Innovation in Food and Ingredients

Sponsored by:
Sente, in partnership with the global snacks company Pladis and the Northstar Innovation Company (the innovation arm of global food and retail company Yildiz Holding) is investing in early-stage startups with novel ingredients, snacks, packaging and technology that can meet the needs and desires of an ever-evolving consumer landscape.
Selected startups will have access to the full capabilities and reach of a global food brand to help them scale their manufacturing, distribution and digital resources, while also getting investment from the company's corporate venture capital branch.
And in collaboration with:
Starting in April 2021, we will select startups from around the world for the opportunity to work with international snacks, food and retail brands as well as the chance for a $75,000 investment (first stage) and $50k-$250k (follow-on investment possibility).
We are looking for early-stage startups with technologies in areas such as:

New Ingredients

Sustainable,, good-for-you and "free from" alternatives to common snack ingredients; sugar / fat reduction & replacement, clean label

New Food Products

"Good for you" foods - e.g. protein sources, fiber, antioxidants, functional foods (probiotics, antioxidents, etc.), new eating experiences

New Packaging

Reduced packaging footprint, preservation technologies and digital technologies in food packaging for new experiences

Food R&D Tech

Digital products to evaluate ingredients and predict consumer preference in food

Food Process Tech

More efficient, scalable, cost- efficient food manufacturing processes, quality management techniques

The program agenda is as follows:

  • Week 1 will be an intense, hands-on evaluation and refinement of startups’ business model for global scale-up and relevance for doing potential projects with major food & retail brands. You will also interact with Pladis brand teams immediately starting in Week 1

  • Weeks 2-5 will be remote, where teams will work with Sente and the Pladis innovation teams to refine the evaluation of their overall scale-up potential (e.g. technology, business model, unit economics, scale-up economics, competition and industry dynamics)

  • A FoodTech investor conference in Week 6, where startups will be showcased in a virtual tradeshow, panel discussions and 1:1 networking opportunities

  • A minimum of 3 startups after Week 6 will receive an investment of $75,000-$100,000 in the form of a SAFE agreement, and will receive continued support from the Sente and Yildiz Holding teams, including connecting them with projects within the business and the potential for scale-up and/or follow-on investment.

  • Potential follow-on investment of $250k+ in future rounds based on their success (at mutually agreed terms and valuation).

Other program terms:

  • There is no commitment from Yildiz Holding and its brands to proof-of-concept or pilot projects with any particular startup, but the program has executive-level sponsorship to work with early-stage startups.

  • Outside of the cash investment, Sente's program equity consideration is success-based: if (and only if) a startup receives an investment and/or major commercial project with a startup, Sente will receive the option to purchase an additional 2.5% (in the form of a warrant)

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