SPEAKERS

New Business Development Manager at Mondragon Business Development Centre, Spain

Amaia Egia

Host

Analisa Winther

EIT Food South Director

Begoña Pérez-Villareal

Founder and CEO at Smart Fauna Technologies

Dragana Vukasinovic

Vice-chairman of the board Food 4 Sustainability and CEO BGI

Gonçalo Amorim

Venture Manager at Doehler Ventures

Jean-Gabriel Tarnaud

Founder at Sweden Foodtech

Johan Jörgensen

Co-Founder and CEO of MicroHarvest

Katelijne Bekers

AgriFood Lithuania Director and Lithuania Cluster Network Managing Director

Kristina Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė

Program Director at StartLife, the Netherlands

Loet Rammelsberg

Innovation Programme Manager at EIT Food

Lorena Savani

Founding Partner at Green Generation Fund

Manon Littek

Business Creation Manager at EIT Food CLC Central (Munich)

Marie Ammann

Head of Innovation at Shake’Up Factory, France

Marie Breysse

Corporate Venture Manager at EIT Food CLC Central (Munich)

Marie Brueser

Lead Impact Funds Initiative at European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA)

Martijn Blom

Co-founder and Head of Climate Science at Planet Fund

Micol Chiesa

Co-creation Manager at VTT and EIT FAN Helsinki HUB Lead

Mirva Lampinen

Founder and chairman of Agrifood-tech Italia

Peter Krüger

European Affairs Manager, Wagralim Food Cluster, Belgium

Philippe Vanrie

Co-founder and CTO at Kern Tec

Sebastian Jeschko

Founder and CEO, Edible Planet Ventures

Sharon Cittone

Innovation Manager at Bayer Crop Science

Simon Maechling

Innovation Advisor at Aarhus University

Stella Spanou

Senior Associate at PeakBridge (FoodSparks®)

Thomas van den Boezem

Amaia Egia

New Business Development Manager at Mondragon Business Development Centre, Spain

Bio:
Degree and Master in Business Management. She works as New Business Development Manager at MONDRAGON Business Development Centre, leading the MONDRAGON AGRIFOODTECH project. With previous experience as CEO at LEARTIKER, an RTO specialized in Food Technology and Polymers Technology, and as international project manager in several companies

Amaia Egia

New Business Development Manager at Mondragon Business Development Centre, Spain

Bio:
Degree and Master in Business Management. She works as New Business Development Manager at MONDRAGON Business Development Centre, leading the MONDRAGON AGRIFOODTECH project. With previous experience as CEO at LEARTIKER, an RTO specialized in Food Technology and Polymers Technology, and as international project manager in several companies.

Analisa Winther

Host

Bio:
Analisa Winther is an ecosystem developer within the food system focused on forging innovation through collaboration and affecting change through storytelling. In her consulting practice, Analisa works as a venture scout sourcing deals and putting together ecosystem partnerships for VCs and CVCs. Part of her matchmaking work includes coaching founders on their vision, values, and pitch to prepare them for investment. Analisa is a frequent speaker and facilitator as well as the Host of the Nordic FoodTech Podcast, which spotlights individuals and organizations building a better future through food.

Analisa Winther

Host

Bio:
Analisa Winther is an ecosystem developer within the food system focused on forging innovation through collaboration and affecting change through storytelling. In her consulting practice, Analisa works as a venture scout sourcing deals and putting together ecosystem partnerships for VCs and CVCs. Part of her matchmaking work includes coaching founders on their vision, values, and pitch to prepare them for investment. Analisa is a frequent speaker and facilitator as well as the Host of the Nordic FoodTech Podcast, which spotlights individuals and organizations building a better future through food.

Begoña Pérez-Villareal

EIT Food South Director

Bio:
as EIT Food South Director, she enjoys driving innovation, boosting the entrepreneurial spirit, and engaging stakeholders from the Mediterranean area to develop products and services that contribute to a healthy lifestyle and a sustainable circular bioeconomy. Trained as a Pharmacist specialized in food microbiology and in Business Management of Food companies, she has worked for 25 years with food SMEs in innovation related to food safety, product development, traceability, authenticity, and sustainability of food systems.

Begoña Pérez-Villareal

EIT Food South Director

Bio:
as EIT Food South Director, she enjoys driving innovation, boosting the entrepreneurial spirit, and engaging stakeholders from the Mediterranean area to develop products and services that contribute to a healthy lifestyle and a sustainable circular bioeconomy. Trained as a Pharmacist specialized in food microbiology and in Business Management of Food companies, she has worked for 25 years with food SMEs in innovation related to food safety, product development, traceability, authenticity, and sustainability of food systems.

Dragana Vukasinovic

Founder and CEO at Smart Fauna Technologies

Bio:
Dr. Vukasinovic is an Entrepreneurial Scientist. She is commercializing cutting-edge research findings to transform the oldest and the biggest industry in the world, Agriculture. She is the founder and CEO of Smart Fauna Technologies.

Dragana Vukasinovic

Founder and CEO at Smart Fauna Technologies

Bio:
Dr. Vukasinovic is an Entrepreneurial Scientist. She is commercializing cutting-edge research findings to transform the oldest and the biggest industry in the world, Agriculture. She is the founder and CEO of Smart Fauna Technologies.


Gonçalo Amorim

Vice-chairman of the board Food 4 Sustainability and CEO BGI

Bio:
Mechanical and environmental engineering passionate about developing sustainable ventures, very much focused in the agro-food space. CEO and Founder of BGI SA and Collaborative Laboratory, Food4Sustainability in Portugal. Has mentored over 200 tech-based founders, entrepreneurial teams, and technology-based start-ups & spinoffs and actively involved as an advisor & board member in several emerging technology intense start-ups.

Gonçalo Amorim

Vice-chairman of the board Food 4 Sustainability and CEO BGI

Bio:
Mechanical and environmental engineering passionate about developing sustainable ventures, very much focused in the agro-food space. CEO and Founder of BGI SA and Collaborative Laboratory, Food4Sustainability in Portugal. Has mentored over 200 tech-based founders, entrepreneurial teams, and technology-based start-ups & spinoffs and actively involved as an advisor & board member in several emerging technology intense start-ups.

Jean-Gabriel Tarnaud

Venture Manager at Doehler Ventures

Bio:
Franco-German with a passion for food and the surrounding ecosystem. I have a background in finance and consulting and am now responsible for venture management in Doehler’s European VC team, from deal sourcing to startup evaluation to portfolio management.

 

Jean-Gabriel Tarnaud

Venture Manager at Doehler Ventures

Bio:
Franco-German with a passion for food and the surrounding ecosystem. I have a background in finance and consulting and am now responsible for venture management in Doehler’s European VC team, from deal sourcing to startup evaluation to portfolio management.

Johan Jörgensen

Founder at Sweden Foodtech

Bio:
Johan Jorgensen is the founder of Sweden Foodtech, the leading advisory for the next gen food system in the Nordics. He is considered one of the thought leaders around how tech and food will merge into new products and business models, rapidly transforming the current value chain, providing massive new opportunities, and shifting fortunes on a planetary scale. Sweden Foodtech also organizes the local ecosystem and hosts the Big Meet, one of the world’s largest and leading food tech conferences

Johan Jörgensen

Founder at Sweden Foodtech

Bio:
Johan Jorgensen is the founder of Sweden Foodtech, the leading advisory for the next gen food system in the Nordics. He is considered one of the thought leaders around how tech and food will merge into new products and business models, rapidly transforming the current value chain, providing massive new opportunities, and shifting fortunes on a planetary scale. Sweden Foodtech also organizes the local ecosystem and hosts the Big Meet, one of the world’s largest and leading food tech conferences

Katelijne Bekers

Co-Founder and CEO of MicroHarvest

Bio:
Kate is Co-Founder and CEO of MicroHarvest, in which she brings together her passion for fermentation, excitement for the future of the agri-food supply chain and an intrinsic drive to change the world for the better. Kate has a dual background in biotechnology and business development. She worked as fermentation scientist leading projects at Corbion, and worked on the scaling of biobased processes at the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant. During her time at Ohly as technical sales and later business development manager she obtained an MBA at Rotterdam School of Management and got a deep understanding of the B2B Ingredients market.

Katelijne Bekers

Co-Founder and CEO of MicroHarvest

Bio:
Kate is Co-Founder and CEO of MicroHarvest, in which she brings together her passion for fermentation, excitement for the future of the agri-food supply chain and an intrinsic drive to change the world for the better. Kate has a dual background in biotechnology and business development. She worked as fermentation scientist leading projects at Corbion, and worked on the scaling of biobased processes at the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant. During her time at Ohly as technical sales and later business development manager she obtained an MBA at Rotterdam School of Management and got a deep understanding of the B2B Ingredients market.

Kristina Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė

AgriFood Lithuania Director and Lithuania Cluster Network Managing Director

Bio:
Kristina Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė is Lithuania Cluster Network Managing Director. She has a vast experience in product development and innovation managing, working with research and development and implementation, information technologies and services, and ICT products on a cross-sectoral basis. She is studying Ph.D. in economics at The Institute of Economics and Rural Development of the Lithuanian Center for Social Sciences. Her scientific area of interest evaluates the effectiveness of the industries’ twin transition- digitalization and the Green Deal- in the EU Member States.

Since 2021 she is The Chairwoman of the Agri – Food and Bioeconomy Committee and The Chairwoman of the Labour, Social Policy and Human Resources Committee at the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists (the biggest association of business in Lithuania).

In July 2022 she has been appointed as a Vice-Chair of the Food and Agriculture Committee at Business at OECD (BIAC).

Kristina Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė

AgriFood Lithuania Director and Lithuania Cluster Network Managing Director

Bio:
Kristina Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė is Lithuania Cluster Network Managing Director. She has a vast experience in product development and innovation managing, working with research and development and implementation, information technologies and services, and ICT products on a cross-sectoral basis. She is studying Ph.D. in economics at The Institute of Economics and Rural Development of the Lithuanian Center for Social Sciences. Her scientific area of interest evaluates the effectiveness of the industries’ twin transition- digitalization and the Green Deal- in the EU Member States.

Since 2021 she is The Chairwoman of the Agri – Food and Bioeconomy Committee and The Chairwoman of the Labour, Social Policy and Human Resources Committee at the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists (the biggest association of business in Lithuania).

In July 2022 she has been appointed as a Vice-Chair of the Food and Agriculture Committee at Business at OECD (BIAC).

Loet Rammelsberg

Program Director at StartLife, the Netherlands

Bio:
As a Program Director at StartLife, Loet supports promising agrifoodtech startups to turn their idea into a great company. He helps founders with validating their most critical market assumptions and thinks along with raising an (often) first investment round. Loet was born and raised on a small organic farm in the south of the Netherlands. 

Loet Rammelsberg

Program Director at StartLife, the Netherlands

Bio:
As a Program Director at StartLife, Loet supports promising agrifoodtech startups to turn their idea into a great company. He helps founders with validating their most critical market assumptions and thinks along with raising an (often) first investment round. Loet was born and raised on a small organic farm in the south of the Netherlands.

Lorena Savani

Innovation Programme Manager at EIT Food

Bio:
Food Engineer with a master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetic for Health Promotion and an Executive Management Program by IESE Business School. Innovation, business development and marketing expert with over 20 years of international experience in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods and Horeca sectors. She also worked for 3 years as senior business consultant of large food industry companies. From 2018 she is the Innovation Programme Manager at EIT FOOD CLC South with a special focus in Healthy Nutrition and Protein Diversification.

Lorena Savani

Innovation Programme Manager at EIT Food

Bio:
Food Engineer with a master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetic for Health Promotion and an Executive Management Program by IESE Business School. Innovation, business development and marketing expert with over 20 years of international experience in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods and Horeca sectors. She also worked for 3 years as senior business consultant of large food industry companies. From 2018 she is the Innovation Programme Manager at EIT FOOD CLC South with a special focus in Healthy Nutrition and Protein Diversification.

 

Manon Littek

Founding Partner at Green Generation Fund

Bio:
Manon is one of Europe’s pioneering investors in plant-based food alternatives and a prominent figure in the food tech ecosystems: She serves as board member at Upfield (KKR-backed), the world’s largest plant-based company and is founding partner of the Green Generation Fund, a recently established venture capital investor that focuses on early stage sustainable food tech and green tech companies in Europe and the US.

Previously, she has been CEO of Katjesgreenfood, and Managing Director of DLD Ventures (Hubert Burda Media).

Dr. Manon Littek holds a doctoral degree from the FU Berlin and obtained a BA in Philosophy from Oxford University.

 

Manon Littek

Founding Partner at Green Generation Fund

Bio:
Manon is one of Europe’s pioneering investors in plant-based food alternatives and a prominent figure in the food tech ecosystems: She serves as board member at Upfield (KKR-backed), the world’s largest plant-based company and is founding partner of the Green Generation Fund, a recently established venture capital investor that focuses on early stage sustainable food tech and green tech companies in Europe and the US.

Previously, she has been CEO of Katjesgreenfood, and Managing Director of DLD Ventures (Hubert Burda Media).

Dr. Manon Littek holds a doctoral degree from the FU Berlin and obtained a BA in Philosophy from Oxford University.

Marie Ammann

Business Creation Manager at EIT Food CLC Central (Munich)

Bio:
Marie is as ecosystem shaper, linking EIT Food’s agri-food Startups from GER/NL/AT and the European network and vice versa. She has local knowledge of other agri-food players and events, and actively engages with accelerators, VCs, and companies to support and integrate EIT Food startups into the agri-food ecosystem.

Marie Ammann

Business Creation Manager at EIT Food CLC Central (Munich)

Bio:
Marie is as ecosystem shaper, linking EIT Food’s agri-food Startups from GER/NL/AT and the European network and vice versa. She has local knowledge of other agri-food players and events, and actively engages with accelerators, VCs, and companies to support and integrate EIT Food startups into the agri-food ecosystem.

Marie Breysse

EHead of Innovation at Shake’Up Factory, France

Bio:
Head of Innovation at Shake up Factory, leading acceleration programs for AgriFood Tech startups (inc. EIT FAN) as well as Strategic Innovation Project Lead for corporates, Marie is a FMCG/B2C marketing expert with 15 years of local & international experience at Unilever in France / UK / Netherlands across Foods & Home Care divisions, including the development of the first global Foods Incubator team.

Marie Breysse

Head of Innovation at Shake’Up Factory, France

Bio:
Head of Innovation at Shake up Factory, leading acceleration programs for AgriFood Tech startups (inc. EIT FAN) as well as Strategic Innovation Project Lead for corporates, Marie is a FMCG/B2C marketing expert with 15 years of local & international experience at Unilever in France / UK / Netherlands across Foods & Home Care divisions, including the development of the first global Foods Incubator team.

Marie Brueser

Corporate Venture Manager at EIT Food CLC Central (Munich)

Bio:
Dr Marie Brueser is the Corporate Venture Manager at EIT Food and connects innovative startups with corporates to set up collaborations, thereby working at the forefront of agri-food-tech innovation.

Marie Brueser

Corporate Venture Manager at EIT Food CLC Central (Munich)

Bio:
Dr Marie Brueser is the Corporate Venture Manager at EIT Food and connects innovative startups with corporates to set up collaborations, thereby working at the forefront of agri-food-tech innovation.

Martijn Blom

Lead Impact Funds Initiative at European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA)

Bio:
Impact Investment Funds expert, with special interest in creative lens approach. Lead
Impact Funds Initiative at EVPA and advisor to starting impact funds in Ukraine,
Armenia and Georgia. Board member of Graphic Matters and Blind Walls Gallery
Foundations in Breda, where he lives.

Martijn Blom

Lead Impact Funds Initiative at European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA)

Bio:
Impact Investment Funds expert, with special interest in creative lens approach. Lead
Impact Funds Initiative at EVPA and advisor to starting impact funds in Ukraine,
Armenia and Georgia. Board member of Graphic Matters and Blind Walls Gallery
Foundations in Breda, where he lives.

Micol Chiesa

Co-founder and Head of Climate Science at Planet Fund

Bio:
Micol is a Co-founder and Head of Climate Science at Planet Fund, an early stage climate tech VC fund. She sits on the technical advisory board of many companies, including Tropic Biosciences, a pioneering leader in the development of novel high-performing commercial tropical crop varieties. Prior to her work at Planet Fund, Micol was Head of Impact Investing at Five Seasons Ventures, the largest foodtech impact fund in Europe, and spent several years at Bain and Company helping fast-moving innovators scale with purpose in the private equity and energy and resources industries. Micol holds an MA in environmental economics from Johns Hopkins SAIS, Energy Resources and Environment Programme, and a PhD in environmental finance from the University of Oxford, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.

Micol Chiesa

Co-founder and Head of Climate Science at Planet Fund

Bio:
Micol is a Co-founder and Head of Climate Science at Planet Fund, an early stage climate tech VC fund. She sits on the technical advisory board of many companies, including Tropic Biosciences, a pioneering leader in the development of novel high-performing commercial tropical crop varieties. Prior to her work at Planet Fund, Micol was Head of Impact Investing at Five Seasons Ventures, the largest foodtech impact fund in Europe, and spent several years at Bain and Company helping fast-moving innovators scale with purpose in the private equity and energy and resources industries. Micol holds an MA in environmental economics from Johns Hopkins SAIS, Energy Resources and Environment Programme, and a PhD in environmental finance from the University of Oxford, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.

Mirva Lampinen

Co-creation Manager at VTT and EIT FAN Helsinki HUB Lead

Bio:
Mirva Lampinen is VTT´s Co-Creation Manager who is leading Food and Beyond innovation ecosystem. Which aim is create a positive impact on the people, the planet and the business by bringing to life innovative food solutions and beyond. Ecosystem has multiple actions such as EIT Food accelerator program´s Helsinki hub, which now running the third year.  Ecosystem also supports plant protein innovation under national protein cluster action. Before VTT she has been working on food industry at different development roles related product development, nutrition and food legislation.

Mirva Lampinen

Co-creation Manager at VTT and EIT FAN Helsinki HUB Lead

Bio:
Mirva Lampinen is VTT´s Co-Creation Manager who is leading Food and Beyond innovation ecosystem. Which aim is create a positive impact on the people, the planet and the business by bringing to life innovative food solutions and beyond. Ecosystem has multiple actions such as EIT Food accelerator program´s Helsinki hub, which now running the third year.  Ecosystem also supports plant protein innovation under national protein cluster action. Before VTT she has been working on food industry at different development roles related product development, nutrition and food legislation.

Peter Krüger

Founder and chairman of Agrifood-tech Italia

Bio:
Managing Partner at AgFood Ventures, an EU-based VC investing globally in disruptive seed stage agrifood-tech startups. Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Agrifood-tech Italia, with +20 years of experience leading entrepreneurship/startup organizations in Italy and worldwide. He is an active Entrepreneur, investor, and advisor in the Italian agrifood innovation ecosystem.

Peter Krüger

Founder and chairman of Agrifood-tech Italia

Bio:
Managing Partner at AgFood Ventures, an EU-based VC investing globally in disruptive seed stage agrifood-tech startups. Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Agrifood-tech Italia, with +20 years of experience leading entrepreneurship/startup organizations in Italy and worldwide. He is an active Entrepreneur, investor, and advisor in the Italian agrifood innovation ecosystem.

Philippe Vanrie

European Affairs Manager, Wagralim Food Cluster, Belgium

Bio:
Philippe is an Engineer graduated from Gembloux Agro-Bio-Tech, and from UCLouvain in Innovation Management.  He has 30 years of experience in conducting complex multi-stakeholders European & International Innovation Networks (EBN and EUREKA), and implementing EC-funded R&I and economic development projects in various fields (Open innovation, Start-ups & Scale-ups, SMEs internationalization, digital transformation, circular economy, bioeconomy, smart agriculture, satellite applications). Philippe has led EBN (European Network of Business Innovation & Incubation Centres) during 20 years, a community of thousands of smart innovators and entrepreneurs, Business & Innovation Centres, Incubators & Accelerators, Economic Development Agencies.

 

Philippe Vanrie

European Affairs Manager, Wagralim Food Cluster, Belgium

Bio:
Philippe is an Engineer graduated from Gembloux Agro-Bio-Tech, and from UCLouvain in Innovation Management. He has 30 years of experience in conducting complex multi-stakeholders European & International Innovation Networks (EBN and EUREKA), and implementing EC-funded R&I and economic development projects in various fields (Open innovation, Start-ups & Scale-ups, SMEs internationalization, digital transformation, circular economy, bioeconomy, smart agriculture, satellite applications). Philippe has led EBN (European Network of Business Innovation & Incubation Centres) during 20 years, a community of thousands of smart innovators and entrepreneurs, Business & Innovation Centres, Incubators & Accelerators, Economic Development Agencies.

Sebastian Jeschko

Co-founder and CTO at Kern Tec

Bio:
Sebastian Jeschko is Co-Founder and CTO at Kern Tec, an Austrian-based company upcycling a waste stream of the fruit industry to high quality ingredients for the plant-based revolution. With an engineering & economics background he has worked in the manufacturing business in Europe and Asia as well as the renowned Incubator Brinc before co-founding Kern Tec. With his team, Sebastian has developed innovative technologies to transform cherry, apricot, and plum pits (currently a waste product) to plant-based milk alternatives, spreads, and award-winning speciality oils. As ecological sustainability demands economic stability, at Kern Tec his focus lies on bringing inventions to market fast in a lean and efficient matter. Kern Tec has been able to introduce these new resources to the food market in the form of multiple products in Europe and is tackling the problem of millions of tons of fruit pit waste by transforming them to a most wanted part of the fruit.

Sebastian Jeschko

Co-founder and CTO at Kern Tec

Bio:
Sebastian Jeschko is Co-Founder and CTO at Kern Tec, an Austrian-based company upcycling a waste stream of the fruit industry to high quality ingredients for the plant-based revolution. With an engineering & economics background he has worked in the manufacturing business in Europe and Asia as well as the renowned Incubator Brinc before co-founding Kern Tec. With his team, Sebastian has developed innovative technologies to transform cherry, apricot, and plum pits (currently a waste product) to plant-based milk alternatives, spreads, and award-winning speciality oils. As ecological sustainability demands economic stability, at Kern Tec his focus lies on bringing inventions to market fast in a lean and efficient matter. Kern Tec has been able to introduce these new resources to the food market in the form of multiple products in Europe and is tackling the problem of millions of tons of fruit pit waste by transforming them to a most wanted part of the fruit.

Sharon Cittone

Founder and CEO, Edible Planet Ventures

Bio:
EIT Food South Director, she enjoys driving innovation, boosting the entrepreneurial spirit, and engaging stakeholders from the Mediterranean area to develop products and services that contribute to a healthy lifestyle and a sustainable circular bioeconomy. Trained as a Pharmacist specialized in food microbiology and in Business Management of Food companies, she has worked for 25 years with food SMEs in innovation related to food safety, product development, traceability, authenticity, and sustainability of food systems.Cittone believes in connecting the dots, creating opportunities for others, and facilitating the collaboration that will lead to systemic change within the food system. She is founder & CEO of Edible Planet Ventures, a systemic platform that aims to reshape our food system. To date she’s also Founding Board Member of Agrifood Tech Italia, an advisor to two funds, sits on the advisory board of the WFP Italia, a mentor for both Rockstart Agrifood and the Foodtech Accelerator, Global Chair for Food Innovation of the G100 and a in the NOW Partners collective’s team. Finally, she’s been recognized as one of the women changing our food system by both Forbes and Food Tank, is a TEDx speaker, Food Tech Junkies podcast host and guest contributor for several publications in the sector.

Sharon Cittone

Founder and CEO, Edible Planet Ventures

Bio:
Cittone believes in connecting the dots, creating opportunities for others, and facilitating the collaboration that will lead to systemic change within the food system. She is founder & CEO of Edible Planet Ventures, a systemic platform that aims to reshape our food system. To date she’s also Founding Board Member of Agrifood Tech Italia, an advisor to two funds, sits on the advisory board of the WFP Italia, a mentor for both Rockstart Agrifood and the Foodtech Accelerator, Global Chair for Food Innovation of the G100 and a in the NOW Partners collective’s team. Finally, she’s been recognized as one of the women changing our food system by both Forbes and Food Tank, is a TEDx speaker, Food Tech Junkies podcast host and guest contributor for several publications in the sector.

Simon Maechling

Innovation Manager at Bayer Crop Science

Bio
With >17 years’ experience in R&D, Simon plays a central role in fostering strategic partnerships around the globe and supporting programs of internal and external innovation to accelerate Bayer’s industry leading R&D pipeline.

He is a strong champion for both external and pre-competitive partnering as a driving force for innovation with 14 original research publication in peer reviewed journals and >40 patent applications.

Working from the LifeHub Lyon in Lyon, France he is a strong promotor of open innovation and new technologies for agriculture. He is very active in supporting and mentoring startups to grow.

In his spare time he practices Double-bass, Tenor Saxophone and Baritone Saxophone and is active within the amateur music circuit in Lyon and Rhone-Alpes.

Simon Maechling

Innovation Manager at Bayer Crop Science

Bio:
With >17 years’ experience in R&D, Simon plays a central role in fostering strategic partnerships around the globe and supporting programs of internal and external innovation to accelerate Bayer’s industry leading R&D pipeline. 

 

He is a strong champion for both external and pre-competitive partnering as a driving force for innovation with 14 original research publication in peer reviewed journals and >40 patent applications. 

 

Working from the LifeHub Lyon in Lyon, France he is a strong promotor of open innovation and new technologies for agriculture. He is very active in supporting and mentoring startups to grow.

 

In his spare time he practices Double-bass, Tenor Saxophone and Baritone Saxophone and is active within the amateur music circuit in Lyon and Rhone-Alpes.

Stella Spanou

Innovation Advisor at Aarhus University

Bio:
Stella Spanou is a passionate Innovation Advisor with technical & managerial experience gained at international working environments (Greece, Sweden & Denmark). Has a track record in EU competitive Grants & Philanthropy undraising. Holds a substantial experience within knowledge sharing & communication between different scientific groups & stakeholders. As well as knowledge of cross-disciplinary areas & a broad network of academic & industrial partners across Europe. Has supported for 2 years the 30 start-ups of the Lefkippos Attica Technology Park in effectively attracting soft and blended funding. Participated as a mentor under the EIT FOOD Seedbed incubator program. And is currently part of the EIT Food Seedbed Activity Lead team

Stella Spanou

Innovation Advisor at Aarhus University

Bio:
Stella Spanou is a passionate Innovation Advisor with technical & managerial experience gained at international working environments (Greece, Sweden & Denmark). Has a track record in EU competitive Grants & Philanthropy undraising. Holds a substantial experience within knowledge sharing & communication between different scientific groups & stakeholders. As well as knowledge of cross-disciplinary areas & a broad network of academic & industrial partners across Europe. Has supported for 2 years the 30 start-ups of the Lefkippos Attica Technology Park in effectively attracting soft and blended funding. Participated as a mentor under the EIT FOOD Seedbed incubator program. And is currently part of the EIT Food Seedbed Activity Lead team

Thomas van den Boezem

Senior Associate at PeakBridge (FoodSparks®)

Bio:
Thomas is a Senior Associate at PeakBridge, a global FoodTech fund manager. He focuses on early-stage investments in Europe and Israel. Before PeakBridge, Thomas worked in investment roles at EIT Food and Innovation Industries. He is based in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Thomas van den Boezem

Senior Associate at PeakBridge (FoodSparks®)

Bio:
Thomas is a Senior Associate at PeakBridge, a global FoodTech fund manager. He focuses on early-stage investments in Europe and Israel. Before PeakBridge, Thomas worked in investment roles at EIT Food and Innovation Industries. He is based in Utrecht, the Netherlands.