You are here

Europe Days 2020 Conference in Tel Aviv

Senior officials from three of Europe’s largest retail companies are expected to land in Israel in the coming weeks as they seek to invest in and collaborate with local start-ups. Eager to tap into Israeli innovation, representatives from German multinational Metro AG, Swiss retail giant Migros and German supermarket chain REWE will all travel to Tel Aviv ahead of the Europe Days 2020 Conference.

The March 17 conference at Tel Aviv’s Dubnov Gallery aims to connect Israeli start-ups with European retail giants, using their leverage to expand to the German, Swiss and Austrian markets. “We are looking for Israeli start-ups for both investment and collaboration in the fields of foodtech, retail, IoT [Internet of things] and digital health,” said Eliana Zamprogna, chief technology officer of M-Industry, the industrial arm of Migros.

“We are in a continuous process of growth, and part of our worldview is to demonstrate innovation in the products that we manufacture,” she said. “We are searching for investments and collaborations with start-ups that have innovative business models, entrepreneurial modes of thinking and promising technologies. ”In December 2018, Migros and Jerusalem Venture Partners chairman Erel Margalit led a $4.25 million investment round in Israeli foodtech start-up InnovoPro, the developer of a technology for the extraction of protein concentrate from chickpeas.

Last year, M-Industry also invested in cell-grown meat start-up Aleph Farms.According to Europe Days founder Gilli Cegla, managing director of Novawind, the conference will showcase business and funding opportunities exceeding €250m. ($278m.). Other senior representatives attending the conference include Sylvia Dudek, director of Metro’s accelerator program; and Markus Kuntke, head of trend and innovation at REWE Group Austria.

“Global competition and the digital revolution compel these companies to innovate constantly,” Cegla said, adding that it is not surprising to find many of them collaborate or aspire to do so with promising Israeli start-ups. “The Israeli entrepreneurs who succeed in connecting to these companies find that they are good companies to work with: They have their finger on the pulse, are very familiar with their customers, are very committed and in many cases have a very lean organizational hierarchy that enables the rapid adoption of solutions,” Cegla said.Conference organizers said participants will gain access to practical resources to assist their breakthrough into the German, Swiss and Austrian retail markets.

An emphasis will be placed upon working with medium-sized companies, with turnover of approximately €50m. ($56m.) and several hundred employees, that are looking for external sources of innovation to accelerate their growth.

Eytan Halon