Posted in: Denmark Finland Sweden

3 Nordic Investors Views on the Future of Food

I pulled together three of the top investors in food and ag from the Nordics for a fast-paced, spirit conversation on how they view and are investing in the future of food. We have Marika King from PINC representing corporate venture capital, Lauri Reuter from the Nordic FoodTech VC looking at the bridge between science and entrepreneurship, and Gustaf Brandberg from the family office of Gullspånge Invest Re:Food, which has an evergreen strucutre. I’ve done individual episodes with each of these investors diving into their backstory and investment thesis. Find those in the show links below. This conversation was recorded at Sweden FoodTech’s Big Meet.

Episode Transcript 

Posted in: Denmark

Aquaporin on using nature's genius to solve the water crisis

Water is key because we cannot live without it. We needed to nurture and water our crops and to manufacture all kinds of different things. In today’s episode, we explore the future of water as it relates to agriculture and life on Earth. My guest is Peter Holme Jensen, who is the Chief Innovation Officer of Aquaporin. They have developed an innovative technology to treat and filter water on an industrial scale. The design is based on how our bodies naturally filter water through something called an aquaporin protein. In this episode, we dive into Aquaporin’s approach to innovation and how they have built a business based on biomimicry or the science of applying nature’s genius to solve human problems. We also get into the science behind Aquaporin’s technology, why watter matters, and the company’s startup story since it was founded in 2005.

Episode Transcript 

Posted in: Denmark

Lakrids by Bülow's Founder on creating an iconic brand

If you’ve been to the Nordics, odds are you’ve tried licorice. In today’s episode, we dive into the story of the luxury licorice and chocolate company Lakrids by Bülow. Johan Bülow started cooking licorice in his mom’s kitchen on the Danish island of Bornholm in 2007. Fast forward to today and they’ve become an iconic brand with sales in 35 countries and counting. Their mission: to make the world love licorice. This episode traces the evolution of the company, diving into valuable lessons around food entrepreneurship, branding, and sales.

Episode Transcript

Posted in: Denmark

The Miracle of Hemp on the Island of Bornholm

Signe Anker is the Co-Founder of Bornholmerhampen. She and her partner were some of the first people in Denmark to start growing hemp again. Today, they hand harvest it to produce teas, flours, oils, and cosmetics on the beautiful Danish island of Bornholm. In this episode, we explore why it’s considered a miracle crop, how it’s making a comeback, and the roots of its bad reputation.

As a listener of the podcast, get 20% off all Bornholmerhampen products using the code NORDICFOODTECH at checkout.

Episode Transcript

This episode was first published on October 16, 2020

Posted in: Denmark

The Story of Denmark's Billion Kroner Investment Into Plant-based

In October 2021, the Danish government announced that it was allocating 1 billion kroner or 168 million euro to ramp up plant-based food production. This is one of the largest investments into plant-based by any country to date. Join me and Rune-Christoffer Dragsdahl, the Secretary General of The Vegetarian Society of Denmark, as we discuss the details of the agreement and what it means for the future. It’s not just about politics, it’s also about culture, history, and relationships.

  • 9:30 The history and cultural significance of vegetarianism 
  • 19:00 How the Vegetarian Society of Denmark got started
  • 42:00 Details of the agreement
  • 56:00 Tips for other countries looking to do something similar
Posted in: Denmark

Chromologics' CEO Gerit Tolberg on natural vs artificial food colorants

There is a big trend in the food and cosmetic industry to move away from artificial colors and flavors, replacing them with natural ingredients. Gerit Tolborg is the CEO of Chromologics. Gerit describes herself as an accidental entrepreneur. Through her research at the Danish Technical University, she stumbled upon a way to naturally produce a red colorant using fungi and fermentation. Listen in as we discuss the business of artificial and natural ingredients, what it takes to build an R&D heavy startup, and the journey of becoming an entrepreneur when you never thought that was in the cards.

  • 2:09 Why companies are moving away from artificial colors
  • 9:40 Producing colors through precision fermentation
  • 16:00 How Chromologics started
  • 23:00 Building an R&D heavy startup 
  • 41:00 Challenges of being a female CEO

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Artist Alexandra Genis on 3D printing flavor molecules

Listen again. Artist and food designer Alexandra Genis is set on challenging your notion of artificiality and what sustainability means in the context of food production. Are natural and wild foods really better? We explore her work and how artificial foods, technology, and art can help us reimagine a better food system.

  • 1:50 The Atoma project, turning individual molecules into spices
  • 2:48 The complexity of flavor and the limits of what we can taste
  • 10:45 The importance of artificial foods in a post-agricultural age 
  • 22:00 Other projects Alexandra’s worked on 
  • 24:00 Vision for the future food system

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