Organizations joining forces to develop next generation of crop nutrition and food tech startups
ICL (NYSE: ICL) (TASE: ICL), a leading global specialty minerals company, today announced it has partnered with startup accelerator StartLife in its quest to invest in startups focused on new ways to address global challenges in food and agricultural production. These challenges range from increasing yields and tackling food insecurity, to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Both organizations are fully geared toward accelerating the business development and growth of early-stage startups, and this partnership enables them to advance in their shared mission.
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Joining forces to accelerate agrifoodtech startups, Laura Thissen, StartLife Operations Director (left) and Hadar Sutovsky ICL VP External Innovation (right). (Photo: Guy Ackermans)
Headquartered in Israel, ICL Planet Startup Hub serves as the vehicle ICL uses to cultivate, nurture and accelerate innovation in the AgriFood tech ecosystem, through open innovation and collaboration on a global basis. Potential targets also include novel ways to recycle minerals, extract them from waste streams and convert them to fertilizers or to develop innovative functional proteins for clean label applications, among others.
“ICL Planet Startup Hub seeks to establish a new generation of plant nutrition solutions, and our aim is to invest in startups, which can make a meaningful difference,” said Hadar Sutovsky, vice president of External Innovation at ICL Group. Sutovsky first encountered StartLife through its annual summit – F&A Next – which is centered on disruptive AgriFood technologies and brings together startups, investors and corporates from all over the world.
“StartLife has a strong track record of spotting and attracting promising early-stage startups globally, and its position at the heart of the European AgriFood tech ecosystem, its focus on sustainable food systems, and its strong links with the world-renowned Wageningen University & Research were central to our decision to enter into a partnership,” continued Sutovsky.
StartLife’s Operations Director, Laura Thissen, said, “Through this partnership, StartLife aims to accelerate startups’ scaling journey and, at the same time, support ICL in finding the best startups, which match their innovation challenges. Our team is already identifying startups looking to partner and to help solve a piece of the innovation puzzle for Planet Startup. The scope includes crop nutrition, such as next generation fertilizers and biostimulants, but also precision farming and alternative proteins.”
Thissen added, “To boost innovation, StartLife actively connects startups to leading players in the industry. ICL’s core domain is complementary to our partner community value chain coverage. In our talks, we quickly discovered we have a lot of synergies in our activities and the same drive for sustainability in food and agriculture.”
Startups have much to gain from a collaboration with ICL Planet Startup Hub, including market access, expertise and world class scientists, as well as the ability for sample testing. As an on-the-ground industrial partner, ICL can also provide agronomic or food application feedback. ICL Planet Startup Hub is already an active investor in several AgriFood startups, most recently in alternative protein companies Plantible and Protera.
Startups interested in partnering with ICL Planet Startup Hub should contact StartLife to arrange an introduction.
ICL Group is a leading global specialty minerals company, which also benefits from commodity upside. The company creates impactful solutions for humanity's sustainability challenges in the global food, agriculture and industrial markets. ICL leverages its unique bromine, potash and phosphate resources, its passionate team of talented employees, and its strong focus on R&D and technological innovation, to drive growth across its end markets. ICL shares are dually listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (NYSE and TASE: ICL). The company employs more than 12,000 people worldwide, and its 2021 revenues totaled approximately $7 billion.
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About ICL Planet Startup Hub
ICL Group is a leading global specialty minerals company, which creates impactful solutions for humanity's sustainability challenges in the global food, agriculture and industrial markets. ICL Planet Startup Hub is the vehicle in which ICL cultivates, nurtures, and accelerates innovation and technologies in the AgriFood tech ecosystem. It seeks to invest and grow disruptive companies that can favorably affect the industries it works in and leads.
StartLife is Europe’s top agrifoodtech startup accelerator, co-founded by Wageningen University & Research. Its mission is to empower founders to build and grow startups with breakthrough technologies that shape a sustainable food system. To this end, it provides a wide range of services, including business development support, top industry business mentors, non-equity funding and access to a global community of startups, investors, corporates and experts. Since it foundation in 2010, StartLife has supported 400+ startups that have raised €320 million follow-on capital thus far.
Forward Looking Statements
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Forward-looking statements appear in this press release and include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the company’s intent, belief or current expectations. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to management. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements due to various factors, including, but not limited to: estimates, forecasts and statements as to management's expectations with respect to, among other things, business and financial prospects, financial multiples and accretion estimates, future trends, plans, strategies, positioning, objectives and expectations, general economic, market and business conditions, supply chain and logistics disruptions, the potential for new COVID-19 variants, global unrest and conflict, governmental and regulatory requirements and actions by governmental authorities, including changes in government policy, changes in environmental, tax and other laws or regulations and the interpretation thereof. As a result of the foregoing, readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release concerning the timing of the transaction, or other more specific risks and uncertainties facing ICL, such as those set forth in the “Risk Factors” section of its Annual Report on Form 20-F filed on February 23, 2022, as such risk factors may be updated from time to time in its Current Reports on Form 6-K and other filings ICL makes with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time.
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