On 6 March the Foundation StartLife Holding (including StartHub Wageningen) signed a new partner agreement with METRO GROUP Wholesale and Food Specialist in order to develop innovative FoodTech solutions. The company is represented in the Netherlands by its wholesale sales line MAKRO. Within the period of the next three years until 1st of March 2020 StartLife and METRO GROUP will cooperate on supporting startups.
Jan Meiling, Managing Director of StartLife, on the importance of this partnership for both parties: "Food wholesale and retail companies have been selling their food products in the same way for thirty years or more, but this is about to change. Companies try to anticipate this change, but to do so they need insight into new technology and new, often shorter, logistics lines. The newly signed cooperation enables access to the disruptive innovations our startups are working on, from new food products to new ways of delivering or presenting products.”
According to Fabio Ziemssen, Head of Food Innovation at HoReCa.digital, a subsidiary of METRO dealing with digitalization of HoReCa sector and innovation, the agreement benefits both parties. “It gives start-ups linked to StartLife access to the stores of wholesale and retail sales lines of METRO GROUP, providing them with the opportunity to test their products in a real environment. Whilst our professional customers will gain new business ideas and opportunities through enlarged and innovative assortment”.
With this collaboration, METRO is also officially partnering with F&A Next, the match & deal-making event for Food & Agri startups held at the Wageningen Campus every May. From the METRO side the cooperation will be executed by the team of HoReCa.digital, as FoodTech innovation is one of the major areas of work of the newly created subsidiary.
The METRO GROUP Wholesale & Food Specialist Company (W&FS Co.) is an internationally leading specialist in wholesale and food retail. With its sales lines METRO Cash & Carry and Real as well as its other associated companies, METRO GROUP W&FS Co. operates in 35 countries and employs more than 150,000 people around the world. In 2015/16, METRO GROUP W&FS Co. achieved sales of around €37 billion. The company provides custom solutions to meet the regional and international needs of its wholesale and retail customers.
More information is available at www.metrogroup.de and https://wfsco.metrogroup.de/
StartLife helps new entrepreneurs in the Food and Agri sector create opportunities and work in this sector and enables them to contribute to the development and application of sustainable technological innovations. StartLife does this by means of loans, feasibility studies, educational activities, network contacts, coaching and active support programmes for startups by experts. Wageningen University & Research is one of StartLife’s partners.
StartHub Wageningen is a community and incubator for enterprising Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD students and graduates with a business idea. StartHub organises interactive workshops, funding, and housing, and provides coaching by experts. When creating their business, starters can make use of a network of professionals, for example from Wageningen University & Research.