As one of the FoodBytes! judges, ShakeUpFactory’s co-founder Kevin Camphuis will help identify food and ag’s Next Big Thing. Kevin brings 20 years of experience in strategy and breakthrough innovation management to the table. We asked him to share some of his wisdom.
F&A Next: could you introduce yourself and your role in the food and agri innovation landscape?
Kevin: We [ShakeUpFactory] are a team of professionals with many years of experience in the food industry and retail. In our view the sector is experiencing a revolution never seen before. The many entrepreneurs and technologies that are emerging, will rejuvenate, reinvent or even disrupt the sector. Our mission is to help startups and companies develop the solutions to tomorrow’s food demand, today. We do so by providing them with our knowledge, advisory and expertise in managing collaborative business and innovation.
F&A Next: Can you name some of the business models that have accelerated via ShakeUpFactory?
Kevin: We currently support the development of 15 international startups, from farm to fork, both early and much later stage, B2B or B2C, each of them with a tech or digital aspect. It can either be a food traceability confidence platform with blockchain, a food subscription service with 4 years of expertise or Wynd, a SAAS omnichannel order management system, which is to date the most funded foodtech startup in France.
F&A Next: What trends do you see in the food and agri landscape?
Kevin: It’s not too much to say that the food and agri sector is under profound reboot. This due to the maturation of many new technologies, from IA to robotics, GPS, datascience, etc. Technologies that most traditional actors do not master. Added to this, the typology of customers will deeply change. In the US, Generation X and Millennials represent some 70% of the food purchase power. And these consumer groups express radically different expectations, that most traditional actors cannot meet. Finally, the exponential use of mobile phones is pushing the explosion of food delivery and e-commerce, which is said to multiply by 10 in the coming 5 years. It results in the development of new ingredients, propositions and businesses, for the sake of customers who will eat safer, lighter and more savoury products, delivered on demand and adapted to their taste or pathologies. They are developed by skilled entrepreneurs who come as new entrants and with ambitions to shakeup the system, putting food brands and retailers under strong pressure. And these startups have the support of hundreds of private investors and VC, who have poured close to $40B in the past 4 years to help them grow. All of this results in the emergence of what we could name as a new food economy.
F&A Next: How is innovation in food and agri developing in different parts of the world?
Kevin: In terms of maturity, US is clearly leading the new food innovation trend, with its gravity center in the Silicon Valley but a growing number of new comers in every state. Israel is strong in terms of projects and funding for ag tech and science. To date, Europe is more a follower, but with multiple signs of a bright future; the number of projects, skilled professionals and students turning into foodtech entrepreneurs is increasing. China and greater Asia is also a vivid follower, with a large number of projects seizing the opportunities of food delivery and e-commerce and all the money needed to make them grow fast.
F&A Next: What do you think needs to change for innovation in food and agri to come to fruition?
Keving: Having analysed the international environment for many years, it seems to me that what is lacking the most is openness. The changes needed to improve our food system, to compensate the projected decrease in the number of farmers and the strategic issue for Europe to regain its leadership require that traditional actors open their doors, labs and shelves to newcomers and accelerate mutually benefiting collaborations with their products or technologies. It’s a radical change that is at stake in terms of instilling new innovation processes. And coming back from a one week tour in San Francisco, I cannot help thinking that we have most elements required to take our place in this revolution, i.e. skills, savoir-faire, expertise and also global food leaders, but not enough money for projects to survive the crucial initial phases of their development.
F&A Next: What would be your key advice for start-ups in food and agri?
Kevin: Think big, and far too!