Rockstart, Maersk target waste in the value chain with FoodTrack launch

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

Vertical start-up accelerator Rockstart is collaborating with transport and logistics company A.P. Moller-Maersk to launch FoodTrack, a programme targeting food loss in the value chain.

FoodTrack by Maersk is inviting start-up and early stage companies to apply to join the first round of the scheme, which will run for one month from 6 June. During this time, Rockstart and Maersk will guide selected companies through an “intensive programme”​.

‘More than funds’: Leveraging Maersk’s know-how

The start-ups chosen for the first edition of the FoodTrack programme will spend a month at Maersk‘s office in Copenhagen. During this time they will receive “intensive support and guidance”​ from mentors and the programme team.

The programme itself consists of a series of workshops and sessions focused on the problems of validation, team development, competitive strategy and pitching.

“As a partner and potential investor, we provide more than funds. We want to leverage our world-class infrastructure and operational expertise to help build the next business in this domain,”​ Maersk venture partner Peter Votkjaer said.

One start-up from the programme will also receive the Rockstart Fast Track Award, moving the company to the final selection stage of a full Rockstart accelerator programme.

Maersk and Rockstart will run three rounds of the month-long FoodTrack programme during 2018 and 2019. Ten start-ups will be chosen for each round.

One-third of the global food production for human consumption is lost or wasted and approximately 80% of the food loss occurs before it reaches stores.

Rockstart and Maersk said they are taking on the “mission” to tackle this problem together with innovative entrepreneurs.

Finding solutions from harvest to distribution

Rockstart and Maersk said they are looking for companies developing technologies and business models that reduce food loss in the early stages of the value chain, from harvest to distribution.

“At Rockstart, we aspire to give startups the best access possible to market, capital, community, and expertise. With more and more agri-food tech start-ups utilising emerging technologies and new business models to address the issue of food loss, we are delighted to support Maersk with their FoodTrack programme, and help start-ups drive positive change with a strong partner,​” Mark Durno, agri-food program director at Rockstart, explained.

Solutions of interest include logistics and supply chain technologies, sensing IoT and data monitoring, storage and packaging solutions, as well as farm and stock management systems.

However, the groups added, start-ups addressing “all pain points of the food supply system”​ will be considered. 

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