How are Denmark’s rural areas spurring AgTech innovation? Christiane is the head of the Growth Train Accelerator program on Lolland-Falster. This area of Denmark is fascinating not only because it has some of the richest soil in the country, but also because its considered “udkantsdanmark” or outer Denmark – a rural region, which has been struggling to attract growth in competition with big cities. Despite this, Growth Train’s 7-week accelerator program has succeeded in attracting international participants. The program focuses on food processing and solutions that meet the local agricultural community’s needs. Christiane provides insight into the region’s AgTech ecosystem as well as describes the ins & outs of the accelerator program.

3:10 What crops do you grow on your farm? 

3:50 Lolland Falster is a southern region of Denmark. Can you describe the entrepreneurial community there and the relationship to food?  

Our region is a test bed for new agricultural methods.

5:40 Are most entrepreneurs farmers or companies who have moved to the region to focus on AgTech? 

Everyone wants to optimize their work.

8:00 Are farmers working with corporates or startups as external partners to explore and test new technologies?

If a farmer has an idea for a new technology or something they want to try, they will approach their existing providers to see if it exists. Those providers will then seek startups to work with.

8:50 What are some of the companies that are acting as this technological broker? 

A lot of the breakthrough innovations are better suited for the developing market because of the way we do things here.

9:25 What are the new ways, methods, or even crops people are playing with? 

11:40 A lot of international startups are coming to the region for your programs and services. Can you explain what you are offering? 

13:40 Can you share some more info on the profile of companies applying? 

We are primarily focused on technologies around food processing.

14:35 The startups you pick are chosen because they can directly impact the local agricultural community. Can you elaborate on how this works? 

The program is customized to make sure we create the most relevant interactions.

16:15 What are the latest innovations and trends you see within food processing? 

17:06 What is the application process? 

19:35 Are there any success stories from the program you’d like to mention?

21:00 What is your vision for what the Nordic FoodTech ecosystem should look like in 10-15 years?

We’re here to develop companies, but we’re also partnering with investors to make development happen.

22:50 What kind of investors do you primarily have in your network? 

23:50 What is missing in the ecosystem to make your vision happen? 

A lot more cooperation between the user and the innovators. We need a lot more matchmaking, dialogue, and press about these things. Copenhagen is so active. Let’s extend it to the rest of the country.

25:40 How can listeners get involved and help you? 

We need business developers in the scene who are focused on opening up and connecting the network.