Our trip to Agri Startup Summit in the region of La Roche-sur-Yon
‘With a little help of my friends’ – would be the perfect title to describe the upcoming story about France. It is about how MonitorFish presents SeedForward, thereby show how to create win-win situations in startup business.
We were really happy that Business France invited us to France. I, Dominik, who presented SeedForward in La Roche sur Yon, have been in France a lot before but it was my first time in La Roche of which I heard a lot of good things beforehand. At the 21st of November I arrived in Paris in the early afternoon. Business France organized a little get-together event from 6pm to 8pm in their office. We were in total about 50 people out of which ~75 % were from startups from France and Africa mainly. There, we had an exciting discussion with a startup from Brazil and Chile. After the event we had a great dinner organised by an amazing French restaurant.
The next day our trip started to the region La Roche sur Yon where we went to with the TGV with the first stop in Le Mans. Here, we visited a tractor production area from CLAAS based in the same region where SeedForward originates from. At 09:30 am we started an intriguing didactic tour concerned with the construction of tractors after which we travelled to Angers to the Vegepolys Cluster where the Vegetal campus and the research work of the National Institute of Agricultural Research was presented to us. There we visited the experimental glasshouse, the lab building, and we also got to see the experimental testing landscape. Around 5 pm we departed towards the “Village by CA” of the incubators by the Credit Agricole Bank in Nantes.We received another quite amazing dinner there including cocktails this time. All of us used the occasion for exchanges with local Ag-Tech and Food-Tech startups. On Thursday we went to the Tech-Elevage show where in the morning inspiring startup ideas as well as products from local farmers were presented to us. Subsequently, we visited the experimental farm of Les Etabliéres which are run by the national Institute of Livestock. Later at night we went to the International Chamber of Commerce for networking and exchange on international development and markets. Once more at around 07:30 pm, as everyone will expect now we had another terrific dinner, this time organised by the local government.
The following Friday was a big day for me, as I presented for SeedForward in a pitch competition. It went really well despite the very strong competition. This event was particularly an event for young people and students from the region. In parallel, different workshops and brainstorming events took place. Although I have not won the first prize of the pitch session, it was still a successful day where I met new contacts and had inspiring encounters. Eventually, I travelled back to Paris before finally departing for Berlin. So here once again: Thank you everyone from the region for your hospitality with lots of good wine and food. Thank you Christophe and also special thanks to Brice who both work for Business France for involving me.
Startups meet Fraunhofer
Another event I and another member of MonitorFish attended in November was the ‚Startups meet Fraunhofer‘ event in the Einstein Center Digital Future on the 30th of November. The event was a great opportunity to get insights into a number of IoT solutions from various Fraunhofer institutes. There, we met Dr. Radostina Rusteva and Claire Siegert from the Fraunhofer Ventures who informed us about the TandemCampIII programme which promotes collaborations between Startups and Fraunhofer institutes with initial funding. We found the Fraunhofer IGD from Rostock to be the perfect partner for our joint idea ‘Optofish©’, a real-time visual health inspection of fish in aquacultures. With their expertise in machine learning used for animal image recognition they are the ideal partner. After we applied for the TandemCampIII on the 21st of January we already got a positive feedback and are now invited with 8 other teams to the kick-off meeting at 8th of February in Munich to hopefully win the initial 10k Euro! Please, cross your fingers for us!