Since November 2019, KitchenTown has been available in Berlin as a new coworking space for food start-ups. After the first KitchenTown location was founded in 2014 in Silicon Valley, the second is now growing in Berlin Mitte, near Alexanderplatz.
KitchenTown's mission is to support start-ups on their way from the initial idea, through the development of a product and the go-to-market strategy to the scaling phase.
Innovations in the food sector often come from start-ups with disruptive approaches. In recent years there have been new developments in the field of alternative proteins, sustainable production methods and online marketing concepts.
In the sector, innovative start-ups often face the problem of high market entry barriers. For the production of first test batches, expensive equipment is usually necessary, strict legal regulations have to be fulfilled and the chance of finding a place on the supermarket shelf seems low.
In addition to all the conveniences of a coworking space in the middle of Berlin, KitchenTown therefore also offers the use of the Maker Space. This is an area with fully equipped professional kitchens for product development. This is where recipes can be tried out and the first batches of products can be produced for consumer testing in accordance with legal requirements.
The founders of KitchenTown Berlin, Eike Kieras and Lukas Neuß, have studied the special challenges of early stage food start-ups and try to solve them systematically. "In addition to the opportunity to work on their company, they also need solutions for working on the product. KitchenTown is trying to bring all this together under one roof," says Eike Kieras in an interview with Global Food Summit.
The community network is intended to accelerate the implementation of a suitable go-to-market strategy. Both sides benefit from this - retail organisations that want to find new, innovative products on a regular basis, and start-ups for which first listings in retail are of great importance.
In addition to the classic office space and the Maker Space, KitchenTown also offers an accelerator program to provide early-stage financing for food start-ups.
KitchenTown also helps with access to capital, especially in the early stages of a business. KitchenTown Berlin participates in start-ups with €30,000 each against 6% of the company shares.
In the meantime, more than 40 companies in Berlin are developing new products to help shape the future of food. More than 400 start-ups have already been accompanied on their way in Silicon Valley.
In Berlin, Zveetz and Vly are particularly noteworthy. Zveets is working on offering consumers an alternative to products with too high sugar content. Zveets produces sugar-free mousse desserts on a purely vegetable basis.
Vly wants to create the healthiest alternative to conventional milk from pea proteins.
"For the Accelerator Program, we are looking for exciting teams and concepts all year round without a deadline for applications," explains Eike Kieras. Currently, the most forward-looking topics are sustainability and thinking in cycles, alternative proteins and personalized nutrition.
We are looking forward to the further innovations that will be created in KitchenTown Berlin.