From: The Examiner Australia. June 11 2022. Joshua Peach.
START-UP YOUR ENGINES: The companies participating in the accelerator program will be based at Macquarie House. Picture: File
The first of the ten budding food-related start-ups heading to Launceston will begin arriving next month.
The 10 start-ups earmarked from the project hail from all four corners of the globe and range from a Kenya-based market stall innovator to a food transparency platform originating in Norway.
The start-ups will be based out of Macquarie House – already known as the city’s centre for innovation and entrepreneurship – where they will take part in a 12-week program to meet key food stakeholders in the region, develop ideas and eventually pitch new solutions, technologies or techniques.
Partners in the effort include the Tasmanian government, Meat & Livestock Australia, Asahi Beverages, and Treasury Wine Estates, who are eager to see the region capitalise on its burgeoning foodie credentials, following its UNESCO City of Gastronomy recognition last year.
The myriad of start-ups on their way to Launceston were brought together by the accelerator program’s runner Startupbootcamp, which was tasked with whittling down the list of prospective start-ups from a list of thousands.
Food innovation partner at Startupbootcamp, Ann Barlow said her team was currently working with the companies on what it is that they want to achieve.
“We work with our corporate partners to help set the themes, and then we scout globally for startups that can help us to meet the needs of those themes,” she said.
The themes outlined for the FoodTech Tasmania Accelerator emphasised circular economies, functional food and ingredient technology, fermentation tech and finally food, aqua and agritech.
Ms Barlow, it was important the selected start-ups resonated with at least two of the themes.
“To take one of the companies as an example, Clever Fermentation takes waste fruit, such as apples or berries and ferments them into functional ingredients – so that’s circular economy, functional ingredients and fermentation tech,” she said.
Meanwhile, from the start-ups’ perspective the accelerator offers a chance to work within Launceston’s fast-growing foodie reputation.
“Launceston is such a hub for food. You’ve got great university capabilities, and you’ve obviously got a large number of diverse food networks, whether it be aquaculture, agriculture, horticulture,” she said.
Arriving alongside the start-ups will be FoodTech Tasmania program manager Aayushi Paliwal, who will be coordinating everything on the ground level.
Ms Paliwal said she was excited to move to Launceston for the project and brings with her a rare mix of experience in both food and entrepreneurship.
A self-declared “foodie”, Ms Paliwal has studied innovation and entrepreneurship extensively in the food space, initially working with at her family’s restaurant to improve and implement new techniques. Today, she still remotely runs her own restaurant based in India and has already taken a trip down to Launceston to try out the city’s Harvest Market.
“Launceston has so much to offer, and there’s so much for people to get out of Tasmania,” she said.
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