Fresh ideas for the food market and the agricultural industry
In 2020, Christian Lindner was still a guest at the International Green Week (IGW) as the official bread ambassador. In 2023, the FDP leader will return to the fair as finance minister to open the Startup Days - with a fitting allegory in his luggage. "Startups are the yeast in the dough of our economy," said Christian Lindner on the stage of the Experience Farm in Hall 3.2. "They are outsourced research departments for our society and develop business models, processes and products for us from which we all benefit."
Ten start-ups with particularly promising business models were selected from a total of 30 applications. They presented themselves yesterday and today at the Green Week and presented their ideas in pitches. Nothing less than victory was at stake.
And the winner is...
A jury of seven experts from the agricultural and food industry and from Neubrandenburg University of Applied Sciences examined all ten finalists and chose three winners. Actually, only the most convincing start-up is awarded a prize at the Startup Days. However, the quality of the submissions was so high that the special prizes "Innovation" and "Sustainability" were spontaneously introduced.
In the "Innovation" category, the start-up "Nunos" from Cologne was convincing. In the "Sustainability" category, the young company "BettaF!sh" from Berlin won. The overall winner of the Startup Days was the company "Seedalive" from Osnabrück. It shortens the quality control of seeds from currently 14 days to just four hours. With the help of a rapid germination test as a kit solution, farms can find out within a very short time whether seeds are vital, ageing or already dead.
Franziska from Seedalive is overjoyed about the victory: "We are getting a great, positive response for our product, which we put a lot of heart and fire into. And that's just nice to get such positive feedback back for our product and our energy there." After the victory at the Startup Days, work at Seedalive goes straight on: "Yes, we are happy about this victory and take this positive energy with us and then it's actually a matter of continuing to plough on, continuing to research, bringing the product to the people, trust and try and yes, we are hyped and are keen to continue in any case."
Seedalive has to adapt all the rapid germination tests to the specific variety, with some tests already ready for the market and others in the process of being developed.
More capital for founders
Christian Lindner, himself co-founder of two companies, referred to the Federal Government's future financing concept. It is intended to improve conditions for start-ups, including financing.
Especially in the agri-food sector, he sees an "enormous potential" for more efficiency in agriculture or for solving the problems of world nutrition. "Failure with an ambitious idea is possibly the prerequisite for succeeding in the second attempt," said the Finance Minister. "We need a culture of second chances and a willingness to improve the framework conditions again and again so that those who dare to do something get recognition for it and not ridicule or malice."
Incidentally, the winner of the last IGW Startup Days is exhibiting in the Brandenburg Hall. The sustainable delivery service Marktkost from Potsdam provides companies with healthy food in recyclable packaging.