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Meet the jury

Meet the Fi Europe Startup Innovation Challenge 2023 Jury

The Fi Europe Startup Innovation Challenge gives startups the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a jury of R&D experts, investors, and major F&B industry company representatives.


It is with great pleasure that we wish to introduce you to our Jury:


Michael Dovbish - Nutrition Capital Network - Executive Director

Michael Dovbish is the Nutrition Capital Network business lead: An event and data platform connecting health and nutrition founders with investors and industry corporations seeking investment opportunities and other partnerships.


Kevin Camphuis – ShakeUpFactory – Co-Founder

After 20 years in strategy and breakthrough innovation management in a leading global corporation, Kevin Camphuis co-founded ShakeUpFactory, a reference business accelerator and open innovation boutique dedicated to food and agtech. Based inside StationF in Paris, it gathers a unique ecosystem of 300+ international startups and corporations, inventing together the ingredients and solutions of tomorrow's food economy.


Giulia Crastolla – StartLife - Investor Relations Manager

As Investor Relations Manager, Giulia Crastolla is responsible for leading investment related activities for StartLife and its programs. She is the linking pin between agrifoodtech startups and the investors partners. Giulia holds a master’s degree in Food Technology – Product Design & Ingredient Functionality, at Wageningen University & Research, with work experience in QA and NPD. She maintains and establishes investor partnerships, analyses and coaches startups.


Gil Horsky - FLORA Ventures - Managing Partner

Gil Horsky is the Founding Partner of FLORA Ventures ( an early-stage VC fund that is identifying, backing and partnering with the best purpose-driven entrepreneurs redefining the $8T AgriFood & Sustainability industries, to make food that is good for people, and kind to the planet. The fund’s investment thesis is focused on the intersection of the AgriFood industry with Planetary & Human Health, all underpinned by deep-tech. Prior to that, Gil Horsky, had a 16-year career in global leadership roles with leading food multinationals Mondelēz, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo & Nestle. Gil Horsky co-founded the Mondelēz corporate venture investment arm (CVC) and has vast experience in developing and commercializing new branded food innovation and FoodTech platforms.


Itziar Ortega - Eatable Adventures - Senior VP Global Operations

Itziar Ortega has over 20 years of professional track record on global business management and strategic management in the Food Industry Specialised in Strategic Operational Plans, and is currently holding the position of Senior VP of Global Operations at Eatable Adventures.


Thomas van den Boezem – PeakBridge – Principal

Thomas van den Boezem is a Principal at PeakBridge – a global FoodTech fund manager. Prior to joining PeakBridge, Thomas held various tech transfer and investment roles – as Investment Manager at EIT Food, Investment Analyst at Innovation Industries and before as Program Director at StartLife. He graduated in Public Health (BSc) and in Business Administration (MSc) at Wageningen University, during which time he also founded a healthy snacking company. Thomas is based in Utrecht, the Netherlands.


Albrecht Wolfmeyer - ProVeg International - International Director of.ProVeg Incubator

Albrecht Wolfmeyer has extensive professional experience in international profit and non-profit organizations. He is an expert in startup support, alternative protein and food tech, venture capital, strategy and project lead. As the co-founder and manager of a social startup he gathered first-hand experience as an entrepreneur. Albrecht Wolfmeyer studied in Berlin, Toronto, Paris and Fribourg. He is a graduate in non-profit management from the University of Fribourg and in social sciences from the Humboldt University of Berlin. He speaks English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese, besides his native language German.


Sonia Huppert – IFF - Global Innovation Marketing Leader, RE-IMAGINE PROTEIN®

Sonia Huppert is Global Innovation Marketing Leader, RE-IMAGINE PROTEIN® at IFF, leading the industry roadmap for growth in alternative proteins. She has deep insight into and broad experience in food technology, product development, business development and strategic marketing. She has more than 27 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, turning ideation into successful innovation that is consumer-oriented and customer-driven. Sonia holds a MSc in Microbiology-Enzymology and obtained a certificate in strategic marketing and digital from HEC Paris. Sonia lived and worked in different regions of the globe and developed a strong ability to lead multicultural and disperse teams.


Eline Boot - Foodbytes by Rabobank - Head of Partnerships

Eline Boot is heading up the global partnerships team for Foodbytes by Rabobank, an online connection hub for startups, corporates and investors. She is a specialist in the Food and Agriculture Industry with over a decade of experience in startup and corporate innovation and investment banking. She is passionate about finding the right innovators to drive impactful change together. Curious how Foodbytes can help your business efficiently scout vetted startups or are you a startup looking for collaboration or investment? Create a free account today and get connected at


Sandra Einerhand - Einerhand Science & Innovation - Nutrition Consultant

Sandra Einerhand is an accomplished expert in the field of nutrition science and food (ingredient) innovation with over 25 years of experience. She is the founder and head of Einerhand Science & Innovation, an award-winning nutrition consultancy that provides solutions to the food (ingredient) industry, as well as academic and governmental organizations all around the world including the Middle East. Her consultancy has won multiple awards. Currently, she is also the chair of the Nutrition Consultants Cooperative (NCC). She has previously held positions as Scientific Program Director and Nutrition & Health Director at Danone Nutricia Research, Tate & Lyle Ingredients, and Lipid Nutrition. Before that, she worked as an associate professor at the Paediatrics Research Laboratory of the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam. Sandra's educational background includes a PhD in Biomedicine and a degree in Biochemistry from Amsterdam.


Matthieu Vincent – Digitalfoodlab – Partner

Matthieu Vincent co-founded DigitalFoodLab, a leading foodtech consultancy in Europe. With its team of experts, DigitalFoodLab helps large food and FMCG companies plan for the future of food, understand and act on the parts of their business that are threatened by disruption, and identify areas of opportunity. Previously, he was the founder of WeCook, one of France's first food tech startups, and one of only a handful with a successful exit.


Marc-Antoine Olive – FEAST - CEO and Co-Founder

Marc-Antoine Olive has served in General Management, Marketing, Commercial and International market expansion roles for 20 years within three major food multinationals: Danone, Pepsico, General Mills across seven mature and emerging markets in Europe, Asia, Middle East, North America. He has led large cross-functional teams and businesses of $500MM+, driving growth on global and regional brands like Activia, Quaker, Yoplait and Haagen-Dazs. His key expertise fields are on unlocking topline and bottom-line acceleration via consumer insight-based brand building and via omni-channel sales in fast changing environments. As an entrepreneur, he co-founded Feast Creative Foods to scout and raise global innovative food brands in China with an emphasis on their positive health and sustainability impact. He is also investor and board member in fast growing nutrition and food and ag-tech players and partner at Feast Ventures.


Nicolas Carbonnelle – Bird & Bird LLP – Partner 

Nicolas Carbonnelle is a Partner at Bird & Bird with over 15 years of experience in food law and consumer products regulations. He advises clients on complex regulatory challenges, such as product labelling, food safety, advertising, marketing, and product recalls. Nicolas has been recognized by industry publications and directories, including the Legal500. 


Susanne Steghoefer - Givaudan International SA - Research Scientist 

Susanne has background in nutritional science and food technology. She also held different roles in R&D in the food and feed industry with focus on process development for new ingredients and final products. Currently, she is working as a scientist in the global R&D department of Givaudan in the field of delivery systems, novel ingredients, and external collaborations. 


Dr. Markus Pfeiffer - Bloom Partners GmbH – CEO 

Markus is the founder and CEO of Bloom Partners, and a renowned expert for digital transformation and food tech in Europe. He was the co-founder of Scoreloop AG, exited to Blackberry in 2012, and the MD of Vivaldi Consulting Group in Europe. He is also active as a serial entrepreneur, mentor (e.g., for TechFounders, EIT Food) and business angel in the food tech space. Markus is the Honorary Professor for business model innovation at the University of Cologne. 


Carla Ibañez - External consultant, VC Biotech/AgTech 

Carla works as an external consultant specialized in the Agtech/Biotech sectors. For over 7 years, she has been supporting innovation through public and equity (seed/pre-seed) investment in close contact with Corporate Ventures, as well as supporting entrepreneurs in validating and scaling their business ideas. Carla has a PhD in Natural Sciences and is passionate about deep tech, synbio, and innovations backed by strong intellectual assets. 


Fabio Ziemssen – ZINTINUS – Partner 

As a partner of ZINTINUS GmbH, a food growth fund, Fabio Ziemssen is responsible for financing and supporting start-ups in the field of alternative protein sources, clean nutrition and food waste reduction. In his function as chairman of the German Association for Alternative Proteins, Fabio promotes networking and dialogue in the industry. Balpro was founded in 2019 and counts over 130 players from start-ups to established companies and VC entities. In 2019, he was voted "Top40under40" by Capital magazine. In early 2020, he was awarded with the World Economic Forums title of "Young Global Leader". 


Christiaan Kalk - lsbi | life science-based innovations - Senior Consultant 

Christiaan Kalk graduated in biology at Groningen University in 1987. For more than two decades, he was responsible for sales and marketing of contract research within TNO, as well as project management and consultancy on regulatory affairs, testing strategy, life sciences and communication. In 2017, Christiaan founded lsbi | life science-based innovations. In collaboration with a broad network of experts in areas including toxicology, nutrition, pharmacology, analytical chemistry, microbiology and biotechnology, Christiaan serves clients in the international life sciences industry, with an emphasis on new biomasses and on bioactive compounds applied in foods and food supplements. Experience, trust and commitment to innovation for health and sustainability form the cornerstones of lsbi. Lsbi serves start-ups and established companies, as well as investors. 


Theresa Hingsammer - Food Campus Berlin - Head of Food Campus Digital 

Within her role at the Food Campus Berlin, she focusses on bringing people and organizations together to develop a future food system within our planetary borders. Theresa is passionate about the combination of food, digital products and sustainability. At the Food Campus Berlin she is currently developing a community platform – the Food Campus Digital – to encourage interdisciplinary exchange within the food industry and to develop solutions for a planetary health food system efficiently. 


Dr. Adam M. Adamek - EIT Food - Director of Innovation

Dr. Adam M. Adamek serves as the Director of Innovation at EIT Food. With over 25 years in the research and innovation space in academia, startups and international food industry, his expertise spans foodtech, precision nutrition, product development, and pioneering innovation management. He's deeply invested in technologies and business models that amplify healthy nutrition, food security, and sustainability. As an active mentor, Adam champions startups, guiding them to introduce groundbreaking solutions in the market. He firmly believes that innovation is the linchpin to meet and overcome the challenges our food system faces today.