Who We Are
FoodForward is a global Foodtech accelerator that brings top Made in Italy corporates and best international innovators together to disrupt agrifood and retail sectors.
We chase innovation along the food supply chain to find the new foodtech stars.
The program, held in Milan, is powered by Deloitte and promoted by Corporate partners Amadori, Cereal Docks, Finiper Group along with leading investors such as Innogest and Digital Magics, Media & Community partner Seeds&Chips and Italian Public Institution Federalimentare.
Unique opportunity to test and validate your product collaborating with industrial leading partners that oversee the whole foodchain. Speedup the go to market thanks to an hands-on and tailored mentorship approach by committed Partners
Deloitte’s globally recognized consultancy approach and its worldwide network on your fingertips to boost your Startup
Italian and Milan Ecosystem
Gain knowledge tapping in Made in Italy excellence. Accelerate your Startup in Milan, the city in Europe where tradition meets innovation
Access to €20k in cash contribution and €50k in services, directly invested by our Partners, in exchange for 6% of your equity
Network of investors
Up to €1Mln in follow-on investments already committed by our expert investors
Co-working and facilities
Run your business from a collaborative co-working space and test your product having access to corporate partners facilities
Who Should Apply
MOST PROMISING FOODTECH STARTUPS READY TO ROCK THE AGRIFOOD & RETAIL INDUSTRY,
WITH A DISRUPTIVE SOLUTION IN ONE OF THE FOLLOWING AREAS:
Quality & Traceability
Plant based proteins
Invitro cell culture
Novel and Superfood
direct to consumer
& meal kit
New Delivery Vehicles
& smart packaging
Digital Native Brands
Vertical and Indoor Farming
August 26th 2018
September – October 2018
November – December 2018
How It Works
Engage with our Network before starting
- International Roadshow: Meet us during our events, industry conferences, and through referral by our Deloitte Network, investors, mentors, and partners. Follow the #FoodForwardroadshow on social media
- Live interviews: shortlisted Startups meet our selection committee in order to select the best 7-10 teams to join the program
An intensive 15 weeks program
- Hands-on learning experience and out-of-the-building approach, to successfully transform ideas into innovative products. The program takes you from Business Model Consolidation, to Validation & Prototyping aiming at Fundraising & Go-to-Market success
- Work directly with expert mentors from our Corporate Partners and Deloitte ecosystem in order to validate and scale your business faster thanks to MVP and POC testing
- Pitch in the final Demo Day in front of carefully selected professional investors that will be keen to drive your company to the next stage
- Boost your network and learn from cross-functional and cross-contamination teams of Corporate executives, experienced consultants, entrepreneurs, scientists, private investors and venture capitalists (VCs)
Partner, Innogest and
Former-President & COO, Microsoft
Richard Belluzzo (San Francisco, 1953) has developed his career in the field of global technological innovation.
He worked for Hewlett-Packard [NASDAQ: HPQ] for 23 years, starting in 1975 as an entry level financial analyst and ultimately became in 1996 Executive Vice President in charge of the Computing Group, a group responsible of over 80% of the revenue of the company. He managed HP printer business in the mid 80’s through the mid 90’s, leading the company to become the dominant player.
He moved to Silicon Graphics [NASDAQ: SPO] in 1998, becoming Chairman of the Board and CEO, leading the company through the transition from proprietary systems to industry standard solutions.
He was presented with the challenge of turning around a company that was losing money and experienced revenue declines of 30%: being able to build a new leadership team, develop a new product strategy, improved operations, he achieved the first quarter of growth and profitability after two years.
In August 1999, Belluzzo left SGI to head Microsoft’s MSN division [NASDAQ: MS], and then – as Group Vice President – the whole Consumer business, leading several emerging efforts, including the launch of the first Xbox and MS TV. In February 2001, he became President and Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft, running the day to day business during the critical CEO transition from Bill Gates to Steve Ballmer. His key contributions included delivering consistently positive financial results, launching key new products, and building many successful global partnerships.
In September 2002, he was appointed CEO at Quantum Corporation [NASDAQ: QTM], a leader in data storage industry for over 25 years. During his 8 year tenure, he led the company through a significant re-positioning to a more profitable storage systems company with a significant growth opportunity. This involved a new strategy, acquisitions/divestitures, restructuring, new products, and new channels of distribution.
Late 2015 he was appointed Interim CEO of JDSU [NASDAQ: JDSU], where he focused on completing the transformation of the company into two public companies, Viavi Solutions and Lumentum Holdings. He then continued as CEO of Viavi Solutions [NASDAQ: VIAV] until a permanent CEO was named. The impact of this change, as well as improvements in Viavi Solutions profitability, created more than $2B of shareholder value.
After leaving Quantum, Belluzzo dedicated his time to Italian Startups in both the US and Italy, and serving on the Board of some US companies. Since 2015 he has been Venture Partner at Innogest Capital, providing leadership on exits, assisting portfolio companies, and linking technology communities in Italy and the US. In 2017 he became full-time Partner of Innogest.
In 2017, Richard Belluzzo was awarded the honor of Cavaliere Della Repubblica Italiana (Italian Knighthood) by the President of the Italian Republic.
CEO & Founder, Kuli Kuli
Lisa is the Founder & CEO of Kuli Kuli, the leading brand pioneering a new sustainably sourced superfood called moringa. Lisa began working on Kuli Kuli while serving in the Peace Corps and has grown it into a multi-million dollar social enterprise with products in over 6,000 stores. Lisa was recently recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 2018 list and she has appeared in numerous outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
Business Development, Cereal Docks
Thanks to his family, Giacomo grows up in a genuine and strong entrapreneurial environment. After graduating in Political economy, he joined Cereal Docks in 2015 within the agri-food Business Development Department. During this period he developed the supply chain for alternative food ingredients products, studying and applying digital tools for traceability and quality control of the goods, in close relationship with Italian farmers.
In 2017 he moved to Cereal Docks International, where he started the implementation of control and optimization systems for the raw materials procurement process from international suppliers, with the aim of reducing the environmental impact and speeding up the exchange of soft commodities between agribusiness companies.
Today he leads the Innovation Dept. of the Cereal Docks group, taking part in the strategic advisory counsil in order to evaluate, integrate and enhance core and adjacent innovative solutions. Moreover he is member of the Board of directors of DemBiotech, a startup that develops Pure vegetable actives from plant cell cultures.
He is an active member of Federalimentare Giovani Imprenditori, of AIDAF and FBN Next Gen and of TEH-Ambrosetti, the Leader group of the future.
For FoodForward Foodtech Corporate Accelerator program, he is in charge of Cereal Docks’ activities, ranging from startup valuation to corporates’ implementation strategies.
CIO & Digital Director, Iper
Gian Maria Gentile graduated in Management Engineering at Polytechnic University in Milan.
He started his career working as a management consultant and in 2010 he moved to the grocery retailer retailer sector as a project manager for Carrefour. Within the French multinational he covered different roles in the sales department, until 2015 when he was appointed Digital Director.
In January 2016, he moved to Unes as Digital Director, leading e-commerce, digital marketing and in-store innovation projects. Since May 2018 he is the CIO (Chief Information Officer) of retail Group Finiper.
Chief Innovation and
Business Services Officer
Within Amadori, Gianluca is in charge of innovation programs functional to achieving the business objectives. He is also the head of the following business functions: Human Resources, Procurement, Organization/Business Transformation and IT/Digital Transformation, whose goals, strategies and activities are coordinated, with the aim of identifying and implementing evolutionary solutions by acting on digital skills, processes and technologies. In the Group he carried out Business Transformation projects, which have as their object, in addition to information systems, the change in the most critical business processes to allow the Group to grasp the competitive advantages brought by the innovation of operating and business models. During his professional career he conceived and coordinated several initiatives such as Business Process Management, process engineering and re-design, organizational changes in complex and international entities. Previously, he developed a multi-year experience in the industrial sector, covering, among others, the role of CIO (Chief Information Officer) in Del Monte Foods.
Founder & Chairman, Seeds&Chips
Visionary entrepreneur in different fields: Entertainment, Digital, Fashion and the Arts. He has started successful startups in all the above areas. Mostly known for founding TicketOne, the first e-commerce ticketing platform in Italy as well as co-founded Netcomm, largest Italian e-commerce association. Founder and Chairman of Seeds&Chips the Global Food Innovation Summit – the world-renowned go to event on Food Innovation. He has revolutionized the way food events are done today, making Seeds&Chips an open platform for startups, corporations, organizations, government, investors alike. A meeting of the minds to truly solve the challenges we face today. Furthermore, his daily activities include connecting entrepreneurs, corporate executives, government and policy makers to create synergies for our global good. Marco has become an internationally recognized expert in this field speaking at conferences, writing articles and mentoring startups and young innovators launch their solution in the market.
Since August 2017 he is also chairman of the “Io Sto Con Paolo” initiative to sensitize the global community as well as starting an international pool of experts, doctors and researchers in the fight against ALS. Today, he is also on the board of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and a prominent investor in Food Tech startups
Managing Director & Partner,
Andrew is Partner at Food-X. He is responsible for building, innovating and supporting the emerging Food-X ecosystem. This includes sourcing teams, building a robust program curriculum, and developing relationships with co-investors and partners to solidify Food-X’s position as the premier accelerator for food-related ventures.
Andrew is a serial entrepreneur, began his career at Procter & Gamble, has raised more than $20M+ for his own companies and worked with amazing company founders to grow their companies.
Stefano is Partner at Innogest SGR SpA, where he is currently in charge of the digital practice and focuses on deal selection, transaction management, contract negotiation and closing of new investment opportunities. Board member/observer in several current Innogest portfolio companies such as CornerJob (leading European HR marketplace), Digital Magics (digital incubator/accelerator listed at AIM stock exchange), Supermercato24 (leading Italian online grocery marketplace), Soulkitchen (B2B food delivery service for professional restoration segment) Armadio Verde (secondhand clothes marketplace), Prestiamoci (peer-to-per lending platform), Agroils Technologies (biofuels and proteins-based productions). He has been member/observer in companies such as Silicon Biosystems (medical device, sold to Menarini Group), Beintoo (mobile marketing), HT Srl (Cybersecurity) and Mobango (leading independent app store sold to Mauj Mobile).
Before joining Innogest, Stefano was Investment Manager at Piemonte High Technology, a seed VC investment firm specializing in investments in hi-tech start-up companies.
Stefano has held several university and post-university master courses, mainly on entrepreneurship, finance and innovation. Stefano holds a Master of Science (summa cum laude) in Engineering & Management from Polytechnic University in Turin and received a Ph.D from Polytechnic University in Milan, with a doctoral thesis on Venture Capital and valuation of hi-tech companies assets.
CEO & Founder, Digital Magics
With a passion for digital and interactive technologies, Gabriele Ronchini has always been actively pursuing issues relating to the new media outlets, by taking part directly in the technological vanguard.
As a member of the Ministry of Communications’ Economic Commission on Digital Television, he has actively contributed to various specialised publications and regularly lectures at seminars and university courses. After earning his degree in Computer Science and specialising in cybernetics and neural networks, and after two years of university research, in 1990 he began his career with Inferentia, where he created the business unit specialised in digital communication Inferentia Interactive, whose goal was to become a main player on the emerging market of interactive media.
He later joined IBM Consulting, in 1999, coordinating the team of e-business and personally following the main European customers who were making their first steps into the world of electronic commerce. In 2000 he opened the Italian headquarters of Grey Interactive, a company belonging to the American giant of communications Grey Global Group, helping the great Italian brands in the development of digital communications worldwide.
In 2004, he became a Founding Member – with Enrico Gasperini, Alberto Fioravanti and Gabriele Gresta – of Digital Magics and he has held the position of Executive Director. Digital Magics is a certified incubator of innovative digital startups whose content and services possess high technological value. The business incubator Digital Magics took part in the birthing process and launch of more than 50 initiatives, which contributed to the development of the entire online sector in Italy, creating the foundation for the generational renewal of the national parterre of entrepreneurs and overseeing all areas of expertise in the digital market. In July 2013, Digital Magics was listed on AIM Italy, Alternative Capital Market for small and medium-sized Italian companies with high growth potential, organised and managed by the Italian Stock Exchange.
In 2008 he was a founding member of the startup 4w MarketPlace, the main Italian AdNetwork operating in online advertising with the leading publishers and media agencies and he currently holds the position of Executive Chairman. In April 2015 it closed a capital increase of 25% in the shareholder structure, for a value of about 2.1 million Euro, by the Dada Group (through the transfer of the company ProAdv/Simply).
On November 30th 2015 he was appointed Managing Director of Digital Magics for Portfolio Development.
On December 12th 2017 Gabriele Ronchini he was appointed CEO of Digital Magics.
CEO & Founder, Bit(Best in Tech)House
Wilhelmina Jewell Sparks is a global executive who has worked in both Corporate and Startup environments for over 20 years preparing markets and launching innovative products and services in science, technology, retail, and food industries. She is the CEO of BiTHOUSE GROUP which is a global business/venture development cultivator fostering collaboration and innovation culture amongst corporates, innovators, investors, government and community. As a diversity and inclusion advocate and thought leader, she is able to identify talent and solutions that have the potential to make a global impact while being scaleable, ethical, and socially responsible. Jewell serves on several global advisory boards: IADAS (International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences), WHU MSc Entrepreneurship, Shorty’s, and SXSW Accelerator, amongst others and is an active advisor/mentor to several startups and accelerator programs focused IoT, AI, mobility, food, retail, entertainment, fashion, sustainability and health.Jewell is the founder of the AgTech FoodTech Summit and the Chairwoman and Co-Founder of the Food und FoodTech Platform of the Deutsche Startup Association. Her passion for entrepreneurship, health, and environment has driven her philanthropic efforts towards the food and agriculture industries by donating her time and resources towards various advisory boards and juries for entities such as: Asian Food Innovation Awards, EIT Food, Fi Global, and Future Agro Challenge and more.
“Bridging the Gap,” by “Connecting the Dots” is her motto.
Chairman, Federalimentare Giovani
Mr. Alessandro Squeri, 35 years old, is entrepreneur at Steriltom srl and President of Young Entrepreneurs Group of Federalimentare.
After classical studies, he moved to Milan where he got a Master’s degree in General Management at Bocconi (with honors). Then Alessandro worked for five years in the field of strategic consulting (Accenture and Bain) before joining the family company, Steriltom, based in Piacenza, which produces 100% Italian Pulp of tomatoes mainly for Horeca and B2B clients since four generations.
In the company he has been involved in sales and exports, leading the company to export from 24 to 70 countries worldwide. Alessandro is also an equity partner and Food representative of iStarter which is Accelerator for companies and startups based in London.
Founder, Digital FoodLab
Matthieu is the co-founder of DigitalFoodLab. He is a FoodTech entrepreneur since 2010 when he founded WeCook, a meal planner with dietary advice.
In 2013, with the collaboration of his partners Jérémie & Alexandre, he initiated the DigitalFoodClub events, aiming to gather and develop the French FoodTech ecosystem. 4 years and 22 events later, DigitalFoodClub is now the place where entrepreneurs, investors and corporates meet in Paris and other French cities.
Since he sold WeCook in early 2017, Matthieu is developping DigitalFoodLab in order to grow the European FoodTech ecosystem. DigitalFoodLab explores FoodTech opportunities and help entrepreneurs, investors and food corporates to act on them. Through DigitalFoodLab, Matthieu delivers talks, prospective reports and consulting.
Matthieu is M.Eng from Telecom SudParis and MSc. in e-commerce from Dublin City university.
CEO & Founder, Tannico
Marco Magnocavallo (CEO and founder), started at nineteen with a retail business in the classic cars market (his passion). At the age of twenty-three, he founded a web agency where he and his team developed projects for the Italian Postal Service, McKinsey, Daimler and other European companies. He then sold his company to a pre-IPO company and founded an online vertical publishing business (Blogo) that became, within four years, the third most visited news site in Italy with more than 12 million monthly unique users, and activities in Italy, the UK, France, Spain and Brazil. He then sold this company to the DADA/RCS Media Group (publisher of Corriere della Sera, the most popular newspaper in Italy).
In 2012/2013 he acted as Venture Partner in an italian Venture Capital Firm (Principia) where he lead investments in 4 companies for a total of 10 million of Euro of invested capital. In 2012 he founded Boox with Andrea di Camillo, a startup accelerator with twelve portfolio companies.
In late 2012, he founded Tannico, the leading Italian wine shop, and became its CEO.
He started in late 2012 with a first € 200,000 seed investment from his own accelerator (Boox) and four partners (two PM, two dev). After five years Tannico has raised more than 8 milion Euro. Over 1,000,000 bottles were sold in 2017 to 90,000 customers, Tannico is new the Italian market leader with a 30% marketshare.
External Advisor, Monitor Deloitte, Tokyo &
Project Manager, EU-Japan Technology Transfer Helpdesk, Tokyo
Luca Escoffier graduated in law from the University of Parma (Italy), he then earned a Master of Laws in intellectual property law in 2003. After several years spent in law firms, and in an Italian nano-biotech company, he moved to Seattle in 2008 to work as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Washington where he has also earned in 2010 a Certificate in Business Administration from the Foster Business School. Luca is a Fellow of the Stanford-Vienna Transatlantic Technology Law Forum, Invited Researcher at Waseda University (Tokyo), and a Singularity University alumnus (GSP’10). Luca has been the co-founder, and mentor in several start-ups. In Tokyo, he works at the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation as Project Manager leading the activities of the EU-Japan Technology Transfer Helpdesk, that he initiated in 2016, and serves as External Advisor for Monitor Deloitte specializing in open innovation.
Serial Entrepreneur/Business Angel
Andrea Pietrini graduated at Bocconi University and then he did an Executive MBA at LUISS Business School. His first experiences were focused in M&As, first in KPMG and then in IBM South Europe as part of the Alliance department. After some years, he moved as investment manager to FinTech, a joint venture between the Telecom Italia and MCC – Medio Credito Centrale groups.
He has been a board member of numerous Italian and foreign companies, such as Group CFO of the Terasystem Group, Solgenia SpA Group and the Sacom Group.
In 2012 he founded yourCFO Consulting Group, the first Italian company of CFO Service and operational finance of which he is Managing Partner. In the following years he launched parallel projects, such as yourHR, yourDIGITAL, yourCEO and yourNEXT. Thanks to his expertise he published “I 7 segreti del CFO – Ottieni il successo finanziario della tua impresa” (The 7 secrets of the CFO – Get the financial success of your business) and he is lecturer at the Master in Business Finance of John Cabot University.
Alongside this activity, Andrea is a Business Angel, both as an independent investor and as a member of IAG (Italian Angels for Growth). He is president of the national association Charta Nova that supports the issues of transparency and meritocracy and founder and treasurer of the Homo ex Machina Foundation, which promotes the use of technology for philanthropic purposes.
Managing Director, Katjes Fassin UK
Melissa Snover is an award-winning entrepreneur and Managing Director of Katjes Magic Candy Factory. Melissa started her first financial company at the age of 23 and has since founded and ran 5 successful businesses from sectors in the service industry and the food and drinks industry. She has been developing confectionery brands for 12 years and is an expert in areas such as marketing, sales, accounting, management and many more!
In 2015 Melissa developed the world’s first 3D printer for confectionery to reach the consumer market, which allows candy lovers to 3D print anything from Sweet Selfies and messages to logos and 3D shapes in just 5 minutes. In under 2 years she has launched her innovative 3D printers into retail outlets across Europe, the USA, the UAE, China, New Zealand and Australia. Her small tech start-up also gets hired to 3D print customised vegan confectionery for corporate functions and at private parties all over the world. Melissa is passionate about developing innovative products and concepts and frequently gives talks on her experiences and learnings to help aspiring young entrepreneurs and business owners.
Founder & Principal, Carla Frank Creative
Carla Frank is a pioneering creative director, brand turnaround expert and launch specialist with deep experience conceiving and executing transformative content. She is internationally recognized for her innovative ability to shape premier global brands across multiple sectors, including lifestyle, food, beauty, travel, fashion and wellness. Her ability to identify, assess and monetize marketplace trends, lead large multidisciplinary teams and cultivate diverse networks of talent to successfully build and transform businesses in multiple formats sets her apart as influential leader and collaborator. She is the recipient of prestigious industry awards, frequent public speaker and panelist sought out by leading conferences and universities.
Currently Carla is a strategic advisor at her own boutique firm specializing in creative vision and execution, multi-platform creative and design direction, and brand launches, turnarounds and repositioning.
Recently, Carla co-created and launched a women-owned CPG company to disrupt the natural beverage market by providing a new form of healthy hydration made with pure honey. This delicious new all-natural, functional, flavored water hit shelves in July 2016.
With an unprecedented series of premiere brand successes in diverse categories, Carla led the brand turnaround of Glamour Italia as Creative Director by leading a team of 12 in Milan to pivot the publication and website within a tight 8 week time frame. She revitalized Cooking Light, the largest U.S. epicurean magazine into a stylish, smart, energetic lifestyle brand and as the Founding Design Director at O, The Oprah Magazine, she developed and drove the creative team to create the most successful magazine launch in history.
She is an active thought leader in her field, has served on the SPD board of directors and a leader on the steering committee for AIGA’s Womens Leadership Initiative and more.
Carla is an international traveler with a passionate interest in the world and empathy for its people and cultures. She has worked in Milan, Stockholm, Beijing, Dubai and New York where she currently resides. She is a sought out speaker by leading conferences and universities around the world on the subjects of branding, design, inspiration, strategy and her creative journey.
Carla graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Graphic Design and is a recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award in Arts and Architecture.
Founder & Managing Partner, AgriNation VC
Adi serves as Founder and Managing Partner of AgriNation Venture Capital, Israel leading VC in the field of agri tech and food tech. Prior to AgriNation, Adi spent 10 years in various management roles including leading the VP business development for Coffee Joe that was acquired by the Delek Group, Israel’s second largest Oil and Gas Company.
Adi is also a board member of Tropic Bioscience, a company in the genome editing domain.
Adi holds a B.A in Business Management and an MBA from the IDC Herzliya and is a graduate of the Sam Zell Entrepreneurship Program for outstanding students.
Innovation Manager, PHD Media Italy
After failing with Artes, his own startup in the healthcare industry, Domenico applied the love for technology and the finance knowledge working as Investment Manager at Azimut Holding Group. Working for three years for the main Italian Crowdfunding Platform, he managed more than 80 ventures in startups from 10 different industries, picked in partnership with the main Italian business accelerators and incubators.
He’s currently Innovation Manager at PHD Media Italy, a communication agency of OmnicomMedia Group, focused on digital transformation and digital marketing services for clients of many industries (Automotive, Tech, FMCG, GDO). He’s facing the challenge of applying lean startup methodology to multinational companies processes.
In 2015 he started working as independent advisor for startups and SMEs.
Co-founder & COO, FoodChéri
Julia is co-founder and COO of FoodChéri, one of the leading full stack delivery companies in France, launched in 2015.
FoodChéri has been acquired in 2018 by Sodexo. Still working in the company, the team just launched Seazon, the first subscription based model in France of ready to eat meals, delivered at home. Julia has a strong experience in the food business.
From 2005 to 2013, she was the CMO of Flam’s group. She launched and developed for different brands in the restaurant business, from pasta bars to gourmet burgers. From 2013 to 2015, she starts her own project: EATRIP, a digital travel guide centered on food discovery.
Julia works now everyday to bring healthier and more sustainable food options to consumer. She focus her energy on solving the question: how to produce healthy and delicious food at scale?
Managing Director Mai Asia/Mai Minds
Berthold (Bob) Heinemann is an entrepreneur and consultant with global experience, particularly in food. His focus is on systematic management of Brand Value with the aim at building long-term shareholder value.
During his career he served some of the world’s finest companies in more than 40 countries, such as P&G, Grey, Diageo, Pringles and Mars Drinks. His involvement in numerous launches and restructuring efforts give him a deep understanding of what builds Brand and Corporate Value.
He is trained and experienced to understand the intersections of marketing, finance, legal and creative disciplines that help firms in going-concern, fundraising, JV’s, M&A, IPO and in cases that involve brand damage.