What’s a Creathon ?
A Creathon is a ‘creative marathon’ and is best described as an interactive workshop that brings together talented students and young professionals from France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Participants come from different personal, professional and educational backgrounds and work together with an entrepreneurial approach to deliver innovative and realistic solutions, projects or prototypes related to the pre-formulated topic.
What about Creathon 2023 ?
On May 2 to 4 and May 24 to 26, 28 young Europeans with different academic and professional backgrounds gathered in Wageningen and in Lille to participate in the Cross-Creathon 2023. The theme of this event was “Sustainable food: between decarbonation and resilience”.
During the first step in Wageningen, hosted by Wageningen University & Research, 6 teams were asked to brainstorm, share their ideas and come up with a first draft of a project. The second part in Lille, hosted by Polytech Lille, focused on project completion and fine-tuning.
During both parts of the event, participants were given the opportunity to meet with several professionals in the sustainable food sector.
During the event in Wageningen, participants had the opportunity to meet with Kapser Hettinga, professor « Dairy processing & Functionality » in the chair group « Food Quality & Design » and Corjan Van den Berg, Growth Officer and co-founder of Revyve. Revyve is a company that specializes in creating ingredients from single-cell proteins using a groundbreaking process that unlocks exceptional functionalities, such as heat-set gelling, emulsification, and more.
During the event in Lille, participants had the opportunity to visit Fives Cail. The visit included a guided tour including various facilities within Chaud Bouillon, such as le Foodcourt, la Cuisine Commune, la Ferme Urbaine, and la Cuisine Professionnelle. Participants gained valuable insights into these spaces and their role in promoting sustainable food practices. In addition, where a visit wasn’t possible due to a tight agenda, the participants were presented with a series of other projects and initiatives taking place in Lille; this includes for example the Food Lad in Polytech, a space for culinary preparation and experimentation with professionnal equipement that values initiative spirits, and Barasoup’, Distribution of 100% plant-based solidarity soups on Lille’s university campuses.
Throughout the event, the participants worked under the guidance of three experts:
- Sandy Snoeck – Teacher in Business Innovation at Howest & Keynote speaker and trainer
- Bertrand Tortellier – Consultant in entrepreneurship, Freelancer
- Milou Kauffman – Internationalisation Expert, Teacher and Coach at Fontys Pulsed Academy
This event was concluded by a presentation of the projects in the form of pitches to a jury of professionals on Friday May 26 in Lille. Thanks you to our jury for their participation and their professional view of the 6 projects :
Pitches and Ceremony
The winners of 2023 are the Midnight Munchies team. A project based on Vending machine offering inexpensive, saved, ready to eat meals from local businesses. This project was praised by the members of the jury, and each member of the winning team won a mobility grant of €400, as well as support and guidance to make this project come to life in Lille, in Belgium and the Netherlands. Congratulations to them and to all the teams !
©Université de Lille
Round table and Networking moment
The Networking event that took place at Sciences Po Lille, with the central theme of “sustainable food: from farm to fork”, brought the 2023 edition of the Créathon to a successful close. The evening welcomed professionals from France, Belgium and The Netherlands who shared their opinions and experiences.
The evening started with a roundtable, led by Arelis Ardiles and centered on ‘sustainable food : from fark to fork’, gathering together a diverse group of 4 individuals : Chiara Roticiani from Eurocities, Remi Verstraete from Euralimentaire, Sébastien Pérel from the European Council of Young Farmers and Jenneke Heising from Wageningen University and Research.
Following that, 8 projects leaders from Lille Metropolis took the stage to present their innovative sustainability food project : Tomogrow, Baloa, Super quinquin, Osiris, Bacao and Conserverie Ripaille.
To conclude the evening, a networking cocktail was organised allowing the guests and participants to bond.
©Gabriela Vargas Tellez – MEL/Light Motiv
Learn more about the 6 projects of our Creathonians
The Third Place
Aso Contrat Claudia Access poster
Next Stop Farmers
Rutgers Femke Access poster
The Upcycle Kitchen
Coustenoble Eline Access poster
Dodeman Louise Access poster
Van Den Heuvel Tristan
Čunović Lucija Access poster
Guerrini Simona Access poster
Cross Creathon 2023 on Sustainable and Resilient food system was a great platform to learn many new things. On the top of all, something I learned in about the gap between what an individual (student) might thinks as a possible solution and what is the market expecting. Along with this it also highlights the importance of working together as a team through both good and bad phases of the journey. Heading from a science background, I was expecting the programme to be scientific, hypothetical solutions and working with people with similar backgrounds at creathon. But I feel the creathon committee did a great job in shedding light on the reality where in today’s world it is not obliged to work only with a close knit of people and also expect the market to be ready to everything you propose as a solution. Through meeting with people from various backgrounds, it also had its share of flaws but on top of all, we get to meet people and learn more about people and their needs. Sometimes, your idea could not be feasible in a particular area of interest, but that could be a amazing solution in a different arena. In this way, I am grateful to be provided with an opportunity to learn a new perspective and share it with lots of amazing people at Cross Creathon 2023. Thank you to each and every person part of Cross creathon 2023.
I am now a ‘Creathonian’. An member of an esteemed community that pitched six impressive businesses across two different countries. The experience was really positive, with expert guidance, presentations, field trips, networking opportunities and excellent organization. Intense few days, but 100% worth it with new connections and ideas on how to shake up the food system!
I highly encourage everyone to participate in this event. Doesn’t matter if the theme of the year is nor directly related to your field of studies, just go, you will learn a lot and you will for sure have something to add, because everybody is meaningful. It’s a great opportunity to learn through theory, practice, and through the people. Amazing experience.
The Cross-Créathon 2023 was a superbe professional learning experience, as well as a great rewarding human experience. It was enlightening to meet all these young, creative and motivated people coming from different countries, and to learn and build together projects related to food sustainability. The organisation of the event was super smooth, and the coaches were providing a constant support throughout the event, teaching us many valuable and meaningful advises. This was truely an amazing opportunity to meet many interesting people, discover current projects about food sustainability, and learn a lot about entrepreneurship and project management. Thank you ♥
What’s remarkable about the Creathon event is that it doesn’t conclude on the final day. The experience goes beyond that, providing us with learnings and insights, and opening more opportunities to go deeper into the challenges of sustainability from a food lens. Furthermore, the community I’ve found in Creathon is amazing, filled with inspiring individuals who are working towards the common goal of sustainable food practices. We’ve got diverse participants, enthusiastic coaches, speakers, and organizers who are truly dedicated to this cause. I look forward to continuing my journey toward a sustainable food future, specifically focusing on tackling food waste challenges, alongside the inspiring community of people I’ve ever met in this Creathon event.
The CREATHON is a great experience to discover like minded people, and meet new friends! By participating, I could challenge myself and learn how to work within groups. I learned a lot about myself, others and about the topic. I would definitely recommend other people to participate!
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to Sjoukje Heimovaara, President of the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research, for her opening speech at the Creathon 2023 in Wageningen and for taking the time to meet all the participants. We would also like to extend our thanks to Rio Pals, Manager of Student Challenges at Wageningen University & Research, for her invaluable assistance in organising the Creathon 2023 in Wageningen.
Our sincere appreciation also goes to Polytech Lille, especially to Alice Rochex, Senior Lecturer and manager of Agri-food platform of Polytech Lille, for facillitating the organisation and good working conditions in Lille.
We would also like to thank Pierre Mathiot, Director of the Institute of Political Studies of Lille, for his opening speech at the Networking evening. Our appreciation also goes to Patrick Mardellat, Director of International Relations, and his team for organising, facilitating and welcoming us in Sciences Po Lille.
To conclude, thank you to all involved partners as well as organisers for makinjg the event a success.