Ahead of the summit, we spoke to Maarten Goossens from Anterra Capital about his investment focus, the key success factors for food-tech start-ups and his predictions for the next five years, and here’s what he shared with us:
At the upcoming Future Food-Tech Summit, you are chairing the investor panel which will debate whether we are moving fast enough and committing enough capital to truly disrupt our food system. Can you tell us more about Anterra Capital’s focus and what you look for in a food-tech start-up?
At Anterra Capital we believe we need innovation to transform the way we produce, move and consume food. As we’ve seen digital and bio-technologies reshape other industries, we think the food industry is up next. The start-ups we look for are active across the entire food supply chain, anywhere from inputs for animals and plants all the way down to the consumer, and are leveraging digital and/or bio-technologies to disrupt our sector.
What do you think is needed to increase a start-up’s success rate and opportunities to scale quickly?
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before nevertheless I’ll mention it as it’s a crucial ingredient for success, you need an A team which is willing and able to pivot quickly. Next to the team carefully think through the setup of your organisation when it comes to owning vs outsourcing of capabilities.
By purely focusing on your core in-house and leveraging external technologies and infrastructure you can create an agile and flexible organisation which is able to scale fast.
What area of innovation truly has the potential to disrupt the food system? What’s your prediction for the next five years?
For Anterra gene-editing technology, particularly Crispr, holds a lot of promise. Crispr technology can create plants that not only produce higher yields but also ones that are more nutritious and more impervious to drought and pests. Today hundreds of R&D labs are at work testing the potential of Crispr to solve a range of food-related concerns for both growers and consumers, such as bananas resistant to panama disease and reduced-gluten wheat that could be tolerated by those with sensitivities. With the right consumer communication strategy about the technology and its workings I expect that over the next 5 years we will see the first wave of Crispr enabled food products come to market.
Maarten will be chairing the panel, Investor Debate: Are we Moving Fast Enough and Committing Enough Capital to Truly Disrupt our Food System? at Future Food-Tech London, on October 18 at 9.45am.
He will be joined by:
Nadav Berger, Founder & Managing Director, PEAKBRIDGE PARTNERS, Israel
Niccolo Manzoni, Founding Partner, FIVE SEASONS VENTURES, France
Anton Koehler, Managing Director, DOEHLER VENTURES, Germany
Tom Espiard, President, CAPAGRO, France
Sanjeev Krishnan, Managing Director, S2G VENTURES, USA