Best Food Founder 2019: air up secures lucrative TV advertising deal from ProSiebenSat.1 Accelerator at Anuga conference
- The Start-up investor and Hack AG honour the most innovative food start-up founder at the Anuga
- air up will receive a TV advertising budget valued at 250,000 Euro
Munich, October 8, 2019. air up, a start-up providing the world’s first drink bottle to deliver flavour through scent, is the winner of the “Best Food Founder 2019” pitch event. The start-up faced tough competition across two rounds to secure a media deal valued at 250,000 Euro for the ProSiebenSat.1 Group channels and the chance to gain a foothold in the German market through TV advertising. ProSiebenSat.1 Accelerator and Hack AG, one of the leading manufacturers of bakery and confectionary goods, held the first pitch competition “Best Food Founder 2019” on October 8th at the world’s largest produce trade fair, the Anuga, in Cologne. The competition is aimed at founders from the food industry and rewards the most innovative start-up and their business idea.
Six finalists took to the stage to present their business models in short pitches before a jury comprised of experts from the food and media industries. Managing Director of ProSiebenSat.1 Accelerator Dr. Fabian Heuschele was joined by the CEO of Zentis Karl-Heinz Johnen, Kuchenmeister’s CEO Hans Günther Trockels and investor and Olympic weightlifting champion Matthias Steiner to form the expert jury. Peter Hack, CEO of Hack AG, moderated the event.
Decision live on the Culinary stage at the Anuga
In addition to air up, a further five start-ups pitched their business models before the jury and a live audience. Happy Cashew produces plant-based alternatives to milk products. Kolonne Null creates high quality alcohol free wines and sparkling wines. PLANT B is a plant-based drink containing a high fruit percentage and beneficial almond protein. SWARM Nutrition develops innovative foods using functional and sustainable insect protein. Zveetz produces provide low sugar sweet treats with their desserts, yoghurts and fruit gums.
In the first round, candidates are teamed in pairs to go head-to-head and deliver their short pitches for a place in the final. In the first Semi-Final, Kolonne Null took on SWARM Nutrition, followed by Zveetz against Happy Cashew, whilst in the last round air up and PLANT B battled for the final spot. The jury delivered their verdict, naming Kolonne Null, Happy Cashew and air up as the finalists. In the finale the three remaining start-ups were asked to spontaneously answer questions from the jury. air up delivered the most convincing response and prevailed in the finale against the competition.
Simon Nüesch, Co-Founder of air up: “I am thrilled. I didn’t know what awaited me this morning and the fact that I can now stand here as the winner is such a huge opportunity for our company and our team.”
Dr. Fabian Heuschele, Managing Director of ProSiebenSat.1 Accelerator: “air up is for me the competition’s most innovative start-up because the product itself displays true innovation. The start-up advances the food and beverage industry and their business model is very promising. We are looking forward to supporting air up with TV advertising across our broad range of channels and to drive their growth moving forward.”
Peter Hack, CEO of Hack AG: “This year’s winner was selected as the company perfectly meets the contemporary needs of the food and beverage industry and propels the market forward with their innovation. As a result of the success of, and positive response to the event, we look forward to hosting the competition again with the ProSiebenSat.1 Accelerator team in 2020.”
About ProSiebenSat.1 Accelerator:
ProSiebenSat.1 Accelerator is one of Europe’s leading start-up investors. Accelerator invests in B2C start-ups offering products and services designed for the mass market and have established business models with a substantial amount of initial revenue. Start-ups receive a media package starting at 1.5 Million Euro (including TV, Special Ads, Online Video, Influencer Campaigns or Addressable TV), which helps them to achieve their growth potential. In addition to media services, Accelerator offers its start-ups a mentoring program, office space in Berlin and access to the entire ProSiebenSat.1 Group network – one of the leading media companies in Europe.
About Hack AG
Hack is one of the most successful corporations in the manufacturing of bakery and confectionary products. The company is based in Kurtscheid in Germany’s Westerwald region and is a family owned business in its third generation. The company’s idea is clear: the combination of traditional baking craftmanship and modern convenience. Under the umbrella of Hack AG there are six subsidiaries that specialize in various areas of the business.
About air up
air up has developed the world’s first drink bottle that can add flavour to water using different scents. When drinking from the air up bottle, scented air is mixed with the water. The air is transported to the brain’s scent receptors through the pharynx, where it is perceived as taste. The result: a beverage free from sugar, calories and unhealthy additives.
About Happy Cashew
Happy Cashew is a young company creating handmade, plant-based alternatives to milk products that are both healthy and full of flavour. The key ingredient: Cashews that are packed full of minerals, vitamins and unsaturated fatty acids. As Europe’s first producer of vegan cheese alternatives made from cashews, from the very beginning Happy Cashew was committed to a handmade production process that is strictly based on techniques used in traditional cheese production.
About Kolonne Null
Kolonne Null was founded in Berlin in 2018 by artists and entrepreneurs Phillip and Moritz. With the focus on research and product development, the team specializes in the development of high quality, alcohol free wines and sparkling wines.
About PLANT B
PLANT B is a plant-based drink made from 100% plants, which contains a high fruit percentage and beneficial almond protein with no milk or added sugars. All ingredients are organic and vegan. PLANT B is part of a balanced diet and provides a vital source of protein to support bone strength and muscle growth. It is the perfect snack for those who are time poor, but seeking healthy alternatives. Each bottle contains up to 50% recycled PET and is 100% recyclable.
About SWARM Nutrition
SWARM Nutrition is a pioneer in innovative foods made from a functional and sustainable protein source: Insects. The SWARM insect protein bar was developed in collaboration with the German Sports University, was one of Germany’s most successful food crowdfunding campaigns, is listed nationwide by REWE and is currently stocked in more than 1,500 food retailers. SWARM Nutrition makes eating insects a social norm.
Zveetz began developing sugar free fruit gums from erythritol with the lowest amount of calories worldwide. Their mission is to reduce the amount of sugar found in sweet treats. In January 2019, the company ventured into a second product category: Desserts and yoghurts, which they are currently launching in to the market. Since then, Zveetz has successfully completed the pre-seed phase, has collected outstanding feedback and now supplies the first restaurant partners and corporate customers in Berlin.
Corporate CommunicationsStefanie PrinzHead of Corporate & Internal CommunicationsTel. +49 89 9507-1199Stefanie.Prinz@ProSiebenSat1.com