Start-up Plaza is the place to be for ambitious starters, Oct 13

From technology provider to ultra fresh juice specialist: a broad cross-section of innovative start-up agri & horti food companies will be presenting at the Start-Up Plaza, Food Valley Expo, 13 October. Make sure you don’t miss your chance. Enroll by 4 October, via the websites of the participants – StartLife, Topsector Horticulture & Starting materials and TDI Business Acceleration – or via Food Valley NL.

For years, the Start-up Plaza and its Pitches-Podium has been a source of inspiration and fun for visitors of Food Valley Expo. This time the event (10.45am-17.30pm) at the expo floor will be even more interactive, as entrepreneurs will be engaging with potential customers.

Retail buyers will be there with challenging questions for the pitchers, in the afternoon partly accompanied by Minister of Agriculture Martijn van Dam. There will be space for groundbreaking pitches, selected by ‘start-up coaches’ of the participants Topsector Horticulture & Starting materials (www.topsectortu.nl), TDI Business Acceleration (www.tdi-bv.nl) and StartLife (www.start-life.nl), in collaboration with Food Valley NL (www.foodvalley.nl).

Start-up Plaza marks the start of the Dutch Agri Food Week
From October 12th till October 25th you will have the opportunity to gain new insights on the future of food in The Netherlands and the world.  Food, food innovation and food production are the central issues. During the Dutch Agri Food Week parties from the agrifood sector share their enthusiasm, know how and science with society.

Topsector Horticulture & Starting materials
The Topsector Horticulte & Starting materials is determined to stimulate innovation in the horti food sector. “We follow different tracks, such as enhancing spin-offs from existing SMEs and attracting private investors willing to finance start-ups”, says Saskia Goetgeluk, secretary general of the Topsector. “We also help starters with presenting themselves; Food Valley Expo’s Start-Up Plaza is the ideal channel for this, with its broad, international audience.”

TDI Business Acceleration
The same applies to TDI Business Acceleration, a group of companies supporting startups in the development of innovative technologies. “We have a unique grasp of the challenges in setting-up a new company”, says René Koster, Manager Business Development.

Incubator
At the Start-up Plaza TDI Business Acceleration will highlight three companies they have incubated: Pascal Processing www.pascalprocessing.com, with its high-pressure technology, Cool Wave Processing www.cwp-bv.nlwith PEF technology and Phytonext www.phytonext.nl and their technology for sustainable extraction of high-quality components, e.g. from agrifood waste streams. “All three are pretty advanced in optimizing their technology and taking it to a broad market, but none have quite hit that magic million sales yet”, says Koster. “We want to show that it can be very beneficial to invest in such companies, and that investment risks can be substantially reduced. By derisking companies in an early stage, more rapid value creation can be achieved.”

Acceleration fund
During the event, TDI Business Acceleration will reveal its plans for raising an ‘acceleration’ fund. “This will support SMEs making the transition to becoming a major company; in the Netherlands, too many startups remain startups for far too long. Contrast this with the USA where, because investors’ are less risk-averse, this growth process happens much quicker.”

StartLife Holding
Jan Meiling, Managing Director at Stichting StartLife Holding, is looking forward to the event: “The Start-Up Plaza shows how innovative and creative agrifood companies can be, and provides a wonderful podium for these companies to present themselves to customers and investors.” StartLife has worked with startups for over ten years and in the past five years has supported over 170 startups to turn innovative business ideas into enduring global enterprises.

StartLife Cafe
At the Food Valley Expo, the company will present a brilliant new concept: the StartLife Cafe, where two ‘bartenders’ will ‘serve’ four different start-up companies in a traditional English pub. One is a professional stand-up comedian and will act as moderator, the other brings a wealth of industry experience. The bartenders will have informative, dynamic and entertaining exchanges with the entrepreneurs, while pouring newly-developed drinks to be tasted and evaluated by the guests. Naturally these will include beers – with innovative twists – but also exotic creations such as algae-based beverages.

How to participate
Topsector Horticulture & Starting materials is still selecting ambitious entrepreneurs for the Start-up Plaza. More information on their website: http://topsectortu.nl/nl/gezocht-startups-de-tuinbouw-uitgangsmaterialen.

You can also apply individually to the event. Registration is possible up to 4 October 2016. More information via:
Roger van Hoesel, Managing Director Food Valley NL,
+31 (0)317 46 65 20;
or via expo@foodvalley.nl.