Two major conferences in the world of food tech and agriculture tech are set to be held in Tel Aviv this week, drawing thousands of participants to view and discuss Israeli innovations in these sectors.
The first, FoodTechIL 2019, will be held Monday, September 23 at the Tel Aviv port and is expected to draw over 1,000 attendees including senior executives from major food and beverage companies such as Pepsico, Danone, and Mondelez, and representatives from more than 50 international companies as part of an exhibition on the latest technologies in the food sector.
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The event is hosted by the Strauss Group, one of Israel’s biggest food product companies. “Businesses today understand that we have a crucial role in using technology to make a positive impact on society, on people’s health and wellness and the environment. Expectations from businesses are increasing and it is very encouraging to see that companies understand the important role that we have in people’s lives. Our responsibility is to make food in a sustainable way that goes beyond profits and revenue and focuses on people, society and the planet,” said Ofra Strauss, Chairperson of the Strauss Group, in a statement ahead of the conference.
The second major event is the annual AgriVest conference to be held at Tel Aviv University on Tuesday, September 24. The gathering draws international entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and investors to explore opportunities for global partnerships and collaborations. And it will host an exhibition for Israeli agritech (or agtech) startups as well as a startup contest with 12 competitors selected from some 60 applicants.
These events are all part of Israel’s AgriFood Week designated by Start-Up Nation Central (SNC), the non-profit organization that tracks Israel’s innovation and startup ecosystem and issues comprehensive reports on its sectors and industries.
According to a 2018 report by SNC, Israeli is home to some 750 companies in the food tech and agriculture tech sectors generally. And according to SNC’s latest figures, there are 350 food-agri startups (as of mid-2019) founded in the past decade that represent ‘deep tech’ innovation primarily for the global agri-food industry.
According to SNC, Israeli agri-food tech firms raised $103 million in equity investment in 2018 alone, “putting Israel on par with, and sometimes exceeding, much larger nations like Australia and India.”
SNC also noted an increased rate of new company creation, with an annual average of 37 new startups since 2014. “This trend represents an increasing number of Israeli entrepreneurs detecting an opportunity to disrupt global food production, using current advances in the sciences and high-tech,” SNC says, dubbing this acceleration as the “second wave” of Israeli agri-food tech.
As part of AgriFood Week, SNC will host a number of events at its offices in Tel Aviv including an exclusive investor event, a “smart food” workshop, and an agri-food tech accelerators meetup.