Re-Imagining the Future of Food

Lift India Ideation Workshops – Imagining the Future of Food in Urban Settings
3 – 4 December , 2016 in Manesar and Bangalore
By Swetha Suresh, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Manager

Manesar – 3 December 2016

swissnex India in association with Lift held its first ideation workshop series in Manesar and Bangalore. For the 32 spots at each workshop, 202 people applied. Background of the participants was diverse and ranged from food technology, architecture, urban design, IT, biochemistry to brand consulting; we even had farmers! Participants were selected based on the merit of the idea, work done so far, relevance to the workshop and end user benefit.

Nestle R&D India welcomed all the participants to their bright office on Saturday. Participants had come not just from Delhi NCR but also from as far as Rourkee and Dehradun. Kickstarting the morning Dr. Swetha Suresh presented the workshop, the speakers and the Lift Lab. Hemanth Nagaraja from Buhler India set the tone for the workshop by running the participants through Business Model Canvas (BMC) using Pesa mill, an innovation used to make Atta as an example. Dr. Bhavna Sharma from Nestle R&D India then showed several examples of innovation used to make products healthier – low salt and sugar, fat substitutes, manufacturing func-tional food amongst many. Armed with new inputs, participants set to ideate on BMC sheets and on wall boards. Hemendra Mathur, a seasoned investor with experience of 20+ years injected more thoughts with trends in the industry and sustainability. Participants had another hour to refine their ideas with feedback from experts. Susanta Bhattacharya helped teams account for the commercial viability.

The highlight of the day was 2 min pitches from each team. Experts heard 11 ideas. Ideas could be clearly classified into product and process innovations. Product ideas included – new health foods incorporating high protein, complex curries, fat substitutes while process ideas included – allotment gardens, using super-heated steam to make snacks, integrating urban gardens in a modular way.

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Bangalore – 4 December 2016

The Bangalore workshop turned out to be no less eventful. Enthusiastic participants from Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mysore and Chen-nai started trooping in to swissnex India’s cheerful office from 8 AM onwards for a 10 AM start! Passion was in the air with partici-pants working on their pitches already. The workshop followed a similar agenda as Manesar. Anurag Bhatnagar from Buhler India taught the participants usage of Business Model Canvas. Participants had a chance to hear from Dr. Bhavna Sharma at Bangalore too. Anurag Bhatnagar, Dr. Bhavna Sharma, Dr. Balz Strasser and Prof. Jaykumar interacted with the participants and helped them refine their ideas. Dr. Balz Strasser provided the fillip from the point of view of an entrepreneur who set up an organic and fair trade supply chain in India. The emphasis on quality and pragmatism while doing business was well appreciated. He also gave examples of trending new companies in Switzerland.

The highlight in Bangalore were the 11 pitches as well. Ideas in Bangalore were more focused on environment and community. Ide-as ranged from terrace gardening, converting waste to compost, increasing green cover, community gardens managed by migrant populations amongst others.

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Next steps

Participants now have a week to submit their proposals. To encourage creativity, multiformat submissions are being accepted. We look forward to creative ideas in the coming weeks and select the winning team to attend Lift Lab: Geneva.