It has already been over a month since the Federal Council declared the "extraordinary situation" and introduced more stringent steps to contain the coronavirus. Immediately, all activities at our chair were digitalized, reaching from startup coaching sessions to lectures. One of the lectures was the FoodTech Ralley, which was initiated by the HSG FoodTech Lab.

The HSG FoodTech Lab was founded in fall 2019 and has the following three goals: to connect key players and industry executives of the food industry, conduct evidence-based research with our partners, and support as well as grow world-class ventures, students and business representatives. The Lab was triggered through the old-established agricultural tradition and the unmatched density of world-leading companies, research institutions and large numbers of startups in FoodTech in Switzerland. With the creation of the Swiss Food and Nutrition Valley, the founding partners Nestlé, Canton of Vaud, EPFL and EHL, aim to make Switzerland the world's next food hub - the Silicon Valley for food.

During the Rallye, we virtually visited several startups affiliated to the Swiss Food and Nutrition Valley and presented our analyis about the respective business models directly to the founders and CEOs of the startups. The students got to know the startups: Ecorobotix (developing environmentally friendly weeding robots), COMETBIO (creating healthy and sustainable ingredients from upcycled crop leftovers), Planted (producing delicious plant-based chicken), Umami (growing microgreens in the heart of Zurich), Kitro (offering a simple food waste management system), SwissDeCode (producing a variety of DNA solutions to increase food safety) and SolarFoods (focusing on an alternative protein made from CO2 and solar energy). Overall, the course was an excellent kick-off for the students to receive some first insights into this fascinating food ecosystem in Switzerland.