The Netherlands

Rabobank joins ScaleUpFood initiative

Mergers & Acquisitions

"Current food production systems are simply unsustainable, even with today’s population," says Jeroen Leffelaar, Managing Director, Rabobank Food and Agri Innovation.

Posted on Jul 29 ,09:38

Rabobank joins ScaleUpFood initiative

Dutch innovating companies in food and agriculture have now a comprehensive support program dedicated to scaling entrepreneurial ventures in those sectors. Rabobank announced that it is joining ScaleUpNation and Foodvalley NL to launch ScaleUpFood, an initiative meant to encourage "early-stage companies in scaling to disrupt a traditional and inefficient industry", as Jeroen Leffelaar, Managing Director, Rabobank Food and Agri Innovation, described the decision.
Research by ScaleUpNation shows that less than 1% of early-stage companies make it to $10 million annual revenues within 5 years. Scaling can be even more challenging in food and agriculture. The agri-food sector differs from others with respect to innovation speed and implementation due to growing seasons, long sales cycles, conservative customers and complicated regulation.
"In food and agri the Netherlands has always been a scale-up country, testimony our position of 2nd largest food exporter in the world. But many products have commoditized. This partnership will create a new wave of food and agri scale-ups focused on technology and sustainability,", mentioned Roger van Hoesel, Director of FoodValley.
"Current food production systems are simply unsustainable, even with today’s population. The need for true innovation in the food & agri value chain is bigger than ever before. Many leading food & ag corporates are realizing that fine-tuning of their existing research and development may no longer be sufficient to keep up. If we wish to turn today’s new ideas and technologies into tomorrow’s game-changing solutions, we need to support the most promising early-stage companies in scaling to disrupt a traditional and inefficient industry", added Jeroen Leffelaar, Managing Director, Rabobank Food and Agri Innovation.

ScaleUpFood will address venture scaling challenges first by carrying out ongoing fact-based research to uncover the success factors of global food and agri scale-up companies. Then, the invite-only support program starting in October addresses areas specific to food and agri scale-ups like strategic selling to large corporates, specialized finance, and data-driven business model extensions. The program engages top Dutch corporates and innovative mid-caps for collaboration with the scale-ups. After the program, qualified ventures will be invited for long-term tailored support, collaboration opportunities and access to series-B level funding.

Anieke Wieringa, Director of ScaleUpFood, explains: “Entrepreneurs who have made it to the scale-up stage in food and agri are the best of the best. But what got them here will not get them to the next level. We’re looking forward to unlocking significant growth opportunities with our first class this fall.”

 

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