Aimed at corporate manufacturers and food business operators, the global map pinpoints food and ag start-ups based on their location and categorises them according to their function. Its overall aim is discovery and engagement between corporates and start-ups, said its co-developer the UK-headquartered Crowdfooding.
Despite the investment made in agri-food start-ups in recent years and interest among big food operators in working with start-ups and tracking their products, there is no common database to “connect and promote rising enterprises” in the sector, it said.
Crowdfooding founder and CEO Alessio D’Antino said: “By constantly enriching its content via users’ contributions and partners, we envision The Global Food Tech Map to be the most relevant mapping tool of the state of innovation in the Food and Ag-tech sector.
"We aim to raise awareness about their latest developments to help corporate investors understand the ecosystem and ultimately spark meaningful collaborations between the two."
A future version of the map will allow registered manufacturer to engage directly with the listed startup companies, for instance.
"We've now collected about one thousand curated entries and we're looking to triple the number by end of the year with the help of a selected group of partners, including leading incubators and accelerators and investors' groups."
The Global FoodTech Map: Click on + to zoom
The map was also developed in partnership with a number of industry players, such as Australian consulting firm AgThentic, Italy’s Andrea Tolu Content Marketing, Portugal’s Inovisa, Britain's Food Talk Show by Breakthrough Funding, Israeli incubator The Kitchen Hub and Rebelbio, a life science accelerator based in the UK and Ireland.
Crowdfooding is currently in the process of signing additional partnership with partners in Asia, such as BitsXbites, to gain data for countries such as Japan and South Korea.
These partners select the start-ups that appear on the map but interested start-ups can also apply through Crowdfooding's website, D'Antino said.
Their business model or product must fit into one of Crowdfooding's 10 categories: ag-tech; food processing; direct to consumers; smart appliances and kitchen management; next-gen food and drinks; food safety; surplus and waste; meals and drinks on demand; consumer apps; and food delivery.
The database allows users to identify trends or innovation hotspots although D’Antino said it can be challenging to draw clear conclusions.
“There is clearly a concentration of Agtech companies in Austrialia and Israel and Foodtech ones in Silicon Valley," he told FoodNavigator. "For instance, Israeli entrepreneurs seem to like the Agtech space more a number of reasons. Firstly, the landscape is quite desertic and alternative agriculture solutions are needed. Secondly, the Israeli government is heavily supporting tech entrepreneurs with public funding.
“Although some ecosystems, such as the Bay Area and Israel are definitely more mature than others and seem to have more companies in a specific category, I believe it would be reductive to say that those regions are only focusing on that specific matter.”