Who We Are

FoodTech Accelerator is a global accelerator that brings top Made in Italy corporates and best international innovators together to disrupt agrifood and retail sectors.

We chase innovation along the food supply chain to find the new foodtech stars.

The program, held in Milan, is powered by Deloitte and promoted by Corporate partners Amadori, Cereal Docks, Finiper Group along with leading investors such as Innogest and Digital Magics, Media & Community partner Seeds&Chips and Italian Public Institution Federalimentare.


Why Us

Corporate Access

Unique opportunity to test and validate your product collaborating with industrial leading partners that oversee the whole foodchain. Speedup the go to market thanks to an hands-on and tailored mentorship approach by committed Partners

Deloitte Expertise

Deloitte’s globally recognized consultancy approach and its worldwide network on your fingertips to boost your Startup

Italian and Milan Ecosystem

Gain knowledge tapping in Made in Italy excellence. Accelerate your Startup in Milan, the city in Europe where tradition meets innovation

Smart Money

Access to €20k in cash contribution and €50k in services, directly invested by our Partners, in exchange for 6% of your equity

Network of investors

Up to €1Mln in follow-on investments already committed by our expert investors

Co-working and facilities

Run your business from a collaborative co-working space and test your product having access to corporate partners facilities

Who Should Apply


Quality & Traceability

Food safety

Plant quality

Food quality

Circular Economy

Sharing Economy


Sustainable Packaging

Healthy Lifestyle

Precision nutrition
& coaching

Meal replacement


Alternative Ingredients

Plant based proteins

Invitro cell culture

Novel and Superfood

Delivery Revolution

direct to consumer
& meal kit

Digital restaurants

New Delivery Vehicles


customer engagement
& smart packaging

Digital Experience

Digital Native Brands


Precision Farming

Animal Health

Vertical and Indoor Farming

clean commodities


August 26th 2018

Application Close

September – October 2018

Application evaluation

November – December 2018

Startup On-boarding

January 2019

Program Start

May 2019

Demo Day

How It Works

Engage with our Network before starting

  • International Roadshow: Meet us during our events, industry conferences, and through referral by our Deloitte Network, investors, mentors, and partners. Follow the #FoodTechroadshow on social media
  • Live interviews: shortlisted Startups meet our selection committee in order to select the best 7-10 teams to join the program

An intensive 15 weeks program

  • Hands-on learning experience and out-of-the-building approach, to successfully transform ideas into innovative products. The program takes you from Business Model Consolidation, to Validation & Prototyping aiming at Fundraising & Go-to-Market success
  • Work directly with expert mentors from our Corporate Partners and Deloitte ecosystem in order to validate and scale your business faster thanks to MVP and POC testing

Accelerate fast!

  • Pitch in the final Demo Day in front of carefully selected professional investors that will be keen to drive your company to the next stage
  • Boost your network and learn from cross-functional and cross-contamination teams of Corporate executives, experienced consultants, entrepreneurs, scientists, private investors and venture capitalists (VCs)

Corporate Partners

Supporting Partners

Powered By


Richard Belluzzo

Partner, Innogest and
Former-President & COO, Microsoft

Full Profile

Richard Belluzzo (San Francisco, 1953) has developed his career in the field of global technological innovation.

He worked for Hewlett-Packard [NASDAQ: HPQ] for 23 years, starting in 1975 as an entry level financial analyst and ultimately became in 1996 Executive Vice President in charge of the Computing Group, a group responsible of over 80% of the revenue of the company. He managed HP printer business in the mid 80’s through the mid 90’s, leading the company to become the dominant player.

He moved to Silicon Graphics [NASDAQ: SPO] in 1998, becoming Chairman of the Board and CEO, leading the company through the transition from proprietary systems to industry standard solutions.

He was presented with the challenge of turning around a company that was losing money and experienced revenue declines of 30%: being able to build a new leadership team, develop a new product strategy, improved operations, he achieved the first quarter of growth and profitability after two years.

In August 1999, Belluzzo left SGI to head Microsoft’s MSN division [NASDAQ: MS], and then – as Group Vice President – the whole Consumer business, leading several emerging efforts, including the launch of the first Xbox and MS TV. In February 2001, he became President and Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft, running the day to day business during the critical CEO transition from Bill Gates to Steve Ballmer. His key contributions included delivering consistently positive financial results, launching key new products, and building many successful global partnerships.

In September 2002, he was appointed CEO at Quantum Corporation [NASDAQ: QTM], a leader in data storage industry for over 25 years. During his 8 year tenure, he led the company through a significant re-positioning to a more profitable storage systems company with a significant growth opportunity. This involved a new strategy, acquisitions/divestitures, restructuring, new products, and new channels of distribution.

Late 2015 he was appointed Interim CEO of JDSU [NASDAQ: JDSU], where he focused on completing the transformation of the company into two public companies, Viavi Solutions and Lumentum Holdings. He then continued as CEO of Viavi Solutions [NASDAQ: VIAV] until a permanent CEO was named. The impact of this change, as well as improvements in Viavi Solutions profitability, created more than $2B of shareholder value.

After leaving Quantum, Belluzzo dedicated his time to Italian Startups in both the US and Italy, and serving on the Board of some US companies. Since 2015 he has been Venture Partner at Innogest Capital, providing leadership on exits, assisting portfolio companies, and linking technology communities in Italy and the US. In 2017 he became full-time Partner of Innogest.

In 2017, Richard Belluzzo was awarded the honor of Cavaliere Della Repubblica Italiana (Italian Knighthood) by the President of the Italian Republic.


Lisa Curtis

CEO & Founder, Kuli Kuli

Full Profile

Lisa is the Founder & CEO of Kuli Kuli, the leading brand pioneering a new sustainably sourced superfood called moringa. Lisa began working on Kuli Kuli while serving in the Peace Corps and has grown it into a multi-million dollar social enterprise with products in over 6,000 stores. Lisa was recently recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 2018 list and she has appeared in numerous outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.


Giacomo Fanin

Business Development, Cereal Docks

Full Profile

Thanks to his family, Giacomo grows up in a genuine and strong entrapreneurial environment. After graduating in Political economy, he joined Cereal Docks in 2015 within the agri-food Business Development Department. During this period he developed the supply chain for alternative food ingredients products, studying and applying digital tools for traceability and quality control of the goods, in close relationship with Italian farmers.

In 2017 he moved to Cereal Docks International, where he started the implementation of control and optimization systems for the raw materials procurement process from international suppliers, with the aim of reducing the environmental impact and speeding up the exchange of soft commodities between agribusiness companies.

Today he leads the Innovation Dept. of the Cereal Docks group, taking part in the strategic advisory counsil in order to evaluate, integrate and enhance core and adjacent innovative solutions. Moreover he is member of the Board of directors of DemBiotech, a startup that develops Pure vegetable actives from plant cell cultures.

He is an active member of Federalimentare Giovani Imprenditori, of AIDAF and FBN Next Gen and of TEH-Ambrosetti, the Leader group of the future.

For FoodTech Corporate Accelerator program, he is in charge of Cereal Docks’ activities, ranging from startup valuation to corporates’ implementation strategies.


Gian Maria Gentile

CIO & Digital Director, Iper

Full Profile

Gian Maria Gentile graduated in Management Engineering at Polytechnic University in Milan.

He started his career working as a management consultant and in 2010 he moved to the grocery retailer retailer sector as a project manager for Carrefour. Within the French multinational he covered different roles in the sales department, until 2015 when he was appointed Digital Director.

In January 2016, he moved to Unes as Digital Director, leading e-commerce, digital marketing and in-store innovation projects. Since May 2018 he is the CIO (Chief Information Officer) of retail Group Finiper.


Gianluca Giovannetti

Chief Innovation and
Business Services Officer

Full Profile

Within Amadori, Gianluca is in charge of innovation programs functional to achieving the business objectives. He is also the head of the following business functions: Human Resources, Procurement, Organization/Business Transformation and IT/Digital Transformation, whose goals, strategies and activities are coordinated, with the aim of identifying and implementing evolutionary solutions by acting on digital skills, processes and technologies. In the Group he carried out Business Transformation projects, which have as their object, in addition to information systems, the change in the most critical business processes to allow the Group to grasp the competitive advantages brought by the innovation of operating and business models. During his professional career he conceived and coordinated several initiatives such as Business Process Management, process engineering and re-design, organizational changes in complex and international entities. Previously, he developed a multi-year experience in the industrial sector, covering, among others, the role of CIO (Chief Information Officer) in Del Monte Foods.


Marco Gualtieri

Founder & Chairman, Seeds&Chips

Full Profile

Visionary entrepreneur in different fields: Entertainment, Digital, Fashion and the Arts. He has started successful startups in all the above areas. Mostly known for founding TicketOne, the first e-commerce ticketing platform in Italy as well as co-founded Netcomm, largest Italian e-commerce association. Founder and Chairman of Seeds&Chips the Global Food Innovation Summit – the world-renowned go to event on Food Innovation. He has revolutionized the way food events are done today, making Seeds&Chips an open platform for startups, corporations, organizations, government, investors alike. A meeting of the minds to truly solve the challenges we face today. Furthermore, his daily activities include connecting entrepreneurs, corporate executives, government and policy makers to create synergies for our global good. Marco has become an internationally recognized expert in this field speaking at conferences, writing articles and mentoring startups and young innovators launch their solution in the market.

Since August 2017 he is also chairman of the “Io Sto Con Paolo” initiative to sensitize the global community as well as starting an international pool of experts, doctors and researchers in the fight against ALS. Today, he is also on the board of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and a prominent investor in Food Tech startups


Andrew Ive

Managing Director & Partner,

Full Profile

Andrew is Partner at Food-X. He is responsible for building, innovating and supporting the emerging Food-X ecosystem. This includes sourcing teams, building a robust program curriculum, and developing relationships with co-investors and partners to solidify Food-X’s position as the premier accelerator for food-related ventures.

Andrew is a serial entrepreneur, began his career at Procter & Gamble, has raised more than $20M+ for his own companies and worked with amazing company founders to grow their companies.


Stefano Molino

Partner, Innogest

Full Profile

Stefano is Partner at Innogest SGR SpA, where he is currently in charge of the digital practice and focuses on deal selection, transaction management, contract negotiation and closing of new investment opportunities. Board member/observer in several current Innogest portfolio companies such as CornerJob (leading European HR marketplace), Digital Magics (digital incubator/accelerator listed at AIM stock exchange), Supermercato24 (leading Italian online grocery marketplace), Soulkitchen (B2B food delivery service for professional restoration segment) Armadio Verde (secondhand clothes marketplace), Prestiamoci (peer-to-per lending platform), Agroils Technologies (biofuels and proteins-based productions). He has been member/observer in companies such as Silicon Biosystems (medical device, sold to Menarini Group), Beintoo (mobile marketing), HT Srl (Cybersecurity) and Mobango (leading independent app store sold to Mauj Mobile).

Before joining Innogest, Stefano was Investment Manager at Piemonte High Technology, a seed VC investment firm specializing in investments in hi-tech start-up companies.

Stefano has held several university and post-university master courses, mainly on entrepreneurship, finance and innovation. Stefano holds a Master of Science (summa cum laude) in Engineering & Management from Polytechnic University in Turin and received a Ph.D from Polytechnic University in Milan, with a doctoral thesis on Venture Capital and valuation of hi-tech companies assets.


Gabriele Ronchini

CEO & Founder, Digital Magics

Full Profile

With a passion for digital and interactive technologies, Gabriele Ronchini has always been actively pursuing issues relating to the new media outlets, by taking part directly in the technological vanguard.

As a member of the Ministry of Communications’ Economic Commission on Digital Television, he has actively contributed to various specialised publications and regularly lectures at seminars and university courses. After earning his degree in Computer Science and specialising in cybernetics and neural networks, and after two years of university research, in 1990 he began his career with Inferentia, where he created the business unit specialised in digital communication Inferentia Interactive, whose goal was to become a main player on the emerging market of interactive media.

He later joined IBM Consulting, in 1999, coordinating the team of e-business and personally following the main European customers who were making their first steps into the world of electronic commerce. In 2000 he opened the Italian headquarters of Grey Interactive, a company belonging to the American giant of communications Grey Global Group, helping the great Italian brands in the development of digital communications worldwide.

In 2004, he became a Founding Member – with Enrico Gasperini, Alberto Fioravanti and Gabriele Gresta – of Digital Magics and he has held the position of Executive Director. Digital Magics is a certified incubator of innovative digital startups whose content and services possess high technological value. The business incubator Digital Magics took part in the birthing process and launch of more than 50 initiatives, which contributed to the development of the entire online sector in Italy, creating the foundation for the generational renewal of the national parterre of entrepreneurs and overseeing all areas of expertise in the digital market. In July 2013, Digital Magics was listed on AIM Italy, Alternative Capital Market for small and medium-sized Italian companies with high growth potential, organised and managed by the Italian Stock Exchange.

In 2008 he was a founding member of the startup 4w MarketPlace, the main Italian AdNetwork operating in online advertising with the leading publishers and media agencies and he currently holds the position of Executive Chairman. In April 2015 it closed a capital increase of 25% in the shareholder structure, for a value of about 2.1 million Euro, by the Dada Group (through the transfer of the company ProAdv/Simply).

On November 30th 2015 he was appointed Managing Director of Digital Magics for Portfolio Development.

On December 12th 2017 Gabriele Ronchini he was appointed CEO of Digital Magics.


Wilhelmina Jewell Sparks

CEO & Founder, Bit(Best in Tech)House

Full Profile

Wilhelmina Jewell Sparks is a global executive who has worked in both Corporate and Startup environments for over 20 years preparing markets and launching innovative products and services in science, technology, retail, and food industries. She is the CEO of BiTHOUSE GROUP which is a global business/venture development cultivator fostering collaboration and innovation culture amongst corporates, innovators, investors, government and community. As a diversity and inclusion advocate and thought leader, she is able to identify talent and solutions that have the potential to make a global impact while being scaleable, ethical, and socially responsible. Jewell serves on several global advisory boards: IADAS (International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences), WHU MSc Entrepreneurship, Shorty’s, and SXSW Accelerator, amongst others and is an active advisor/mentor to several startups and accelerator programs focused IoT, AI, mobility, food, retail, entertainment, fashion, sustainability and health.Jewell is the founder of the AgTech FoodTech Summit and the Chairwoman and Co-Founder of the Food und FoodTech Platform of the Deutsche Startup Association. Her passion for entrepreneurship, health, and environment has driven her philanthropic efforts towards the food and agriculture industries by donating her time and resources towards various advisory boards and juries for entities such as: Asian Food Innovation Awards, EIT Food, Fi Global, and Future Agro Challenge and more.

“Bridging the Gap,” by “Connecting the Dots” is her motto.

@jewellsparks @bithousegroup


Alessandro Squeri

Chairman, Federalimentare Giovani

Full Profile

Mr. Alessandro Squeri, 35 years old, is entrepreneur at Steriltom srl and President of Young Entrepreneurs Group of Federalimentare.

After classical studies, he moved to Milan where he got a Master’s degree in General Management at Bocconi (with honors). Then Alessandro worked for five years in the field of strategic consulting (Accenture and Bain) before joining the family company, Steriltom, based in Piacenza, which produces 100% Italian Pulp of tomatoes mainly for Horeca and B2B clients since four generations.

In the company he has been involved in sales and exports, leading the company to export from 24 to 70 countries worldwide. Alessandro is also an equity partner and Food representative of iStarter which is Accelerator for companies and startups based in London.


Matthieu Vincent

Founder, Digital FoodLab

Full Profile

Matthieu is the co-founder of DigitalFoodLab. He is a FoodTech entrepreneur since 2010 when he founded WeCook, a meal planner with dietary advice.

In 2013, with the collaboration of his partners Jérémie & Alexandre, he initiated the DigitalFoodClub events, aiming to gather and develop the French FoodTech ecosystem. 4 years and 22 events later, DigitalFoodClub is now the place where entrepreneurs, investors and corporates meet in Paris and other French cities.

Since he sold WeCook in early 2017, Matthieu is developping DigitalFoodLab in order to grow the European FoodTech ecosystem. DigitalFoodLab explores FoodTech opportunities and help entrepreneurs, investors and food corporates to act on them. Through DigitalFoodLab, Matthieu delivers talks, prospective reports and consulting.

Matthieu is M.Eng from Telecom SudParis and MSc. in e-commerce from Dublin City university.


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Marco Magnocavallo

CEO & Founder, Tannico

Full Profile

Marco Magnocavallo (CEO and founder), started at nineteen with a retail business in the classic cars market (his passion). At the age of twenty-three, he founded a web agency where he and his team developed projects for the Italian Postal Service, McKinsey, Daimler and other European companies. He then sold his company to a pre-IPO company and founded an online vertical publishing business (Blogo) that became, within four years, the third most visited news site in Italy with more than 12 million monthly unique users, and activities in Italy, the UK, France, Spain and Brazil. He then sold this company to the DADA/RCS Media Group (publisher of Corriere della Sera, the most popular newspaper in Italy).

In 2012/2013 he acted as Venture Partner in an italian Venture Capital Firm (Principia) where he lead investments in 4 companies for a total of 10 million of Euro of invested capital. In 2012 he founded Boox with Andrea di Camillo, a startup accelerator with twelve portfolio companies.

In late 2012, he founded Tannico, the leading Italian wine shop, and became its CEO.

He started in late 2012 with a first € 200,000 seed investment from his own accelerator (Boox) and four partners (two PM, two dev). After five years Tannico has raised more than 8 milion Euro. Over 1,000,000 bottles were sold in 2017 to 90,000 customers, Tannico is new the Italian market leader with a 30% marketshare.


Luca Escoffier

External Advisor, Monitor Deloitte, Tokyo &
Project Manager, EU-Japan Technology Transfer Helpdesk, Tokyo

Full Profile

Luca Escoffier graduated in law from the University of Parma (Italy), he then earned a Master of Laws in intellectual property law in 2003. After several years spent in law firms, and in an Italian nano-biotech company, he moved to Seattle in 2008 to work as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Washington where he has also earned in 2010 a Certificate in Business Administration from the Foster Business School. Luca is a Fellow of the Stanford-Vienna Transatlantic Technology Law Forum, Invited Researcher at Waseda University (Tokyo), and a Singularity University alumnus (GSP’10). Luca has been the co-founder, and mentor in several start-ups. In Tokyo, he works at the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation as Project Manager leading the activities of the EU-Japan Technology Transfer Helpdesk, that he initiated in 2016, and serves as External Advisor for Monitor Deloitte specializing in open innovation.


Andrea Pietrini

Serial Entrepreneur/Business Angel

Full Profile

Andrea Pietrini graduated at Bocconi University and then he did an Executive MBA at LUISS Business School. His first experiences were focused in M&As, first in KPMG and then in IBM South Europe as part of the Alliance department. After some years, he moved as investment manager to FinTech, a joint venture between the Telecom Italia and MCC – Medio Credito Centrale groups.

He has been a board member of numerous Italian and foreign companies, such as Group CFO of the Terasystem Group, Solgenia SpA Group and the Sacom Group.

In 2012 he founded yourCFO Consulting Group, the first Italian company of CFO Service and operational finance of which he is Managing Partner. In the following years he launched parallel projects, such as yourHR, yourDIGITAL, yourCEO and yourNEXT. Thanks to his expertise he published “I 7 segreti del CFO – Ottieni il successo finanziario della tua impresa” (The 7 secrets of the CFO – Get the financial success of your business) and he is lecturer at the Master in Business Finance of John Cabot University.

Alongside this activity, Andrea is a Business Angel, both as an independent investor and as a member of IAG (Italian Angels for Growth). He is president of the national association Charta Nova that supports the issues of transparency and meritocracy and founder and treasurer of the Homo ex Machina Foundation, which promotes the use of technology for philanthropic purposes.


Melissa Snover

Managing Director, Katjes Fassin UK

Full Profile

Melissa Snover is an award-winning entrepreneur and Managing Director of Katjes Magic Candy Factory. Melissa started her first financial company at the age of 23 and has since founded and ran 5 successful businesses from sectors in the service industry and the food and drinks industry. She has been developing confectionery brands for 12 years and is an expert in areas such as marketing, sales, accounting, management and many more!

In 2015 Melissa developed the world’s first 3D printer for confectionery to reach the consumer market, which allows candy lovers to 3D print anything from Sweet Selfies and messages to logos and 3D shapes in just 5 minutes. In under 2 years she has launched her innovative 3D printers into retail outlets across Europe, the USA, the UAE, China, New Zealand and Australia. Her small tech start-up also gets hired to 3D print customised vegan confectionery for corporate functions and at private parties all over the world. Melissa is passionate about developing innovative products and concepts and frequently gives talks on her experiences and learnings to help aspiring young entrepreneurs and business owners.


Carla Frank

Founder & Principal, Carla Frank Creative

Full Profile

Carla Frank is a pioneering creative director, brand turnaround expert and launch specialist with deep experience conceiving and executing transformative content. She is internationally recognized for her innovative ability to shape premier global brands across multiple sectors, including lifestyle, food, beauty, travel, fashion and wellness. Her ability to identify, assess and monetize marketplace trends, lead large multidisciplinary teams and cultivate diverse networks of talent to successfully build and transform businesses in multiple formats sets her apart as influential leader and collaborator. She is the recipient of prestigious industry awards, frequent public speaker and panelist sought out by leading conferences and universities.

Currently Carla is a strategic advisor at her own boutique firm specializing in creative vision and execution, multi-platform creative and design direction, and brand launches, turnarounds and repositioning.

Recently, Carla co-created and launched a women-owned CPG company to disrupt the natural beverage market by providing a new form of healthy hydration made with pure honey. This delicious new all-natural, functional, flavored water hit shelves in July 2016.

With an unprecedented series of premiere brand successes in diverse categories, Carla led the brand turnaround of Glamour Italia as Creative Director by leading a team of 12 in Milan to pivot the publication and website within a tight 8 week time frame. She revitalized Cooking Light, the largest U.S. epicurean magazine into a stylish, smart, energetic lifestyle brand and as the Founding Design Director at O, The Oprah Magazine, she developed and drove the creative team to create the most successful magazine launch in history.

She is an active thought leader in her field, has served on the SPD board of directors and a leader on the steering committee for AIGA’s Womens Leadership Initiative and more.

Carla is an international traveler with a passionate interest in the world and empathy for its people and cultures. She has worked in Milan, Stockholm, Beijing, Dubai and New York where she currently resides. She is a sought out speaker by leading conferences and universities around the world on the subjects of branding, design, inspiration, strategy and her creative journey.

Carla graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Graphic Design and is a recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award in Arts and Architecture.


Adi Vagman

Founder & Managing Partner, AgriNation VC

Full Profile

Adi serves as Founder and Managing Partner of AgriNation Venture Capital, Israel leading VC in the field of agri tech and food tech. Prior to AgriNation, Adi spent 10 years in various management roles including leading the VP business development for Coffee Joe that was acquired by the Delek Group, Israel’s second largest Oil and Gas Company.

Adi is also a board member of Tropic Bioscience, a company in the genome editing domain.

Adi holds a B.A in Business Management and an MBA from the IDC Herzliya and is a graduate of the Sam Zell Entrepreneurship Program for outstanding students.


Domenico Genovese

Innovation Manager, PHD Media Italy

Full Profile

After failing with Artes, his own startup in the healthcare industry, Domenico applied the love for technology and the finance knowledge working as Investment Manager at Azimut Holding Group. Working for three years for the main Italian Crowdfunding Platform, he managed more than 80 ventures in startups from 10 different industries, picked in partnership with the main Italian business accelerators and incubators.

He’s currently Innovation Manager at PHD Media Italy, a communication agency of OmnicomMedia Group, focused on digital transformation and digital marketing services for clients of many industries (Automotive, Tech, FMCG, GDO). He’s facing the challenge of applying lean startup methodology to multinational companies processes.

In 2015 he started working as independent advisor for startups and SMEs.


Julia Vernin

Co-founder & COO, FoodChéri

Full Profile

Julia is co-founder and COO of FoodChéri, one of the leading full stack delivery companies in France, launched in 2015.
FoodChéri has been acquired in 2018 by Sodexo. Still working in the company, the team just launched Seazon, the first subscription based model in France of ready to eat meals, delivered at home. Julia has a strong experience in the food business.

From 2005 to 2013, she was the CMO of Flam’s group. She launched and developed for different brands in the restaurant business, from pasta bars to gourmet burgers. From 2013 to 2015, she starts her own project: EATRIP, a digital travel guide centered on food discovery.

Julia works now everyday to bring healthier and more sustainable food options to consumer. She focus her energy on solving the question: how to produce healthy and delicious food at scale?


Berthold (Bob) Heinemann

Managing Director Mai Asia/Mai Minds

Full Profile

Berthold (Bob) Heinemann is an entrepreneur and consultant with global experience, particularly in food. His focus is on systematic management of Brand Value with the aim at building long-term shareholder value.

During his career he served some of the world’s finest companies in more than 40 countries, such as P&G, Grey, Diageo, Pringles and Mars Drinks. His involvement in numerous launches and restructuring efforts give him a deep understanding of what builds Brand and Corporate Value.

He is trained and experienced to understand the intersections of marketing, finance, legal and creative disciplines that help firms in going-concern, fundraising, JV’s, M&A, IPO and in cases that involve brand damage.


Silvia Santarelli

CEO Cereal Docks Food

Full Profile

Thanks to her passion for economics, business and robust relationship, since 1996 Silvia Santarelli has worked in the world of Food Ingredients. After graduating in Economics at Bologna University she started as Export Area Manager and Sales Manager in big food companies like Cargill Texturizing Solutions and New Foods Industry SPA. She managed customers, agents and distributors, implemented and coordinated European projects, prepared budgets and action plans and monitored competitors and consumer trends.

In 2013, She co-founded and joined Cereal Docks Food, first as Sales and Marketing Director, then as Managing Director and now as CEO. She administrates Cereal Docks Food business and its strategy, with innovative projects and solutions for several applications thanks to a robust entrepreneurial attitude. She handles and discuss with the biggest players in Europe in the food market in order to realize high added value products, food ingredients, and functional mixtures with the excellence in vegetal lecithins, oils, protein flours, Hydrocolloids for different applications.

Silvia participated at several Business courses like branding strategies, designing business models and strategy execution and control. She strongly believes in high performance of the team driven by Human Relations, Technology and Open Innovation approach.


Andrea D’Angelo

Senior Advisor, Monitor Deloitte, Milan Italy

Full Profile

With a passion for disruptive ideas and emerging technologies Andrea has over 20 years of experience as a Strategy & Operations Advisor and as an Executive in technology firms. He has been involved in a variety of projects in Europe, Middle East and USA. In the last 10 years Andrea has been involved in many start-ups and open innovation initiatives in the Food & Beverage and Retail Sectors with an advisory role and sometimes covering operational roles, with some successful exits. Andrea has recently acted as Chief Innovation Officer of a leading catering group in Europe. Andrea graduated in Economics from the Federico II University in Naples (Italy), and holds a MBA from the Harvard Business School in Boston (USA).


Agostino Fioruzzi

Managing Partner at DAF

Full Profile

Agostino is Managing Partner at DAF al srl, a family company established in 1825 in Piacenza (Northern Italy) which currently produces Canned Sweet Corn and Legumes made from local raw materials. In the last years he has been developing the organic product range, taking care of the whole value chain, from the cultivation to the processing and the distribution. He is also Board Member of Federalimentare Giovani (the Italian Food&Drink Association).

Before joining his family company, Agostino was Senior Associate at Value Partners Management Consulting in the São Paulo office (Brazil), leading several projects mainly in the Telecommunications industry.
Agostino holds a Master of Science (summa cum laude) in General Management from Bocconi University in Milan.


Luca Morandi

Senior Investment Manager – Indaco Venture Partners

Full Profile

Luca is Senior Investment Manager at Indaco Venture Partners, the leading asset management company in Italy focused on venture capital; Luca is involved in the origination, execution and management of portfolio companies across a wide range of industries.

Prior to joining Indaco Venture Partners, Luca was Senior Investment Manager at Quadrivio Capital covering venture capital investments. Luca has also an extensive experience in corporate M&A at General Electric Company and Barilla Group where he was involved on a broad range of domestic and cross-border transactions including acquisitions, divestments, joint venture and several cross-functional business development projects. Before his experience in corporate M&A, Luca worked as an analyst at Argan Capital, a major pan-European mid-cap Private Equity firm and consultant at EY Financial Advisory.

Luca holds a MSc cum laude in Business Administration from SDA Bocconi and a BSc cum laude in Business Administration from University of Siena.


Paola Pittia

Full professor Food Science and Technology,
University of Teramo

Full Profile

Full professor in Food Science and Technology at the University of Teramo. President of the ISEKI-Food Association, dealing with activities aimed to bridge Research, Business and Higher education in the food sector. Paola has a main expertise in food product design and innovative food processes developed via projects and studies published in international peer-reviewed journals.

Since 2005 she has been involved in European and international networks projects dealing on modern education methods and tools in food studies and the implemention of competences and skills of food professionals alligned with the job market needs.


Sharon Cittone

Chief Content Officer, Seeds&Chips

Full Profile

As Chief Content Officer at Seeds&Chips, Sharon Cittone has been an integral part of creating the food and ag tech ecosystem that brings together innovators from around the world to their hub in Milan, Italy. She oversees all of the creative and technical content development for Seeds&Chips, designing a comprehensive platform that unites startups, corporations, investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers and institutions towards a more sustainable future.

Food has always been a central element of Sharon’s life. As a teenager, she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which made the relationship between nutrition, health, and technology a more personal, and urgent matter. Over more than three decades Sharon has learned about the healing potential of good food, and the importance of making high quality nutrition available to everyone.

Born and raised in Milan, Sharon moved to New York at 16 years old and spent more than two decades living and working in the United States. She received a double BA in Journalism and Communication and English Literature from New York University, and worked as a marketing and communication executive for multinational fashion and media companies. In 2007, she returned to Milan and realized that the city she loved so profoundly was undergoing an enormous transformation, and that food and technology was at the heart of this shift.

As one of the founders of Seeds&Chips in 2015, Sharon immediately understood that her passion for healthy food was part of a much larger picture, and that challenges like climate change, food insecurity, waste, water conservation and soil regeneration were intimately related and ripe for disruption. Using her experience in media and business, Sharon began to work on creating a dialogue between consumers, producers, and young people about the food system and their place in it, as well as their power to affect change. This dedication to finding collaborative solutions and engaging the next generation has become the backbone of the Seeds&Chips mission, with the Global Food Innovation Summit now entering its fifth year. Sharon’s international connections have helped the organization expand around the world, with partners in five continents and one of the largest horizontal food and ag tech ecosystems in the world.

Her dedication to a better food system is rivalled only by her love for animals, and Sharon is certified trainer who helps rehabilitate dogs and educate their owners on best practices. When she is not traveling the world for business or pleasure, she lives in Milan with her daughter Morgane, three dogs and two cats, any of whom might be found next to her at the Seeds&Chips office helping to work on the Next Big Idea.


Enrico Pandian

Founder, Supermercato24,
Checkout technologies, Fresco Frigo

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Enrico is a serial entrepreneur with a business development and sales background. In 2009 he founded his first company out of 17, operating in marketing for young people. Then, during the years, he shifted his focus on retail and founded different successful companies, such as Supermercato24, Checkout Technologies and Fresco Frigo.

Supermercato24 is largest online supermarket in Italy that closed in June 2018 a series B round of €13 million, reaching a total funding amount of more than €17 million.

One of his last ventures is Checkout Technologies, a startup focused on computer vision technology for the checkout system that has been awarded as best European startup at the Global Innovation Summit in Beijing.


Giancarlo Addario

Principal, Five Seasons Ventures

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Giancarlo Addario is principal at Five Seasons Ventures. He has a BSc in Food Science and Technology and Master in Quality Management.

He has spent most of his professional career working 21 years at leading pasta and bakery goods Barilla, covering various roles from Quality Assurance/Food Safety to Research & Development across several product categories both in Italy and internationally.

In the area of Open Innovation, he led various collaborative projects with research institutes, enterprises and startups worldwide, also providing valuable mentorship to food accelerators and incubation programmes to the likes of StartupbootcampFoodTech, MassChallenge, H-Farm, Future Food Accelerator.


Luigi Nicolais

Chairman, Materias

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He’s Emeritus Professor at School of Polytechnic of the University of Naples “Federico II”. He was Full Professor of Polymer technology, head of the Department of Industrial Process and Materials Engineering and head of the Materials Engineering course and the PhD course on biomaterials.

For about twenty years, he was visiting professor at Washington University of Seattle and associate professor at the Institute of Materials Science of the University of Connecticut (USA). He is author of more than 600 scientific papers in international journals, reviewer for different scientific journals, author of more than 30 International patents.

From 2000 to 2005 he was Minister of the Regional Council of Campania, for the Scientific Research and Technological Innovation. He was Minister of Italian Republic for public Administration Reforms and Innovation from 2006 to the end of legislature and President of National Research Council (CNR) of Italy (2012-2016). He is President of COTEC (since 2012) and President of Materias srl and in 2018 he was named President of Campania Digital Innovation Hub.


Giovanni Rizzo

Chief of Innovation Division, Zcube – Zambon

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Over 14 years’ experience at the Manager level in the Academia and Biotechnology industry. Proven track record of building, motivating and guiding winning teams. As Laboratory Director and Head of Biology at Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc. NY, USA, led the development of a new drug discover unit and a successful and quick process to select new molecules for further development, by focusing and redirecting the company. Interact and liaise with senior managers, board members, key opinion leaders, scientists, technicians and laymen alike Successfully planned both short and long term, managing the execution and budget/FTEs, to meet company goals.


Paola De Bernardi

Assistant Professor in Business and Management at University of Turin & Coordinator at EIT Food Educational Programmes

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Paola is Assistant Professor of Management Accounting and Control at the University of Turin, Department of management. She is a member of the Academia of Business Administration “Sidrea”. Her research interests are in the field of management accounting, performance measurement and control systems, as well as integrated thinking and reporting. She is currently working on and supervising some research projects on Industry 4.0: Food Digital Monitoring and Hierarchical Open Manufacturing Europe.

She is coordinator for the University of Turin of the EIT Food educational programmes: Global Food Venture and Professional Development Framework. She has engaged in mentoring programmes. She is supervisor of the Food Management Lab of the Department of Management. She is co-founder of the Smart Commons Lab.


Emanuele Gallo Perozzi

Chief Operating Officer, Seeds&Chips

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Born in Milan in 1986, he is a sailing and innovation enthusiast.

He started his career working in communications agencies and coordinating projects (media buying&planning, adv, events, social media mkt, pr) for major Italian and international clients.

In 2013 he took on as Marketing & Communication Manager for Pastrovich, one of the world leading Superyacht Interior&Exterior design brands based in the Principality of Monaco. He then moved back to Italy and became Business Manager Application and then Key Account Manager Retail & BtoB for Coyote, one of the most promising French startups and Waze’s main rival.

Since 2016, he is Chief Operating Officer at Seeds&Chips, where he oversees business operations aimed at promoting food innovation at all levels, from small startups to large companies, opening the way to new ideas and solutions coming from all over the world.


Filippo Giovannini

CEO, TAN Holdings

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Since the birth of TAN Holdings, Filippo has been the engine of the company’s success. He started working in 2009 for Solar Investment Group and Real Asset Energy Fund, completing over € 200M of plants and related acquisitions. With TAN he is developing an industrial division with a focus on alternative energies and following the launch of the food sector in addition to M & A activities in the infrastructure sector. He holds a Masters in Management at the “Community of European Management Schools”.

As Chief Executive Officer of TAN Holdings he is responsible for fund-raising activities for the group’s operations and subsidiaries, as well as for the management of the TAN operations team at the Milan and Luxembourg offices.


Mattia Monti

General Manager, TAN Food

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Mattia is General Manager of TAN Food, a privately funded holding company that invests in startups and SMEs with high growth potential operating in the food & beverage and food-tech sector. Previously, he was business development manager at Eataly group, with a focus on F&B operations.

As General manager of TAN Food he is responsible for selecting the new investments and for supporting the portfolio startups in both strategic and operational decisions.

He is also co-founder of the food delivery start-up MyMenu.it

Mattia holds a bachelor degree in Management and a CEMS dual master degree in International Management. He studied in Italy, Sweden, UK and China.


Giacomo Costagli

Business Centre Manager Olive Oil,
Food & Water Division at Alfa Laval Italy

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Giacomo Costagli is graduated in Agricultural Sciences at Pisa University, Italy, and was awarded a Master of Science in Olive Growing and Olive Oil Production at Cordoba University, Spain.

GiacomoSince 2001, he has worked in Alfa Laval food processing division, performing different tasks at international level, mainly focusing on R&D and market development, particularly dedicated to olive oil and wine industry.

GiacomoSince 2008, he has been an Ordinary Academician at Spoleto Accademia Nazionale dell’Olivo e dell’Olio, Italy. He’s Scientific Assessor of International Journal of Fats and Oils and he’s member of International Society for Horticultural Science.


Giovanni Montanelli

President and Founder,
VentiQuattro Food Consulting

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President and Founder of VentiQuattro Food Consulting, Giovanni leads all facets of the company, including development and strategy implementation. He ensures that the values of VentiQuattro are applied consistently, creating a solid foundation for our clients’ success. He also maintains a keen awareness of the import and food industry and is on top of key market trends.

Giovanni has a strong background in international business and over 17 years of experience promoting true best-in-class brands. He brings startup energy and career sales in excess of $36M along with a passion for identifying, training and helping new owners navigate the international business development journey.

Giovanni attended Politecnico di Lugano in Lugano, Switzerland, and holds a bachelors degree in Economics & Business. He is fluent in Italian, French, and English. His work is his passion, and he likes to golf, run and travel in his spare time.


Antonio Iannone

Agrifood Tech Consultant

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Antonio Iannone, 41 years old is a consultant and advisor for the agrifood industry, with an innate passion for innovation, food and writing.

He actually manages TheFoodCons, a small consulting business which assists european agrifood tech startup and scaleup for raising funds and digital marketing, being able to rely on a wide international network. He even collaborates as contributor for the food magazines Food Service and DolceSalato.

Antonio has a strong background in international business and multi year track in marketing and business development for the pharmaceutical industry.

In 2015 he dropped everything to chase his passion for food and moved to Aruba, in the Dutch Caribbean, where he opened two business in the foodservice.

Once back to Italy he started building his network in the agrifood innovation at a global level.


Sergio Togni

Head of global strategic marketing, Adama

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Senior executive with broad international marketing and sales experience in agrochemicals, life science, and Ag-Tech (Precision Agriculture).

Sergio graduated in the Milan University in Agricultural science driven by passion for nature and open spaces.

Sergio started the professional career as a technical manager in an agricultural supply company and in 1994 he joined Makhteshim-Agan to establish their branch in the Italian territory. Together with a great team we developed the company with constant double-digit growth for about 15 years, ranking Makhteshim-Agan as one of the leading agrochemical companies in Italy.

Ready for new challenges, in 2012 Sergio joined Adama Europe covering different international roles: As Southern EU cluster managers, he turned around the local organizations in Italy, Iberia, France, Greece and Serbia. While, as head of marketing in EU and IMA (India, Middle East, Africa) he introduced go to market methodology and restructured the approach in new portfolio strategies.

In 2016 Sergio become Head of Strategic Marketing, with global responsibility on Brand (budget 4 ml$/year), Business Intelligence, and digital transformation enjoying the fabulous opportunity to learn on new Ag. technologies trends.

From his past experiences, he realized the power of operating from the future backward. Whenever he has the possibility to figure out in his mind how the future was looking like, making it happen was sort of simple execution. This applies specially to complex and apparently impossible objectives, as knowing where to go is incredibly powerful.

Such a journey requires an enthusiast and passionate team, who builds brick by brick the future. Achieving great results together with a cohesive team sharing the same excitement is fun, and the real meaning of success.