It was a pleasure to participate in the TERRA demo day, and see inspiring presentations from the corporates + startups that are working to transform the food industry. We were able to highlight the excellent results from our collaboration with GrainCorp in Australia, with both Marcus Kennedy and Chamidu Karunathilake present in San Francisco. GrainCorp also showcased an innovative end-end blockchain project they have run for a craft beer, and the work done on grain sorting with Karen Wehlin at BoMill - which is highly complimentary to the grain blending and logistics management we have been targeting. David Kidder delivered an interesting keynote based on his book New to Big, showing different perspectives from startup to corporate, and how they can best be aligned. There were also fascinating insights into consumer marketing and perception of food produce and how that influences product packaging, and some astonishing stories of new foods produced from alternative ingredients - such as the non-dairy cheese by Miyoko’s Kitchen, and the healthy chips by Jackson’s Honest. There were plenty of samples to test at the breaks, although next time we’d like to try the GrainCorp beer too ;)
This was the third TERRA cohort, managed by Rocketspace and Rabobank, and the fourth cohort is about to launch. It has been a tremendous experience for SWARM, and we would highly recommend other food industry startups take a close look (and they’ve just extended the deadline into May - check this out here). The connections with the corporates, VCs, mentors, and other startups has been invaluable. During one networking event, we got a chance to speak with Duncan Logan, founder and CEO of Rocketspace, and hear the story behind these initiatives - it’s easy to forget that the incubators themselves are startups, and deserve credit for their own perseverance and drive. Rocketspace now has a distinguished list of alumni, including Uber, Spotify, and Zappos We’d like to thank Duncan, Carin, Shaina, and the Rocketspace team - plus Anil Suren who made the initial intro, for making TERRA such a useful and powerful tool for transforming the food industry.