77 ITALIAN FOODTECH INFLUENCERS TO WATCH IN 2021

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“Parole parole” From an external viewpoint, the masterpiece song by the great Italian singer Mina could sound like the ideal soundtrack for Italian agrifoodtech.

An environment where there is a lot of talk, where ON the stage it’s repeated like a mantra “make way to the young” but then left them on the BACKstage.

This sounds even stranger if we consider that in the rest of the world the foodtech is running at an incredible pace, as evidenced by the 9 billion invested in agrifoodtech in the first half of 2020 (source: Agfunder); a figure that should also be confirmed for the second half, as a proof that COVID-19 has not stopped the food innovation, which is set to a primary role in the post-COVID-19 world.

THE MODERN CONSUMER PARADIGM

However, a certain distrust of innovation by the first Italian industrial sector, keeper of the best agrifood heritage in the world, is more than plausible. We must not forget that Made in Italy food has become great thanks to the incomparable tradition and great individuality.

But it’s time to look beyond.

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Considering the changed market conditions, with the environment deserving much better and modern consumers becoming ever more demanding, the Italian agrifood sector is called to a momentous change of direction, struggling to adapt to “Modern Consumer Paradigm”: not any more “customers for their products” but rather “products for their customers” to paraphrase the great Seth Godin.

A GROWING ECOSYSTEM

But fortunately, Italian agrifoodtech is not just words. In recent years, we have witnessed a growth, not exponential, but certainly massive, of the Italian agrifoodtech ecosystem, and 2019 that can truly be considered the year zero.

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In this article, I included the 77 most influential Italian foodtech people: startuppers, entrepreneurs, managers, professors, investors, and researchers who will lead Italian food towards a new era.

Not the usual puff piece in journalistic style (at least not all), not the usual list of startups without rhyme or reason, but a description of the people striving to build the first Italian agrifoodtech ecosystem.

WHAT DOES 77 STAND FOR?

First, the answer to the question that everyone is asking. Why 77?

100 would have been a pretentious copycat of Time’s annual survey, and to get to 100, I really would have had to scrape the bottom of the barrel.

77 is the atomic number of iridium, whose name derives from the Latin “iris”, rainbow. Symbolically, therefore, these 77 people symbolize the rainbow on Italian food, after an exceedingly difficult year.

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77 is also a double number symbolizing a great esoteric power, but also great difficulties.

Finally, a cinephile like me couldn’t help but wink at the cult western “The Magnificent 7”, which millennials can also appreciate thanks to the 2016 remake. A banal reference, but due.

THE MAGNIFICENT 77

So, who are these “Magnificent 77”? Here they are, in alphabetical order.

  1. ALBERTO MUSACCHIO — CEO of Joy Food, the plant-based meat Made in Italy, sold under the brand Food Evolution. Alberto can be defined as an old-style entrepreneur, but with the same energy of a youngster. In 2020 Food Evolution meat analogues have been launched by Italian retail. What’s new next year? “We are not inheriting the land from our ancestors, but rather we are borrowing it by our own kids. It’s time to change. It’s definitely time for plant-based”.
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This is the list. I would like just mention “off the list” other startups such as Starbox, Biorfarm, Evja that aims to expand and consolidate their business in 2021.

Someone surely will argue the italian foodtech leaders are more than 77, and that’s probably right, but this is not a matter of numbers, as t’s not a matter of people as it’s not a matter of technolgy.

It’s first of all a matter of culture and mindset, as explained by Sara Roversi.

Break the silos, connect the dots, stop looking at his own orchard, take some risks more, craft the culture of innovation inside the companies, embrace open innovation, really make way for young people, start innovate for real and not on the stage.

These could be some ingredients to prepare italian foodtech recipe. What do you think about it? What’s missing? Feel free to share your opinion.

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Curious to know more about my small business? Check TheFoodCons website.

Would you like watching and hearing the best players of the global agrifood tech ecosystem? So do not miss the podcast “Ten minutes of foodtech with…” every wednesday on Youtube and Spotify, don’t hesitate to write to me to be hosted.

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Written by

Passionate agrifoodtech professional

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