Guest post by 33entrepreneurs, a VC fund and open accelerator dedicated to wine and spirits, food and tourism based in Bordeaux, France.
Throughout July, 33entrepreneurs is traveling around the U.S and Canada looking for disruptive food, wine, beverage, hospitality and travel startups to join our accelerator program in Bordeaux, France (schedule below). So far, we’ve visited New York City, Boston and Montréal. Get an inside look at the winning food tech and beverage tech startups from each city below, and stay tuned for our recap of the second half of the tour in the coming weeks.
We launched the tour on July 8 in New York City. Seven startups presented their projects at LMHQ, including four food and beverage companies: Tipsi, BYOB, Yumvy and SuperCook. The panel of judges, including Andrew Ackerman, managing director at Dreamit Venture, Florian Pinel, senior technical staff member at Watson Life IBM, Alexandra Vaughn, mobile project manager at Priceline and Tamara Towbin, VP of business development at Sunrise Israel Tech Capital, selected SuperCook as the food industry winner.
SuperCook allows eaters to quickly and easily match ingredients they have on hand with recipes from major cooking and recipe sites. “There is full integration between groceries, supermarkets, purchasing–a $600 billion market in the US–and how people use their ingredients at home, how they cook and what they cook,”says co-founder Keith Cooperman. However, there is no tool that easily links them, he says. SuperCook aims to solve this problem, while helping eaters save time and money and reducing food waste.
Then, we headed to Boston on July 10 for the second contest at Cambridge Innovation Center. 8 startups from the food tech, wine tech and travel sectors pitched their ideas. Judges included Greg Lambrecht, CEO at Coravin, Amir Eldad, Co-founder of MassChallenge, Lauren Abda, Founder of BranchFood and Brook Spaulding, consultant at Verivis Consulting. They selected LocalTable as the food tech winner and ScanKart as the wine tech winner.
ScanKart helps brick and mortar alcohol retailers set up mobile commerce and analytics.”We want to make it easier for people to find the products they love, discover new things and buy them locally, which improves local economies as well,” says co-founder Gorrav Meta. “In the US, $80B of wine & spirits products were sold last year, and 98% of those sales were made in stores. We want to change that equation.”
LocalTable enables restaurants to staff and schedule events seamlessly. “[We] put fully validated food industry professionals at your fingertips via a mobile app…We want to really help people in the food industry monetize their free time and do the things they love to do today.” says CEO Johnny Burke.
Our third contest took place in Montréal, Canada at Notman House on July 13. While Montréal’s startup ecosystem is young, we had 8 disruptive startups pitch, including food tech startups Fika and Ouza. Judges included Kristina Mausser, co-owner of Kina-ole Inc, Jean-S, co-founder and partner at Real Ventures and Sergio A. Escobar, program director at Startupnext at Up Global. They selected Fika as the food tech winner.
Days away from launching, Fika’s loyalty app connects with independent coffee shops and allows consumers to pay less for their coffee while finding new places to enjoy good java. “We are providing Starbucks coffee technology to small independent coffee shops,” says co-founder Ilyes El Ouarzadi. The app also lets consumers purchase monthly coffee plans and earn rewards points every time they purchase coffee.
By the end of the first week, we had met with 23 startups in person (including 10 food tech startups). We shook 600 hands and traveled 600 miles by bus. We’re heading for Austin, Boulder, Los Angeles and San Francisco next. So, if you’re a food tech entrepreneur in those regions, we encourage you to apply to pitch or to simply attend and network with food tech game-changers.
Learn more about 33entrepreneurs’ vision for the U.S. accelerator tour here.