Young startups face many questions at the beginning of their journey in building a successful business. Uncertainties regarding their business idea, the company presentation to potential investors, product management and employee recruiting determine the everyday life of young founders. Therefore, it is highly recommended to seek the advice of external industry experts in the early stages.
RootCamp supports startups who want to accelerate their paths to market and have a positive impact in the Agritech sector with disruptive solutions. We provide an acceleration curriculum for early stage and fuel later stage startups. We connect you with great hands-on mentors with experience in your industry. Our mentors are well-known experts who support you strategically during the program and help you to solve concrete technical or managerial problems.
Today we want to introduce you to RootCamp mentor Alexandra Vázquez Bea from our network.
Please introduce yourself.
My name is Alexandra Vázquez Bea. I hold the position of COO / CFO at Oetker Digital and previous Executive Board member for Finance, Investor Relations, Human Resources and IT at Veganz Group AG. I have over 15 years of professional and leadership experience in the finance and startup fields. Not only that, but I worked in Corporate Finance at NORD/LB for almost seven years before becoming a restructuring consultant at FTI Andersch AG. In this role, I advised on complex restructuring and refinancing projects across Europe. In 2016, I started my own company, LENCHEN – Der Lebkuchen, and led the startup to become a well-established name in the delicatessen pastry sector. Since July 2021, I have been working for Veganz Group AG as the Executive Board member responsible for Finance, IR, Human Resources and IT. Along with my entry came the official kick-off of the company's IPO, which was successfully closed in just under 4.5 months in November 2021. I am an active mentor in the startup scene.
How did you get into the AgriFood Tech industry?
My first contact with the AgriFood Tech industry was through my own startup in the delicacies business. Here I learned a lot about this industry. From the right use of raw materials over product development to the distribution and proper marketing of food products. During this time I was able to build up a good network in the food/agritech startup industry. This ultimately led to my contact with my current employer, Veganz Group AG, and I have remained loyal to the industry within my current position.
What does mentoring mean to you personally?
I have experienced the ups and downs, the ambition, but also the challenges that one is confronted with during the early startup phase myself and have learned lots of lessons during this process. I often recognize my own experiences in the situations of the startups. Furthermore, I am glad to be able to pass on my experience and knowledge to young founders. And I also do learn a lot within a mentoring process. This is a two-way street, and I appreciate the ambition and dedication of the founders to a great extent.
Why did you decide to support RootCamp startups as a mentor?
I think it's great to be able to actively support startups in developing and establishing a working business model. Through my professional experience, I know the food and AgriFood tech industry well. Therefore, RootCamp is a perfect match. Furthermore, RootCamps approach differs a lot from other accelerator programs and with its focus on mentoring gives the right impulses to the startups.
Alexandra has provided great support for our startups, especially in the area of financing.
What requirements do startups need for a successful mentoring relationship?
For a successful mentoring relationship, it is important that the people behind have confidence in their business, in themselves and in the mentoring. They have to be open-minded and willing to closely work together to identify challenges and find solutions. To get it going, of course, a certain enthusiasm and commitment must be present.
➡️ We are constantly looking for individuals willing to support founders that bring a range of skill sets to the table. If you’re interested in being a RootCamp mentor, just shoot a message to Gaia Amatteis.