The Germinators Face-Off

In January of 2018, the FACC launched a new initiative to give a voice to our sector leaders. The creation of specific committees allows for members within the same industry to take even an even greater lead in planning and executing key events throughout the year around topics relevant to them. This is how the Food, Beverage and Hospitality committee came to be. Food, Beverage & Hospitality Committee members include:

  • Pierre Battu- CEO of Selavi 
  • Ariane Daguin- CEO of D'Artagnan
  • Eric Dubourg- CEO of Wineberry
  • Lous-Jean Egasse- CEO Maison Kayser
  • Marie-Paule Nowlis- Hotel Manager, Sofitel New York
  • Sidney Weiss- Managing Partner, Law Offices of Sidney N. Weiss

On Friday, June 29th, over 170 guests, including VC's, industry experts & members of the French-American business community, gathered at the L'Oréal Café at Hudson Yards for the first event organized by the committee, the Germinators Face-Off. For the past several months, the Jury has been accepting video submissions for the company that brings French excellence, innovation and know-how to their development in the U.S. market. Among these submissions, 8 semi-finalists were invited to pitch their company and compete for the grand prize, a $10,000 check, 1 year of mentoring by the Jury, 10 days of FACC CoWork and a 1 year membership to the FACC. The winners were chosen after a deliberation by our jury of industry leaders:

  • Pierre Battu- CEO of Selavi (Also event sponsor)
  • Cathleen Callahan- SVP, Bank Of America Merrill Lynch (Also event sponsor)
  • Lous-Jean Egasse- CEO Maison Kayser
  • Anita Joseph- Manager Business Development, Cargo-partner Network (Also event sponsor)
  • Sebastien Lehembre- Brand Manager, Savencia Cheese (Also event sponsor)
  • Florence J. Mauchant- CFA, Partner & Managing Director , HT Capital Advisors, LLC 
  • Marie-Paule Nowlis- Hotel Manager, Sofitel New York
  • Jean-Charles Perino- EVP Commercial and Marketing, La Compagnie (Also event sponsor)

While the jury was deliberating, La Compagnie boutique airline also provided one, round-trip, business class ticket to Paris for the lucky raffle winner. 

In addition to our Jury sponsors indicated above, additional sponsorship recognition is extended to:  

  • L'Oréal USA
  • Maîtres Cuisiniers de France
  • Nestles Waters

Scroll down to see more photos!

Learn more about the 8 startup finalists and their exciting projects: 

Jimini's:

Represented by Nicolas Camo, Business Developer, Jimini's presented their new sustainable and healthy source of nutrients: edible insects. While the thought of eating insects may frighten some, the brand is already offered by 800 stockists in Europe, including 320 locations of one of France's leading grocers- Carrefour. Over 1 million units have been sold and the currently offer 20 products. As Nicolas explained during his pitch, the protein price of insects will continue to drop as the protein price of beef continues to rise. These curves are projected to intersect around 2020, while at the same time, consumer acceptance is continually rising. 

LB Signature:

Seeking to bridge the gap between qualified graduates of France's premier hospitality programs and American institutions recruiting top-tier personnel, LB signature serves as both a placement and recruitment agency. Represented by Larissa Brown, Co-Founder, LB signature launched in the U.S. 10 months ago after market research speaking to chefs, front-of-house restaurant managers and hotel directors. For a fee, candidates can receive personalized placement assistance that ranges from the adaptation of their CV to the filing of their visa paperwork and post-placement support. 

OBA:

Made from fruit of the African Baobab tree, OBA is a pre-biotic health drink that reinforces gut health with natural fiber, vitamin C, minerals and amino acids. Co-Founded by Delphine Darmon and Audrey Dauvet and represented additionally by Zofia Morena- VP of PR and Social Mission, the company is committed to gender equality and female empowerment through the living wages, access to education and healthcare provided to harvesters of the Baobab fruit in Africa. The drinks are USDA certified organic, gluten free, dairy free & vegan and come in orginial, ginger, lemon and hibiscus flavors.

C02 Logic:

 

Represented by Arnaud Brohe, CEO, C02 Logic developed a 4 step approach to help companies implement effective practices to reduce their carbon footprint. Through calculations, reductions, offsetting and communications, C02 logic aims to avoid the "greenwashing effect" and accompany its clients towards carbon neutrality with their C02 Neutral label. As Arnaud mentioned in his pitch, the agro-food industry is an important consumer of resources and source of waste, making it that much more important to effect change through the entire production and supply chain. 

Algama:

Through research and development and product innovation, Algama is harvesting the health benefits of microalgae in response to the exponential growth in world food demand. Represented by CEO Alvyn Severien and Business Developer Sébastian Frin, the company aims to make products that are not only good for the environment, beneficial to health, but also just as flavorful as their "traditional" counterparts. Their brand of vegan mayonaise, The Good Spoon, boasts 60% less fat and calories, is plant based, non GMO, with no preservatives, no cholesterol, soy and gluten free.

KYA BYA:

Launched in 2018 by 4 international partners experienced in the hospitality and food and beverage industry, KYA BYA wants to bring casual, updated caviar shops, caviar bars and a new marketing model to the world of caviar. Specifically, the brand wants to target millennials with their gourmet products and emoticon strategy. For millennials, health & wellness is important and KYA BYA wants to introduce them to the benefits of caviar, such as the Omega 3 and vitamins A, B, D, iron and selenium. The pitch was lead by Andrea Gursky, COO with Philippe Sarda, CEO, responding to the jury's questions. 

Sous les Fraises:

Sous les fraises specializes in organic, urban food production with their innovative, vertical rooftop gardens. Notable projects in France include the rooftop of the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann department store and the BHV Marais. From strawberries to vegetables and bee colonies that pollinate the produce and surrounding flora, Sous les fraises not only grows produce but also partners with artisans for transformed products such as jams, beers and honey. Producing locally preserves the flavor and freshness of their products and achieves the highest nutritional value possible. Marie Dehaene, Urban Agriculture Consultant, and the team of 10 permanent staff, are eager to export their solution to NYC and begin developing the numerous, exploitable rooftops of the Big Apple.

Ancolie:

Ancolie is bringing sustainable dining to the West Village and NYC through their glass jar packaged lunches, available for dine-in in their restaurant or catering. A mix of salads, vegetables, meats, grains and sauces, the menu is ever changing but always incorporating ingredients that are healthy and indulgent. Founder Chloé Vichot moved to New York to work in finance before realizing that her passion was elsewhere. After a degree in culinary management and a successful Kickstarter campaign helped launch the business, the next venture is educating New Yorkers about the benefits of sustainability and reusable glass packaging while finding ways to innovate around the excessive commercial rent in the city through a totally new concept: the first green vending machine. 

 

 

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