Innovation in Food and Ingredients

JUNE 2020
London + Istanbul
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 June 2020, 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 $50,000 - $75,000 investment (first stage) and $250k+ (follow-on investment possibility).
We are looking for early-stage startups with technologies in areas such as:

New Snack Products

"Good for you" snacks - e.g. protein sources, fiber, antioxidants, functional foods


New Ingredients

Sustainable, affordable, good-for-you and "free from" alternatives to common snack ingredients


New Packaging

Reduced packaging footprint, preservation technologies and digital technologies in food packaging


Food R&D Tech

Digital products to evaluate ingredients and predict consumer preference in food


Food Process Tech

Novel approaches in food processing technology, especially for snacks & confectionery products

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)

  • All participants will then be invited to Istanbul for Week 6 (this portion will likely shift to REMOTE as well), where they will participate in facilitated discussions with the corporate sponsor to plan for proofs of concept and pilot projects and investment opportunities

  • A minimum of 3 startups after Week 6 will receive an investment of $50,000-$75,000 in return for equity shares, 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.

  • A follow-on investment budget of $250,000 is set aside as an option to invest in one or more startups 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.

  • Sente's equity consideration is success-based: if (and only if) Yildiz Holding commits an investment and/or major commercial project with a startup, Sente will receive 2.5% preferred equity.

  • Yildiz Holding's $50k-75k investment will be in the form of a SAFE note (converted at the next fundraising round, for typically 2-4%, depending on valuation at that stage).