Vivino Founder Heini Zachariassen on disrupting the wine industry with tech and community

Over 10 years ago, Heini Zachariassen and his co-founder Theis Søndergaard founded Vivino because they were frustrated by not knowing which wine to buy. Today, Vivino’s 50 million users can purchase nearly 13 million wines from around the world. The Vivino community has scanned over 1.6 billion wine labels, written 72 million reviews, and given 204 million ratings on 13.5 million bottles of wine. In this episode, Vivino Founder Heini Zachariassen shares the startup’s story of how they disrupted the wine industry.

  • 6:30 How Vivino started
  • 10:30 The first MVP – staying lean and frugal
  • 16:15 The technology and community behind Vivino
  • 30:30 The moment Vivino found product-market fit
  • 40:00 Lessons in leadership 

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!

Nick's Ice Cream Founder Niclas Luthman on developing high-tech, good for you sweets

The story of Nick’s begins in 2014, when a Swedish serial entrepreneur with a background in mechanical engineering was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Niclas Luthman had to change his diet, but he still loved and craved sweets. This led to him tinkering around in the kitchen and creating a line of “better for you” snacks and sweets that have no added sugar, gluten, or palm oil. Nick’s products involve an enormous amount of R&D. enabling them to achieve new food feats like offering an ice cream with 70% fewer calories than other leading brands. Nick’s recently closed $30 million in funding, launched its ice cream in 4,000 stores across the US, and has expanded into 15 European markets. Tune in for this startup’s how I built this story. 

  • 9:30 How Nick’s started 
  • 17:00 Building every ingredient from scratch
  • 23:00 The power of a good team in an emerging industry
  • 32:00 Developing innovative products from science
  • 42:00 Advice for scaling in Sweden vs the USA

Share your feedback and thoughts or discover new episodes on Instagram @nordicfoodtech

C40 Cities Zachary Tofias on how a network of the world’s megacities is addressing climate change

The C40 network consists of 97 cities representing 700+ million citizens and one quarter of the global economy. The mayors of these cities are committed to delivering on the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement at the local level and C40 supports them in collaborating effectively, sharing knowledge and driving meaningful, measurable and sustainable action on climate change.

In today’s episode, I speak with Zachary Tofias who serves as the Director of the Food and Waste Program at C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. We discuss the ins and outs of how C40 works, the power of cities to create change, why networks matter, how to spread good ideas, and examples of how cities are taking bold climate action.

  • 2:30 What C40 is and how it works
  • 7:40 Why cities can have big food system impact
  • 11:15 How good ideas spread across cities
  • 30:00 The big opportunity around food systems
  • 36:00 How to establish a network

Share your feedback and thoughts or discover new episodes on Instagram @nordicfoodtech.

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

True Gum's Founder on creating a plastic-free chewing gum

In 2016, Peter Juul Regnersgaard and his co-founders realized that most gum is made with a plastic core. This launched a hobby project, which turned into a business to see if a plastic-free gum could be made. It took the founders 472 prototypes until they finally perfected the recipe in their home kitchens and launched True Gum, which is now sold all across Europe. In this episode, Peter shares the company’s startup story from going up against industry conglomerates to building a brand and setting up a factory with no prior startup or food production experience. This is a story you won’t want to miss!

  • 2:30 Why gum is an environmental problem 
  • 17:50 Why True Gum set up their own factory
  • 39:00 Finding product-market fit
  • 37:20 Sourcing and making plastic-free gum

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!

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!

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.

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.

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

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!