Food Startups in Startup Nation

It is not only the pleasant climate with the summery and mild Mediterranean temperatures and the many hours of sunshine that make Tel Aviv the global start-up hotspot, which is also relevant for European food start-ups. It is the whole way how the founding of a company, the elaboration of an idea and the implementation of this idea is dealt with here. The special education in the field of technology, which has a special focus in Israel, the young age structure in Tel Aviv, the presence of all major tech companies (Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc.), the offices of the internationally active VCs and the wide range of Co -Working Spaces, are some, important reasons why Tel Aviv is the world's so important startup center.

The cooperation of different cultures and nations characterizes the international climate of the city.

But it is also something quite different, which can be so instructive in Israel, especially for German food start-ups. A good idea of a German start-up in Berlin will only succeed if investors, mentors and, in particular, a good Startup team want to implement them in Europe. The idea came about in Berlin, the investor sits in Frankfurt and the mentor in Munich. Despite my experience at countless start-up events and meetings in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, these three pioneers of the idea will not speak directly and in any case. "Networking" as a flat attitude helps little, but is unfortunately still understood like this flat attitude in Germany.

Startup entrepreneurs are often afraid to talk to investors or mentors, even if it is a so-called "meet-up" event of an Accelerator program. A funny moderator will then "break the ice" and slowly and quietly moves the caravan of the seemingly interested at the events from stand to stand and skeptically considers the innovative product and often skeptical the founders.

This is where European food start-ups, investors and all other stakeholders can and should learn a lot from Israel. Tel Aviv hospitality, talking together and really caring about the idea and the founder, work directly and automatically at every Tel Aviv meeting. The separate actions of the so-called participants in Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich do not exist in Israel. Immediately and quickly after the business card exchange and already in the first call another contact is mediated and together thought about how the startup idea with the appropriate sales strategy can be implemented. The "failure", which is still often mentioned in a whisper in Germany, is respected in Israel and does not hinder the implementation of the next idea. Speaking Tacheles means expressing openly and bluntly his opinion. This is also part of the conversation in Israel and missing in many European conversations.

Clear text is not destructive feedback, which I often experience at start-up meetings or meetings with investors and food start-ups. Feedback should be clearly comprehensible and motivating, so that the process can lead to an innovative solution.

Especially in the Food Startup and AgTech area, there are many foundations with new, interesting products and services in Israel. The long tradition for food, the cultural mix and this special startup spirit in Israel makes it so important for European food startups to go to Israel and to exchange new ideas and try new food products. To make it, to try, to start again are key moments for the success of the start-ups in Tel Aviv.


Startup Nation is on the way to become food Startup Nation. 

If you want to implement your food startup idea, set up a food startup or as an investor need a contact in Israel, send me an email to


Author: Jens Köster 

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