Navigating ecosystems

Collaborating effectively with parties outside your own organisation increasingly provides a strategic advantage. Because of this, many companies took on an interest in ecosystems, innovation districts, clusters, or any other way the partnerships of companies, knowledge institutions and governments are described. Finding the right ecosystems and how to navigate within them is not so easy for individual companies. In many parts of the world, regions are competing against each other to convince companies that they are in the best position to help realise the company’s ambitions. Ecosystem Navigators supports companies in formulating a realistic ambition, finding effective partnerships in the most suitable ecosystems and, above all, formulating an implementation strategy (ecosystem navigation) that guarantees an optimal result for the company. We contribute as adviser and matchmaker.

Strengthening ecosystem organisations

From a government’s point of view, there is considerable interest in ecosystems as an instrument for socio-economic policy. In many cases, they set up special organisations to contribute to an optimally functioning ecosystem. These organisations are referred to worldwide as valley bureaus, cluster organisations, economic boards or triple helix organisations. Expectations are not always based on a sound analysis of the economic potential of an area. Also, the presence of many different stakeholders requires a subtle but clear approach when it comes to defining the ambitions and the way of working. In practice, managing such organisations is, therefore, often a balancing act between multi-stakeholder management and a steady course. Ecosystem Navigators supports initiators of such organisations from the idea up to a successful implementation. We contribute as an adviser, inspirer, pioneer or coach.

From idea to realisation

Collaborating with other parties is inspiring but at the same time, in most cases, quite complicated. Different images of the ambition, way of working, contributions to be made, as well as conflicting interests between potential partners make that many ideas never come to fruition. Food Mountain is keen to contribute to the success of concrete ideas aimed at realising and strengthening the ecosystem. To this end, we deploy the available experience, expertise, network and hands-on mentality.

Examples of contributions are:

  • Concept development
  • Feasibility studies
  • Setting up consortia
  • Paving the way

Inspiring, thinking along, rethinking, keeping an overview

We also use the experience within Food Mountain in nationally and internationally supervisory roles that contribute to renewing and strengthening our food system. Examples include:

Roots Innovation Hub (Chairman of the Board)

For upcoming businesses, it is crucial to work from an inspiring, dynamic environment. Such places are often scarce and expensive. In the Dutch town of Ede, there is now a unique location for starting entrepreneurs, the Roots Innovation Hub. The new businesses can settle in two former barracks on the World Food Center site at very favourable conditions. Its location next to the Ede-Wageningen train station, amidst all the activities on the World Food Center site, makes it an ideal location for starting entrepreneurs. A perfect place to start growing your business!

National Week without Meat (Board member)

National Week without Meat is an initiative of Isabel Boerdam, founder of The Trendy Vegetarian. The national campaign is widely supported by a large number of partners from the food industry. The National Week without Meat promotes a flexitarian diet, in which meat and fish are alternated with vegetarian dishes. The National Week without Meat is a recurring initiative and takes place annually in March. A day without meat as the new standard. The fourth edition is scheduled for 8-24 March.

FoodTechHub Brazil (Member Strategic Advisory Board)

Brazil is one of the world’s largest sources of agricultural products and biodiversity. Despite its size and potential, Brazil’s food system faces a large number of challenges, which in turn provide opportunities for innovative players. FoodTechHub Brazil, founded in 2019, is actively driving the renewal of Brazil’s food system. The active community of corporates, start-ups, investors, knowledge institutions and the government makes the organisation an attractive partner for Dutch partners to find a good entry into Brazil.