With so many ideas flooding the F&A market right now, understanding how to get, hold and convert investor attention should be front of mind for every startup.
To help shed some light on the subject, we talked to Adam Anders. He’s the Managing Partner at venture capital firm Anterra Capital and a FoodBytes! regular, attending events both sides of the Atlantic in search of standout innovators with potential to affect change across the F&A value chain.
We talked to Adam about the ideas that grab his attention, the nuances of the EU food ecosystem and the trends piquing his interest. You can check out our video or read on to find out what he had to say.
What kind of opportunities are you looking for and what can early stage companies do to get on your radar?
The availability of venture capital in agtech has soared in recent years. That’s good news for startups with the right projects and propositions and good for investors like me who are on the lookout for ideas that can make the food chain safer, more secure, sustainable and hopefully, more profitable.
Competition has also increased and so startup’s ability to present well is paramount. Venture capitalists are approached by more entrepreneurs and consider more opportunities than they could ever hope to capitalize, so entrepreneurs hungry for investment must come to the table with their A-game.
My advice is to go into meetings with:
1. A simple, easy to explain proposition
Investors won’t waste time trying to understand a difficult or poorly communicated offering. Practice your pitch, prioritize key information so you don’t get bogged down in unnecessary detail and tailor the USPs for your audience.
2. Clear benefits that resonate with the end user
Think about what will cut through beyond the boardroom with farmers, distributors and low-tech adopting sectors that need to understand tangible benefits and monetary savings, fast.
What’s the biggest strength of the EU food ecosystem and what can F&A startups expect in this environment?
Many of the world’s largest food and agtech companies are European and there’s an environment that makes the food industry particularly attractive for new businesses and market innovators who can benefit from the strong infrastructure that surrounds it.
The EU market has a unique ecosystem, with views on issues like the use of steroids and antibiotics, pesticides and the practice of genetic modification truly setting it apart. In my experience, that helps create a different type of startup and that interests me.
Early stage companies need to understand that it’s a challenging time in the F&A industry too, however. Good ideas will always attract attention and there’s strong investment in core research in Europe right now, but there’s an underdeveloped venture capital community, so it’s a delicate balancing act.
What trends do you have your eye on right now?
I’m most excited about the increased use, penetration and power of smart phones. I’m interested in how they can be harnessed to deliver real-time insights that farmers and the food industry generally can act on to save time and money, reduce waste and improve sustainability.
I believe technology holds the answers we need to make advancements in animal care, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. So, I come to FoodBytes! looking for innovators developing enhanced discovery platforms and startups using agtech to provide intelligence, improved consumer communication and more nutritious and sustainable food.
A startup that can identify gaps in the value chain and use data to help fix known fractures and set new standards for the future of food will always catch my eye.