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Koralo, German foodtech startup, is the winner of the first edition of Global Foodtech Accelerator programme of Culinary Action!

20 July 2022

Koralo, German foodtech startup that produces and develops microalga-based vegan fish, is the winner of Global Foodtech Accelerator, initiative of Basque Culinary Center, Hazi and Impact Hub, an international network of entrepreneurship communities.

The founders of Koralo, Dr. Guido Albanese and Sina Albanese, have acknowledged that they are very proud of the recognition and they feel very grateful. The German startup, under the slogan “We revolutionize fish alternatives” uses traditional fermentation techniques with microalgae to create the first vegan fish that is at the same time delicious and nutritious.

Culinary Action!, the entrepreneurship initiative of the Basque Culinary Center, and Impact Hub, the promoters of the programme, underline their commitment to promoting innovation in the sector and the new business models in areas such as health, digitalisation, sustainability and sensoriality. To disseminate and implement the initiative in Europe, the programme had the support of Impact Hub Berlin and Impact Hub Amsterdam, as well as the institutional collaboration of Hazi, Eusko Jaurlaritza-Gobierno Vasco, Onekin! and The Food Global Ecosystem. Culinary Action! is part of the lines of action and initiatives that will be developed at GOe (Gastronomy Open Ecosystem).

The final held in Donostia-San Sebastián at LABe -Digital Gastronomy was a conference in which each of the start-ups presented and defended their project in front of a committee of experts. The conferences have brought different actors from the entrepreneurial ecosystem and the gastronomic and technological sectors. Previously, on the 18th and 19th, the three finalist start-ups visited and got to know different local experiences with experts from the sector.

Koralo has received an additional bonus of 20 hours of specific advice on the one already received in Amsterdam; access to a network of world-class corporate partners, R&D centers, mentors, and top-level investors; investment opportunities through the “Family, Food & Friends” investment club; access to the largest pool of international talent in gastronomic sciences thanks to the teaching staff and the Faculty of Gastronomic Sciences; and assistance with landing in the local ecosystem, a territory with a tradition, experience and excellence in the gastronomy sector: 24 Michelin-star restaurants, 3 of them among the top 50. 

Koralo has been chosen as the winner of the first edition by a jury comprised of Joxe Mari Aizega, General Director of Basque Culinary Center; Asier Alea, Director of Global Development of Basque Culinary Center; Mentzia Otxoa de Zuazola, Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation of Hazi; Eneko Axpe, Researcher at NASA, and Fred Gifford, Strategy and Partnership Manager at Sony AI.

Yumminn, the mobile payment platform integrated with the TPV systems of restaurants that allows the diners to pay their account in seconds, has been another of the candidates that has participated in Donostia-San Sebastián. Yumminn won the bootcamp held in Madrid. It's not a mobile app that you need to download, but a system that works through QR codes. Yumminn allows you to check and pay your account from the phone, without waiting for queues, thus also reducing the workload of the room staff.

From another perspective, the startup Greenbytes has been another project that has participated in the grand finale. The Iceland startup, winner of the Berlin bootcamp, aims to reduce food waste in Reykjavík while increasing the profit margin for restaurants through an application that breaks down data based on menus, inventory, and past experiences to predict future food consumption. That way, food retailers can get practical information about how much food they should ask for and when.

Process of selecting the Global Foodtech Accelerator winning project

Of the more than 40 projects submitted to the programme, 12 were selected to participate and were given the opportunity to attend a two-day in-person bootcamp in Madrid, Amsterdam or Berlin. At these events, various stakeholders in the entrepreneurship ecosystem and the gastronomy and technology sectors provided guidance for the entrepreneurs during a range of dynamic activities aimed at improving their business models.

All entrepreneurs have access to the advanced plan of the digital platform GOe Community, the first digital community in the Gastronomy 360º sector. They will also be invited, as a prize, to a one-month residency at the startup incubator LABe – Digital Gastronomy Lab, the open innovation gastronomic laboratory located in San Sebastián. In addition, depending on the city in which they participated, they will receive various benefits such as a six-month membership to Connect Digital, or “Flex” membership, in one of Impact Hub Madrid’s co-working spaces, a six-month membership to Connect Digital with Impact Hub Amsterdam, or a one-month membership to Connect Digital with Impact Hub Berlin.

A pitch day was held in each city, where the winning project was selected. In the final stage, which took place in San Sebastián from 18-20 July, the three winners engaged in various networking activities, had consulting sessions with experts, and spoke with potential investors. They also received an additional 20 hours of access to BCC Innovation, the Gastronomic Technology Centre of the Basque Culinary Center, for conducting research projects. After the final pitch with the three winners, this edition’s winning project was selected.



Culinary Action! is the Basque Culinary Center and Hazi's gastronomy entrepreneurship programme, and part of The Food Global Ecosystem, a Basque Government-backed public-private partnership comprising 60-plus companies. The Basque Country wants to attract cutting-edge projects, entrepreneurial talent, and technology startups from the agri-food sector. Culinary Action! promotes entrepreneurship and new businesses in gastronomy and food. Since 2014 it has been attracting entrepreneurs, students, companies and industry, and society to the same venue to cause a real socio-economic impact on the gastronomy sector. It catalyses disruptive innovation by promoting start-ups and sustainable projects that challenge the food system, such as foodtech, restech and agritech projects. 

In addition, it creates entrepreneurial spaces open to society that enable it to identify the needs of the entrepreneurial community and start-ups and to respond quickly and agilely to propose a useful solution to the market. To date, its acceleration program (the Culinary Action! Accelerator) has accelerated nearly 100 startu-ps in the sector.


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