ISRAEL – Tnuva, Israel’s largest food manufacturer has joined forces with leading beverage company, Tempo Beverages and global agrifood investment leader Finistere Ventures in the launch of NIS1bn (US$283m) “Fresh Start” FoodTech Incubator.
The FoodTech incubator, also backed by Israel’s most active venture investor OurCrowd, will invest in over 40 advanced technology startups that are expected to revolutionise the food industry.
The incubator will focus on advancing Food Technologies along the entire chain of the food and beverage industry.
Fresh Start will be focusing on most critical sectors including: milk and protein substitutes; improving nutritional value and personalized nutrition; innovative raw materials; smart food packaging; cannabis, and Industry 4.0, including IoT, AI, and Big Data.
Speaking during the launch of the historic initiative, Israel Minister of the Economy Eli Cohen, said; “The FoodTech incubator in the North marks an important milestone in transforming Israel into a food technology superpower.
“In light of the success in the field of cybersecurity, medical devices and autonomous vehicles, we are targeting the FoodTech industry as our next goal.
“Besides the establishment of the FoodTech center in Kiryat Shemona, this unique technological incubator is a major milestone for the eastern Galilee, which will create significant economic value for the region, draw many investments, industries and human capital.”
The first cohort is expected to commence in 2020 in which Fresh Start will invest NIS 200 million (US$56.7m) in direct operational costs and in investments in the startups.
The consortium will also take the lead on attracting follow on investments at an estimated NIS 800 million (US$226.7m) provided by partners in the consortium, venture capital funds and global companies.
OurCrowd noted that global food companies PepsiCo, Bright Food, and Heineken will also be actively involved in the incubator. The incubator will also work alongside leading research and academic institutions in northern Israel.
As part of the effort to strengthen the Galilee, “Fresh Start” will invest in the resources needed to draw in local entrepreneurs, as well as encourage other startups to relocate from other parts of the country to the Galilee.