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RootCamp Demo Day #5 Transforming Value Chains

May 10, 2024 4:48:30 PM

After an exciting three-month program and intensive preparation, the eagerly anticipated moment finally arrived. We welcomed attendees to the 5th Demo Day held at our headquarters in Hannover. This year's event for RootCamp Batch #5 brought together a multitude of stakeholders from our valued partnership network, uniting a diverse audience ranging from local startups and academic representatives to corporate collaborators. In the vibrant atmosphere of the event, the spotlight was focused on the values of innovation, collaboration, and the exciting potential for cross-industry synergy.

RootCamp Demo Day 5 Pitch

Under the motto "Transforming Value Chains," experts from both industry and academia discussed inefficiencies and gaps in value chains. Philipp Rittershaus, Managing Director of RootCamp, moderated the discussion between selected panelists: Matthias Hübner, Head of New Business/Circular Economy at K+S; Prof. Dr. Stefanie Bröring, who holds the chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovative Business Models at the Ruhr-University of Bochum and Oswaldo da Costa e Silva, Managing Director of InnoCres Consultancy. At the beginning of the panel, Philipp Rittershaus explained how RootCamps presently advances towards a holistic assessment of value chains in agriculture, as well as the bioeconomy. He emphasized the prevailing transformative pressures, such as climate change, dwindling resources, and shifting consumer preferences, which necessitate a higher level of engagement. Here, multilateral and circular approaches emerge as indispensable.

RootCamp Demo Day 5 Panel (3)

The panelists had a lively exchange and discussed their expert views on the transformation from a fossil-driven economy towards value chains that are based on biogenic feedstock or foster circular processes. Stefanie Bröring, who also sits on the advisory board of Verdancy, one of RootCamp's startups, emphasized the importance of networks for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their access to new technologies: “It’s about partnering I would say and that’s why the RootCamp and all the activities we have here are so important.” 

Matthias Hübner reflected on challenges versus the benefits and importance of regulation in circular production, while Oswaldo da Costa e Silva provided insights from his experience on how regulations can level the playing field and, together with visionary leadership, guide industry leaders to seek new solutions. Apart from regulatory frameworks and the industry’s willingness to innovate, consumer choices are another challenge. As Matthias Hübner puts it: “It’s a people business, that’s the problem: we are. We all like glass when it comes to water bottles. Yet, most of them buy PET. If you ask, they all like glass, but you buy what is easy - you buy what is cheap. That’s human.” The panelists agreed on the difficulty of being the first to innovate and drive change, despite obstacles. However, they concluded that successful examples of regulatory, yet disruptive innovations in the value chain demonstrate that obstacles can be overcome, and that positive change is worth fighting for.


The RootCamp Demo Day for Batch #5 not only highlighted the latest innovation in agriculture but also underscored the transformative potential of collaboration. If you missed this event, feel free to reach out to us, and we'll provide you with all the pitch decks and videos.

After the successful conclusion of Batch #5 of our acceleration program, we're eagerly awaiting the next round. Once again, we're on the lookout for new AgTech & Bioeconomy startups. Become part of one of the best Startup Hubs in Europe. Take advantage of our personalized program designed for both early-stage and late-stage startups. Receive funding of up to €50,000 and the chance to pilot your solution with our corporate partners. Applications are open until May 30th.

Annkathrin Wahbi

Written by Annkathrin Wahbi

Annkathrin is curious about sustainable production and technology adoption. She is currently pursuing a PhD in agricultural economics from the Georg-August-University in Göttingen and has studied Sustainable International Agriculture in Germany and Chile. Her work experience includes academic research, project management and innovation in various countries and institutions such as KWS, Oxfam and the DAAD. As Project & Innovation Manager at RootCamp she is responsible for various projects and business development activities. 

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