Posted in: Sweden

Love matchmaker LeMarc Thomas on building strong partnerships and collaborations

My guest today is the internationally renowned love matchmaker Lemarc Thomas who is based in Stockholm. A life-long student of psychology, Lemarc learned through his studies and interactions that love is at the core of human behavior, and that helping someone become aware of how they love not only improves that individual’s life, but transforms many, if not all relationships connected to that person. In today’s conversation, we focus on the lessons that can be learned from love matchmaking when it comes to building stronger relationships and collaborations throughout the food system. 

  • 6:00 The blurred line between our professional and personal selves
  • 7:00 Values and needs as predictors of long term relationships
  • 22:20 The 3 layers of being in a relationship
  • 40:00 What it means to do business with love

Share your thoughts with us on Instagram @lemarcthomas and @nordicfoodtech

Posted in: Podcast Country

Chufly Import’s Ramon Escobar on how drinking wine can lead to economic prosperity in Bolivia and beyond

My guest today is Ramon Escobar, the founder of Chufly Imports, which curates, imports, and markets a portfolio of premium wine and spirits from the world’s lesser-developed countries. Their mission is to drive transformative socio-economic development in local economies by expanding market access, promoting social mobility, and fostering economic diversification.

During our episode today, we’ll talk about how Ramon arrived at this business model from his background in diplomacy, economics and international affairs. We will particularly focus on Bolivia’s five-century old wine-making tradition. This is a friendly warning that this episode will likely give you very strong wanderlust and is best enjoyed while drinking a glass of wine.

  • 9:10 The impossibility of Bolivia making wine
  • 20:30 How drinking wine from developing nations leads to economic development and prosperity
  • 25:00 Ramon’s vision for the future of food
  • 29:00 How to check if your business model is having a positive impact

For more conversations, join our community on Instagram or check out other episodes on www.nordicfoodtech.io. Your host, Analisa Winther, always appreciates hearing your feedback, thoughts, and key takeaways!

Posted in: Finland Sweden

Paulig Group's investment arm on the future of taste

My guest today is Marika King who is the Head of PINC, Paulig Group’s corporate venture capital arm, which is focused on investing in the future of taste. Paulig is a house of brands with a presence in 13 European countries, a turnover of almost 1 billion euros, and around 2,000 employees. Headquartered in Finland, its portfolio consists of Santa Maria, Risenta, Gold & Green, and PocoLoco along with Paulig coffee. PINC stands for Paulig Incubator and was launched in 2018. In this episode, we discuss how PINC is helping Paulig to invest in future innovations while contributing to a tastier, healthier, and more sustainable planet.

  • 6:10 How Paulig’s corporate venture capital arm works
  • 10:00 The future of taste and how PINC looks at radical innovation
  • 13:30 Due diligence and what PINC expects to see from startups
  • 33:00 Vision for the future of food in 10-15 years
  • 48:00 Tips for fundraising and valuating your company

This month, we are hosting a feedback competition. If you fill out this form, you will be entered in a lottery to win a $200 gift certificate to the bar or restaurant of your choice OR an hour of coaching / consulting with your host. Enter here.

Posted in: Sweden
Anna Ottosson Trellis Road Funda Sezgi Norrsken Foundation

Norrsken Impact Accelerator and Trellis Road on scaling impact

The Norrsken Impact Accelerator is based in Stockholm. This year, the program is focused on accepting startups who are addressing big challenges related to our global good system. The accelerator has created quite a buzz for the incredible network of unicorn founders behind companies like Soundcloud, Klarna, Meltwater, Acne Studios, etc who will be advising the selected applicants. Today, I am joined by Funda Sezgi who is the Chief Growth Officer of Norrsken Foundation and the Manager Director of the accelerator program. I also have Anna Ottosson, a FoodTech investor at Trellis Road and a Venture Partner of the accelerator. 

  • 15:00 How the accelerator works and perks
  • 22:00 How will startups be able to tap these unicorn founders?
  • 28:00 What do we need more of in the Nordics to build our ecosystem?
  • 37:20 What does it mean to scale impact?
  • 42:00 What’s the best place to start a food startup globally?

This month, we are hosting a feedback competition. If you fill out this form, you will be entered in a lottery to win a $200 gift certificate to the bar or restaurant of your choice OR an hour of coaching / consulting with your host. Enter here.

Posted in: Denmark

Dumpster diver and activist Matt Homewood on supermarket food waste

Matt Homewood better known as @anurbanharvester on Instagram is a food waste activist. He is part of a community of urban harvesters who have taken to social media to document their dumpster diving finds. Matt is particularly interested in raising awareness around supermarket food waste and is working towards finding solutions for the electronics to kilos of meat that he sees thrown out. In this episode, we talk about Matt’s journey to becoming a food waste activist, how to dumpster dive, the economics behind why this is happening, and what needs to change. 

  • 5:00 What is dumpster diving? 
  • 9:50 How do you use social media to spread the word? 
  • 23:55 What are the solutions to this problem?
  • 30:45 How does someone start urban harvesting? 

This month, we are hosting a feedback competition. If you fill out this form, you will be entered in a lottery to win a $200 gift certificate to the bar or restaurant OR an hour of coaching / consulting with your host. To enter fill out this form here

Posted in: Denmark

Chr. Hansen's Julien Biolley on building their microbial platform and working with startups

Julien Biolley heads up the Marketing and Business Development activities for Chr. Hansen’s Food Cultures & Enzymes in North America. Chr. Hansen is a bioscience company that develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical, and agricultural industries.

A C25 company based in Denmark, for over 145 years the company has strived to enable sustainable agriculture, cleaner labels, and healthier living for more people around the world. Chr. Hansen’s product innovation is based on their microbial platform, which consists of about 40,000 microbial strains or what they call “good bacteria.” They produce more than 400 different bacterial strains each year and in their 2025 strategy, have committed 75% of the R&D spending to new product development. Their microbial and fermentation platforms have the potential to respond to global challenges such as food waste, global health, and the overuse of antibiotics and pesticides, and they are increasingly looking to work with startups to meet these challenges.

In this episode, we discuss their 2025 strategy, how they are partnering with different stakeholders in the food ecosystem from Noma’s former Head of Fermentation David Zilber to startup accelerator programs, and the many potential applications and innovations surrounding microbes and fermentation. 

  • 3:10 What is good bacteria?

  • 13:00 How do startup partnerships happen?

  • 20:30 What is your 2025 strategy?

  • 28:00 How do you do new product development?

  • 40:00 How does Chr. Hansen define sustainability?

For more conversations, join our community on Instagram or check out other episodes on www.nordicfoodtech.io. Your host, Analisa Winther, would also love to connect on LinkedIn! Feedback, thoughts, and key takeaways are always welcome!

Posted in: Denmark Norway

Restaurant bloggers Anders Husa and Kaitlin Orr on creating community through food

Anders Husa (@anderhusa) and Kaitlin Orr (@carnivorr) are Scandinavia’s most influential restaurant bloggers with an audience of over 300,000 people on Instagram, YouTube, and their website. Both Husa and Orr are global jurors for the 360° Eat Guide, which promotes sustainability in the food industry, and official TasteHunters (digital ambassadors) for The World’s 50 Best. They are also behind the food community The Hungries. In this episode, we talk about how Husa and Orr got into blogging, their process for reviewing restaurants, what makes for a memorable dining experience, and the impact of COVID-19. 

  • 9:00 How Kaitlin and Anders met
  • 15:20 Criteria and process for recommending restaurants 
  • 30:00 The impact of COVID-19
  • 41:30 Strengths and weaknesses of the Nordic food scene 
  • 49:00 The power of food communities 

For more conversations, join our community on Instagram or check out other episodes on www.nordicfoodtech.io. I’d also love to connect with you on LinkedIn and hear your feedback and thoughts on the episode! 

Posted in: Denmark

Vækstfonden's Eric-Alan Rapp on how the Danish state is investing in the future of food

Vaekstfonden is the Danish State’s investment fund. Since 1992, they’ve funded over 9 thousand companies with investments amounting to more than 4.4 billion euro. Eric-Alan Rapp is a partner at Vækstfonden investing in FoodTech companies. He has more than 25 years in the world of start-ups, venture capital, and corporate finance in both Europe and the United States. In this episode, we explore how Vaekstfonden is investing and thinking about the future of food. Eric-Alan and I also discuss why connecting on values is key for finding the right investor, the future of Denmark as a leader in meat and dairy, and the role of 

  • 5:30 Vækstfonden’s food and ag investment thesis 

  • 10:00 The future of meat and dairy in Denmark

  • 26:20 What Vækstfonden looks for when investing
  • 39:40 Why values matter

  • 42:00 Eric-Alan’s vision for the future in 10-15 years

For more conversations, join our community on Instagram or check out other episodes on www.nordicfoodtech.io. I’d also love to connect with you on LinkedIn and hear your feedback and thoughts on the episode! 

Posted in: Finland

Nordic FoodTech VC's Lauri Reuter on the Nordic's first food focused venture capital fund

Lauri Reuter is a scientist-turned-investor and a founder and partner of the Nordic Foodtech VC, which invests explicitly in Nordic and Baltic early-stage tech companies that are renewing the global food system. Lauri holds a Ph.D. in biotechnology and worked previously as a Researcher and Senior Specialist of Disruptive Technologies at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. He is a part-time urban beekeeper and passionate about building a radically sustainable food system for this planet – and the next one. 

  • 1:50 Fund backstory and investment thesis
  • 11:30 Commercializing research-based technology
  • 21:10 The ideal food portfolio 10 years from now
  • 30:00 Funding gaps and opportunities for Nordic food startups
  • 41:30 Lauri’s vision for the future food system 

Connect with the show’s Host Analisa Winther on LinkedIn. For more conversations, join our community on Instagram or check out other episodes on www.nordicfoodtech.io.

Posted in: Denmark

Industrial Hemp in the Nordics – A Startup Story

Hemp is considered nature’s miracle plant. With over 25,000 known applications hemp can be used to make everything from paper to textiles, fuel, building materials, plastics, food, livestock feeds, medicine, paint, and oil. Hemp is a rising star for its immense utility, ability to replace big pollutants, and because it can grow in almost any climate, multiple times a year with little water, fertilizers, and pesticides. It also can drawdown CO2 and regenerate the soil making it a sustainability wonder. At the same time, hemp is nothing new. In the Nordics, hemp seeds have been found dating back to the 5th century, but as in so much of the world, it has been misunderstood and heavily regulated. It’s just now that we are starting to see it make a comeback. 

My guest today is Signe Anker, one of the co-founders of Børnhølmerhampen. Listen in to their unique startup story of how they started growing hemp and producing products on the little Danish island of Børnhølm. We also discuss hemp’s history in the Nordics, what makes this plant so special, the challenges and regulations of working with it, and what’s needed to help the industry grow. 

  • 7:30 Hemp vs. marijuana 
  • 14:00 What makes hemp sustainable and its many uses
  • 16:30 Harvesting and regulations around growing hemp
  • 20:30 History of hemp in the Nordics
  • 25:00 Challenges of growing this industry

For more conversations, join our community on Instagram or check out other episodes on www.nordicfoodtech.io.