Andrew Ive is the Managing Director at Food-X, a business accelerator that, every three months, puts the pedal to the metal for a handful of blossoming companies. The chosen startups are the beneficiaries of a business education significantly more selective than Harvard’s (Ive’s alma mater!), and each sends 2-3 board members to Food-X headquarters in NYC for the duration of the program. In exchange for 7-10% equity in their companies, each startup also receives $50,000 in cash, plus invaluable mentorship, networking, exposure, and investment opportunities.
Interested in the work of Food-X? Join us at the Lighthouse BK dinner on Monday March 27, 2017 and get a VIP seat with Andrew Ive, Managing Director at Food-X/SOSV.
That reads like a lot of numbers and figures, but if you ask Andrew Ive, “Food-X deals in hope and action.”
Before he joined Food-X, just over a year ago, Ive worked for several big-name corporations. Though when he spoke at Change Food Fest 2016 in November about his relatively new venture at Food-X, he said, “We work with entrepreneurs, we work with food founders, we even work with corporate food.” What does he mean, even? Well, we had the opportunity to ask him, and here’s what we learned:
Despite coming from the corporate world, Ive initially harbored the same notion that most of us share about our food system. That is, your average corporate food company is the Joker to our Batman: the small-scale, local producer. But after immersion in both sides, Ive hesitates to call them “sides” at all, insisting Gotham is less divided than we think.
“Big food companies are often populated by people who are just as ingrained in their local communities and cultures,” Ive contends, “They are working under a ‘corporate’ banner, but they too are struggling to do the right thing, to have a social conscience.”
A world undivided seems comfortingly pragmatic coming from Andrew Ive, though his delivery is infectiously optimistic. His beliefs about the interconnectedness of small and big business reassure us that the same is possible for the divide between rural and urban, “good food” and “food tech” movements.
In Ive’s eyes, “Tech is not a business model in and of itself.” Rather, tech is incorporated into business models to ensure their efficiency. To support his point, he turns enthusiastically to the current cohort of Food-X startups (all of which are his favorites, sentimentalities aside).
Wasteless, Ive explains, creates a system for grocery stores to price merchandise dynamically, so that goods nearing their expiration date, for example, cost less than those which won’t go bad for weeks. The Wasteless business model, Ive deftly points out, solves a problem which impacts the good food movement – and it does it through tech.
RISE intercepts the common practice which sends spent grain from breweries straight to our landfills; their technology converts the “waste” into a more nutritious, low-carb flour than the traditional.
In fact, now that he’s boiled it down, it seems that reconnection is a prevailing theme through many of the Food-X cohorts, diverse as each individual company is. FoodieTrip is another example; the startup uses food to break down barriers between people of different cultures and ethnicities. The model: Sign up to be a FoodieGuide in whichever of the 74 global cities that you feel your culinary expertise shines. You’ll earn money leading fellow foodies off the beaten path, and they’ll get to experience local flavor like no other!
Andrew Ive will be at the Lighthouse Dinner Benefiting Change Food in Brooklyn on March 27th to share his enthusiasm for the growth of the good food movement. If his Twitter is any indication, the conversation will fluctuate between “Startup Funding Explained: Everything You Need to Know” and “Pitbulls Are Amazing – Compilation (2016).” In all seriousness, there is no one quite like Ive to generate a refreshing optimism about the future of our global food system. Join us at Lighthouse, and we’ll eat like locals!
Unable to dine with us? Bid in our online auction!
Carly Brand is studying Sustainable Urban Nutrition at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She looks to Change Food for future generations and loves to hear your perspectives at firstname.lastname@example.org.