Collaboration to Unlock Start-Up Potential at Future Food-Tech

Partnerships with start-ups are enabling ingredient companies and global brands to adopt emerging technologies and solutions and together accelerate food system transformation on a global scale.

Future Food-Tech on March 24-25 will unite senior decision makers across the industry to initiate new partnerships and fast track scale-up opportunities.

“Future Food-Tech is a great venue for start-ups to engage with established companies who have the infrastructure and know how to help propel their ideas forward,” shares Maria Tolchinsky, Global Senior Marketing Manager at Ingredion

Ahead of the summit, the organizers spoke to nine global food companies to learn about the role of start-ups in their innovation strategy ahead of attending Future Food-Tech in San Francisco this March.

ACT NOW: The summit platform is live from March 8 to start planning your schedule and arranging 1-1 meetings with potential partners.

Supporting Start-Ups

Global players have access to wide-ranging expertise and capabilities to enable start-ups to accelerate their solution. Jill Powers, Vice President, Consumer Products & Retail, US Sales shares how Siemens leverages it technology to support innovators:

“We understand the struggles of early-stage start-ups and we are dedicated to providing software solutions to help entrepreneurs lay the foundation and grow their business to their full potential using cost-effective and high value-added software.”

She continues by encouraging innovators: “Let us remove the barriers on your start-up journey by helping you transform your product development start-up ideas into real manufacturable and marketable products.”

Jim Thorne, President, Nourish Ventures and SVP Partnerships and Strategy at Griffith Foods offer its expertise and resources to unlock opportunities for innovators:

“Nourish Ventures is committed to collaborating and partnering with new ventures that share the same passion and purpose for creating the sustainable future of food. To enable that, Nourish Ventures has a dedicated team of product development, marketing and commercial professionals, put in place to specifically enable new ventures to have access to resources designed to help them scale, for mutual benefit. Nourish Ventures draws on Griffith Foods’ more than 103 years of experience and product development expertise to make our shared purpose a reality.”

Making a Global Impact

International food brands and ingredient companies have the ability to fast track products to market and the ability to scale new technologies. Derek Klaehn, CTO North America reveals how Kerry engages with entrepreneurs to accelerate their scale-up plans:

“At Kerry, start-ups inspire us to continually innovate for the best technology solutions. We have global capability and connectivity with the ability to resource regionally. Our Front End and Technical innovation teams navigate the shifting food and beverage landscape and engage with start-up in areas where we feel both parties could benefit. With our global reach and broad customer base, we’re always interested in speaking with companies who may have possible synergies with our innovation strategy.”

Alison Taylor, Chief Sustainability at ADM shares how it is enabling innovators to scale up at a rapid pace through access to infrastructure and expertise:

“Through ADM Ventures—the venture capital arm of ADM—we partner, collaborate, and invest in start-ups that are focused on driving sustainable outcomes while solving some of the world’s most pressing nutritional challenges. ADM brings unmatched expertise and infrastructure that helps start-ups build and scale their businesses and their positive impact. We are excited to connect with new start-ups at Future Food-Tech to learn about how we can further drive the future of sustainable innovation together.”

Ginkgo Bioworks believes start-ups play a pivotal role in the development and commercialization of industry-transforming food technologies. Patrick Boyle, Head of Technology and Codebase shares their mission:

Ginkgo is committed to enabling the next generation of food tech entrepreneurs. We have built the leading horizontal platform for cell programming. And we built it for you. Using our R&D platform, you are able to leverage synthetic biology to access economies of scale and drive down cost of goods and services, meet innovation and scale demands of customers, accelerate speed-to-market, and take advantage of new market opportunities.”

A Win-Win Relationship

While corporates and ingredient companies can offer valuable benefits to start-ups, they also acknowledge the critical role of start-ups within the food-tech innovation ecosystem.

Barbara Guerpillon, Global Head of Dole Ventures at Dole Sunshine Company outlines how it values start-ups to achieve the company’s Dole Promise, driving a more nutritious and sustainable future for consumers around the world:

“We humbly acknowledge that we do not have all the answers we need in order to accomplish our ambitious goals outlined in the Dole Promise, which aims to make nutritious foods accessible for 1 billion people, and move towards zero fruit loss and zero fossil-based plastic packaging by 2025, as well as net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Start-ups play an important role in helping us achieve these goals and developing win-win partnerships. More importantly, we want to play an active role in the global community of start-ups, designers, engineers, and technology investors to create an unfair advantage through experience, connectivity, and network. So, we are on the lookout for partners who share a similar passion to help with their resources.”

Florian Schattenmann, CTO and Vice President of R&D at Cargill shares the value start-ups bring to accelerating the future of food:

“We constantly seek to collaborate with start-ups that align with Cargill’s values and share in our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Having worked in a start-up for several years myself, I understand the complexity and challenges that many new companies are faced with. At Cargill, we champion partner-of-choice principles and engage start-ups with a strong sense of a win-win mentality.”

Alexandre Bastos, Head of Front End Innovation – Taste & Wellbeing at Givaudan reveals how their innovation strategy supports emerging food-tech talent:

“We’re always interested in, and looking for opportunities in disruptive innovation that fits with our purpose and strategy and that has synergies with our offering. We cover all aspects of food and beverage development from taste and texture, color to health and wellbeing. We have a lot to offer to make sure it is a ‘win-win’ relationship – development assistance, acceleration and scale up; market access, and occasionally investment. We’ll have a great team at the Future Food-Tech so let’s talk!”

Start-Ups, Challenge Us

Matthew Bennett, Global Strategic Marketing Director at Ingredion shares his admiration for innovators and how collaboration can bring benefits to brands, start-ups and consumers around the world:

“Start-ups are critical to our innovation strategy. They have the idealism, the risk tolerance and agility to venture where larger companies cannot. Thus, they can significantly challenge the status quo. We are always excited to work with them and find the collaboration enriching for both sides; they inspire and challenge us to create new products and with new ways of working while we help them by offering an iterative, quick to market approach with best in class plant protein ingredients, access to a broad portfolio of texture and sweetness solutions, rapid prototyping and consumer insights.”


One aspect ringing true throughout discussions with start-ups, investors, food brands and ingredient companies in the lead up to Future Food-Tech is that collaboration is key to transforming our food system. We need the technologies, scale-up capabilities, and talent from across the industry to accelerate a more sustainable, nutritious food system.

“We strongly believe that collaboration with external partners will be the key to unlock the Dole Promise. We are willing to engage with the entire ecosystem around us from start-ups to social enterprise, NGO, influencers, investors, or R&D networks. We also recognize that we not only have an opportunity but a responsibility fostering innovation from everywhere to create a better food system for the world. And technology is a driving force behind this transformation,” details Barbara Guerpillon, Global Head of Dole Ventures at Dole Sunshine Company

Meet 1,000+ food brands, investors, technology leaders, ingredient companies and start-ups at Future Food-Tech in San Francisco and online on March 24-25 for two days of high impact networking and knowledge-exchange to accelerate technologies across the agri-food supply chain.

The full program, speaking faculty and delegate registration are available now at