CogZum, an upcoming start-up, developing a system for efficient kitchen management, is one the 30 innovative projects selected from all over Europe to present their concepts during the 8th edition of the European Food Venture Forum ( EFVF ). The forum was organized by the Tech Tour and was held 5-6 September in Aarhus, Denmark.
CogZum, now a leader on the UK App Store, is the next-gen household food management system that integrates a complete inventory of kitchen supplies, including the fridge, a smart shopping assistant, and a precise expiry tracking solution. For the time being, the app is available for single use, but by December 2018, households will be able to subscribe to a family account.
The release of Android and Apple Watch versions are planned for Q1 of 2019. In the near future, CogZum will offer its own smart kitchen devices as well as many other additional functionalities of the app. For now, the app is available in Bulgarian and English, but other languages are also available.
“The fact that a project in a completely new field for the Bulgarian start-up environment is able to stand out on a large international stage, is a very good indication of our eco-system,” said Ivo Dimitrov, Founder and Chief Developer of the project. “Such successes is a guarantee that investors and corporations will look more seriously at start-up projects from Bulgaria.”
The projects were selected by members of the Forum’s Selection Committee. The Expert Jury has assessed the business potential of the projects, their technological advantages, their competitiveness, their potential to attract investor interest, as well as the experience of the teams of the companies. The selected companies will have the opportunity to present within 15 minutes in front of an international audience of the upcoming forum, where they will meet with active international investors and corporations seeking partnerships.
But besides assisting in the kitchen organization, Ivo believes that the development is solving yet another, more global issue – food waste. “According to a report by the European Commission, 53% of the discarded food is due to households.” Ivo believes that unlike “our grandmothers, who have had time and skills to harvest all the nutrients, current generations are difficult and not well enough in the shopping and use of products. As a result, a dramatic amount of food is thrown away. ”
According to the FAO, the amount of food discharged from households in developed countries is between 95 and 115 kg. per annum or on average 700 GBP (1 500 BGN) in monetary value. “CogZum significantly improves our ability to track the food that enters and is stored in our household and therefore reduces the amount of food that goes out, ie, in the form of discarded food,” explains Ivo.
Innovation and technology play an increasingly important role in European trade and health systems at times when population demographics are changing, and the political focus is shifting towards prevention and a healthy lifestyle. To foster the economic development of the European food sector through innovation and new technologies, good interaction between industry, entrepreneurs and investors are needed.
EFVF’s goal is to help build long-term business cooperation between fast-growing companies in the food sector, technology corporations and international investors through a unique platform for sharing experience, knowledge and contacts.
This is not the first recognition for the start-up. In addition to EFVF, CogZum has been awarded the Food Matters Live (London 2016), REFRESH Food Waste (Berlin, 2017) and MobCon Europe (Sofia, 2017) and is a Top 50 Changemakers in Europe, the Food Waste Innovation Network, March 2018. The project has received private investment and is preparing for seed investment round in 2019.