Taking a step back from the day-to-day business to seriously reflect on scaling is not for the faint of heart. It takes real courage. We salute you, ScaleUpFood Class 1. It’s an honor to be a part of your journey.
The program exposed us to leadership teams of 11 Dutch F&A ventures with a mission. We learnt that the complexity of innovating in the Food & Agri space and the long development and sales cycles requires a special kind of entrepreneurs. We met very experienced teams who really know what they are doing, but were still very open to reflect on their strategy and leadership style: eager to learn and prevent mistakes.
ScaleUpFood Class 1
These ventures were selected for the program based on their ScaleUpDNA, leadership and impact orientation. Learn more about the success factors we look for in promising scale-ups here.
The program triggered some breakthrough moves by scale-ups. One venture doubled down on a beachhead strategy, zeroing in on the perfect customer. Another team brought the Art of Scaling framework into day to day business to track progress and watch out for pitfalls. A team recognized the limitations of their MT and what they would need to bring on board to professionalize the organization. A CEO was equipped with the ammunition they needed to reassure VCs on a bold new strategy. Two companies reset previously stalled funding discussions and opened up new areas of opportunity. Cool stuff.
Last month together with Rabobank and Foodvalley, we wrapped up the first class of the ScaleUpFood program and we are buzzing – truly inspired by the quality and commitment of Dutch F&A entrepreneurs.
The 20 ScaleUpSuccess Factors as developed by ScaleUpNation proved to be useful for F&A ventures – even though we noticed that the growth pattern of many of these companies is different from companies in ‘faster’ industries like software or energy.
“ScaleUpFood provided the shared framework and terminology to address scaling challenges within the organization.”Hein Kruyt, CEO Solynta
“The program helped eFarmer to clarify our business strategy, expand our understanding of the industry and gain valuable connections. We learned new tools that can be applied immediately in our operations.”Michael Utkin, CEO eFarmer
“Meeting Lely was an enormous inspiration. A company of this size, with such an innovation power, focus and a lot of guts deserves respect.”Jurg van VlietCEO 30MHz
How better to learn about best practices in scaling than from leaders from companies that are a a few steps ahead of the ventures: we worked on Internationalization cases with Priva and Lely invited the CEO’s of the companies for a candid dinner session on continuous innovation.
Dutch entrepreneurs have a reputation for “telling it like it is” and through that candor we were able to make real steps.
During the program, the venture teams were invited to reflect on key elements of their strategic choices with corporate partners: Finance & Governance with Rabobank, Strategic Selling with Royal Brinkman, Design & Construct with RHDHV, Digital Business Models with IBM and Licencing strategies with Axon Lawyers. Most ventures are at that point in their development where they are making key decisions on these topics, and the first collaboration projects have been initiated.
“In addition to acquiring the skills to scale our business, the program also gave me insight into Dutch business culture and thinking. Throwing a group of people with similar goals in a room will always deliver valuable insights and ideas. In short - it's well worth it.”Christo du Plessis, General Manager Kingfish Zeeland
“ScaleUpFood came at exactly the right moment for our company and helped us to get in the right mindset for scaling.”Peter Welters, CEO Phytowelt
Thank you to our partners for their eye-opening contributions to the program and commitment to the success of the ventures.