New accelerator Food Tech Studio Bites! attracts innovation to Japan
Scrum Ventures has launched Food Tech Studio Bites! and seeks start-ups the world over to engage with the largest and most innovative food corporations in Japan
Food Tech Studio Bites! is a new global community of stage-agnostic start-ups who share a common vision of solving key challenges plaguing the food supply chain today, from safety and waste reduction to health. The initiative is the brainchild of Scrum Ventures, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm that since its inception in 2013 has invested in more than 80 early-stage companies across a range of industries in the US and Japan.
Scrum Ventures said Food Tech Studio Bites! is the latest in a series of studio programmes “aimed to reinvent the antiquated accelerator process”. The programme has been designed to facilitate lasting relationships between a range of global foodtech entrepreneurs, Japanese corporations, and industry thought leaders that are deeply immersed in the changing food landscape.
The launch of Food Tech Studio Bites! comes at a time where Covid-19 and the ongoing climate crisis has threatened the global food supply chain and left millions of people around the world without food security and nutrition.
Research from the UN’s World Food Programme indicates that more than a quarter of a billion people face the threat of starvation this year as a result of the multiple impacts of Covid-19, crop failure, and climate change.
Michael Proman, managing director at Scrum Ventures, said: “We live in a time where technology has the power to disrupt every facet of life, and we need to lean into innovation to put a stop to the acceleration of a hunger pandemic and global trade disruption brought on by recent events.”
Key objectives of Food Tech Studio Bites!
Food shortages, broken supply chains, changing dietary habits, waste, and health issues have made it imperative to improve livelihoods by building more inclusive, environmentally sustainable, and resilient food systems. Food Tech Studio Bites! has set out to address these challenges and will give start-ups access to revenue-generating opportunities and decision-makers across the public and private sectors.
Food Tech Studio Bites! will also lean into the investment community and curate conversations with a world-class network of leading venture sources that are disrupting the status quo.
The programme seeks to attract founders who are mission-driven and sustainability-focused and can benefit from access to Scrum Ventures’ network and global expertise.
Within the wider food ecosystem, technologies of interest include next-generation foods, food science, data-driven food services, agtech, CPG/consumer services, and food processing, as well as related categories.
Start-up founders, innovators, executives, investors and technology leaders that share a similar vision are encouraged to apply, and applications open today.
Below are some of the innovation highlights from key partners in the programme:
- Fuji Oil is a manufacturer of fats and oils with a strong reputation as a pioneer in the production of alternative meat.
- Nissin invented the world’s first instant noodles and still continues to bring innovation to the global food scene.
- Itoen is the largest tea company in Japan and the first to develop and sell green tea in both cans and bottles. With an office in Silicon Valley, Itoen is at the forefront of healthy non-sugar beverages.
- Juchheim introduced and popularised the German cake Baumkuchen to Japan. More than 100 years later, Juchheim has kept the recipe and tradition alive.
- Nichirei is known as Japan’s largest chilled and frozen food distribution company and supports dining tables in terms of both food and logistics.
- The Otsuka group of companies contributes to the health of people around the world and sells some of Japan’s most popular nutritional foods and drinks today.