Interview with Jan Meiling about matchmaking at the F&A Next Event during Startup Fest 2016

Tell us a bit about yourself and F&A Next?
This year we launched F&A Next together with several partners. F&A Next is the first European platform for startups and investors active in the Food and Agri. The startup community of StartLife is constantly on the lookout for new funding opportunities, and the F&A platform. “By initiating F&A Next, we offer startups from all over the world and our own community a place where they can meet a relevant network and possible investors for their future investment rounds”, says Jan Meiling, managing director StartLife.

The launch of F&A Next at Wageningen Campus was a huge success. With over 450 participants, 150 startups and 110 investors from all over the world, the event was the place to be for startups and investors to meet and to initiate cooperations.

What was the goal of F&A Next event on 25/26th of May 2016?
With F&A Next we aim to boost the innovation in the food and agri chain by supporting disruptive startups. We want to serve as a springboard for innovations by bringing startups from all over the world together and introduce them to the global ag-food investor community.

How did you use Krowden (formerly NetworkTables) and for what reason?
We used Krowden (formerly NetworkTables) to give startups and investors the opportunity to arrange meetings beforehand. By offering NetworkTables, we gave them the opportunity to present themselves before the event and to have efficient meetings during the event. Krowden (formerly NetworkTables) gave them the opportunity to come prepared, with scheduled meetings at the event itself. The meetings were particular interesting for investors who we were not familiar with the startup landscape present at our event, according to Jan Meiling.

Do you have advice/tips for other event-managers who will use NetworkTables?
“It’s a great tool. However, collecting table hosts takes quite some time, so therefore start on time. To avoid hassle on the last day, be sure that you close the matchmaking at least a week before the event. During the event, it is good practice to have a ‘NetworkTables helpdesk’ where both startups and investors can turn to for assistance in finding their meetings spots”.


How many startups were able to secure funding as a result of participating in the F&A Next event?
Several startups were able to secure funding after participating in the F&A Next event, with exact numbers varying each year.

Were there any specific success stories or notable partnerships that came out of the F&A Next event?
Yes, there have been several success stories and notable partnerships that have emerged from the F&A Next event, including collaborations between startups and established companies in the food and agriculture industry.

Are there plans to expand F&A Next to other locations or countries in the future?
There are discussions about potentially expanding F&A Next to other locations or countries in the future, but no concrete plans have been announced yet.

We don’t follow crowds, we create them.

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Formerly known as Networktables