Belgian delegation takes on Tel Aviv. APICBASE joined the food & agri tech track.

It is always to be seen if a trade mission generates the expected output. This time, we went to Tel Aviv, Israel, in the wake of a large Belgian delegation led by the vice-mayor of the city of Antwerp and organised by Startups.be.

Tel Aviv is a beautiful city with more than 4000 houses designed in the International Style from the 1930s, inspired by the great Bauhaus style. Thanks to the nice and warm climate and very European-like vibe, it is very easy to fit in as a European start-up and the incredible energy works contagious. The coffee bars are the fanciest you’ve ever seen and the falafel the best you’ve ever eaten. The food is delicious! Vegetables are flavoured by the sun, full of taste. We are sure this all contributes to the entrepreneurial spirit that keeps people busy thinking about their own ideas and starting their own business.

There is no doubt that a mission to Tel Aviv in this sense is a very good idea! We are happy to have been a part of it. Although there were a few hiccups in the program, mainly caused by the lack of organisation by the Israeli partner, we had a great week and we learnt a lot.

These are our three takeaways why we thought the mission to Tel Aviv was a good decision:

  • Belgian start-ups in general are doing a great job, but we are too modest, in comparison to the Israeli start-ups. We can learn from the Israeli people in terms of selling ourselves.
  • The Kitchen Hub is an incubator by the Strauss Group only for food tech start-ups. It’s the first incubator that is sector focused and I think we really need some kind of incubator as well. Also, the enthusiasm and vibe to innovate work contagious. It gave us new inspiration for the future.
  • In the wake of the mission, we met a lot of interesting Belgian start-ups and organisations, like Forganiser, De Serre, Living Tomorrow, and the advisors of the city of Antwerp who all work very hard to deliver value to their customers, with whom we will definitely work together in the future.

But the most important thing is that, after a week stuffed with meetings and encounters, we came back with a pocket full of contacts, follow-up meetings and deals, making it all worthwhile.