networking and presenting the Nordic startups. Both the Danish and the Swedish Ambassadors to Israel had the chance to spend a few words welcoming the delegation and encouraging the development of new partnerships between the Nordic and Israeli tech ecosystems. 

FROM TEL AVIV TO JERUSALEM - 1st Nordic Agri-Foodtech Bootcamp in Israel

The last day of the Bootcamp was partially dedicated to one-to-one business meetings for the startups, in order to follow up with the investors and the stakeholders we met during the days. But the delegation also had some more time to get inspired thanks to the stories of two more successful Israeli entrepreneurs: Eran Blanchinsky (Founder & CEO at Better Juice) and Israel Talpaz (Co-founder and CEO at SeeTree).

That wasn’t enough, though! To wrap up the bootcamp, before some shared reflections from all the delegates, we also met Hillel Fuld, Strategic Advisor to several high growth Israeli startups. As a media & marketing rockstar in the tech world, Hillel gave us a few valuable tips in order to push communication and PR to the next level, making use of guerilla marketing skills and contents, taking care of the customers and always keeping in mind the power of “subtlety” in customer relations. 

We bring home a lot of inspiration, connections and new points of view, for sure. But we also bring home knowledge and the impression that the Israeli foodtech ecosystem is extremely welcoming, open and supportive.  “When you help others win, you win” told us Hillel Fuld. Israel is definitely a “Startup Nation” and we look forward to building more and more connections, together with the opportunity of organizing a second nordic bootcamp there. Stay tuned, next time it could be your time!

If you are curious to meet the 10 startups in the delegation, please read more about them here.