More than 40 startups pitched their stalls in Food Makers hall during the 2016 edition of Maker Faire Rome. They represented the very best in the world of food innovation!
More than 100,000 visitors to the Maker Faire were treated to cutting edge experiments that the young talents brought from around the world. One year after From farm to fork, as the hall was named, we decided to catch up with some Food Makers to relive some of the highlights of last year as well as to learn about what they’re up to now. 4 young people, 4 disruptive projects presented in 2 different articles and an enormous desire to innovate. After Wenda and By-Ento it’s time to discover other two great Food Maker Champions!
Sebastian Melnitsky, founder of Meltz
Sebastian Melnitsky is the founder of Meltz, a new brand of Italian chocolate whose union of tradition and innovation makes it a standout in the global market. At #MFR16, Meltz showcased ‘Crockable’, a unique chocolate and hazelnut bar whose form tells the story of the marriage between past and future.
Q. Hi Sebastian, nice to meet you here! How would you describe your experience at the Maker Faire Rome 2016?
A. Hi thank you for this interview! First, we received so many comments and positive feedback. There were a fair amount of women who told us that Crockable looked like a piece of jewelry, and they had a lot of questions about that particular design feature. I explained that the design was meant to evoke the mountain passage through Monviso, where we get the hazelnuts that are used in the bar. The mix of tradition and innovation that we try to tell in Crockable’s distinctive shapes arouses curiosity in a lot of people, and they often say that it makes a perfect gift. Honestly, I never expected such a warm response!
Q. Great! How did #MFR16 benefit your project?
A. Well, I have to say that Maker Faire Rome bought the first 100 samples that we created using 3D printers and other types of cutting edge production techniques. The Faire also helped to define the value of our product, at an event with an international reach. For Meltz, the Maker Faire was a historic event!
Q. How has your project evolved, one year after the Maker Faire Rome?
A. I’ve market tested my products both in Italy and Berlin, and it was really interesting to see how it was received differently inside and outside of Italy. I’ve also worked on diversifying my product line and I’m exploring other opportunities related to the history and traditions of hazelnuts in cooking. Now, Meltz has got five different product lines, and I’m hoping to be able to bring them back to the Maker Faire this year!
Ares Ferrigni, co-founder of WallFarm
Ares Ferrigni is the co-founder of WallFarm, a startup that employs Lean Intelligence Agriculture (LIA) which is considered to be the standard bearer of automated vertical agriculture. It is composed of an automated box that adapts to any type of vertical farm without any complicated assembly or installation.
Q. Hi Ares! Welcome back! How would you describe your experience at Maker Faire Rome ’16?
A. Hi! Thank you for asking! It was a showcase in front of a huge audience. Startups often have the opportunity to present their ideas to the public, but rarely in such a large and far reaching context!
Q. How did Maker Faire Rome benefit your project?
A. When we came to Maker Faire Rome, we were in the middle of a pivot from developing vertical farms for home use, to an automated system targeted to companies. At Maker Faire Rome we saw a number of different examples of vertical farming and we realized that we’d made the right choice!
Q. How has your project evolved, one year after the Maker Faire?
A. We’ve now got a prototype that we’re working on, thanks to the feedback that we received at the Maker Faire. We also participated in an accelerated program (Startup Bootcamp), and settled an important partnership with a company called Guala Closures. We’ve finally got a new series of products that we’ll be launching in the coming months!
And that’s all for now: we met four food makers and we talked about their incredibile projects shown at #MFR16. Who will be the nexts? We’re looking forward to discovering it at Maker Faire Rome 2017, from Dec. 1 to 3 at Fiera di Roma. Join us!
The Future Food Institute is partnering with Maker Faire Rome – The European Edition 4.0 for the curation of the agritech and food tech pavillon. It is an Italian-based non-profit organization with global horizons that aims to build a more equitable world through enlightening a world-class breed of innovators, boosting entrepreneurial potential and improving agri-food expertise and tradition.