Interview with Christin Siegemund from foodlab Hamburg
Discover the concept behind foodlab Hamburg, learn about their accelerator program, explore their sustainability practices and more.
About foodlab Hamburg
foodlab is a one of a kind business, brand and location situated at the heart of Hamburg. This dynamic brand is a kitchen, restaurant, cafe, co-working space, media and event studio, accelerator and agency all-in-one. foodlab seeks to propel the food industry forward with exciting events, professional networking opportunities, a multitude of work areas, creative food concepts and much, much more.
About Christin Sigemund
Over the course of her career, Christin Sigemund worked for a series of advertising agencies, including Alster Media, Die Brandstifter, and MACK Werbeagentur. From 2011 - 2019 she worked at Golfino AG, first as Marketing Coordinator for Online & Regional Affairs, and later as Head of Marketing & PR. From 2013 - June 2020 she also ran her own food blog, Hamburger Deern. Today, the impassioned foodlab CEO and founder is fully dedicated to evolving and expanding her exciting, multidimensional food space.
Hi Christin! What's the story behind foodlab's founding? In what ways do different actors in the food industry all come together under one roof in your space?
During my time as a food blogger, I was frequently asked if I knew where to find a professional kitchen workplace, photo opportunities, contacts in the food start-up scene etc. I realised that there was a need for a special place that has it all—a place where food start-ups and established players from the food scene could meet. This is how the idea of foodlab was born.
We now have a co-working space that is designed very openly and offers the opportunity to connect with different players. Just a few steps down, we have a popup restaurant that creates a new concept for lunch and dinner every four weeks. And next to that we have five different kitchens where new products can evolve and be produced. Not to mention our accelerator program which brings food start-ups and established players in the industry together and gives them the opportunity to learn from each other.
What are the biggest challenges you've faced while working at the intersection between being a coworking space, a media and event studio, a kitchen, a restaurant, an agency, and an accelerator?
Telling the story. Everything is new here, from the concept to the facilities. We’ve noticed that people still sometimes struggle to understand the concept.
Briefly talk us through your food startup accelerator program.
We developed our accelerator program with the vision of bringing start-ups and established players together through monthly events and one-on-ones. Our focus lies on preparing start-ups for the market at-hand and giving companies access to inspiration, innovations, foodlab's location and last but not least to a young and creative crowd.
These start-ups participate in a six-month program with access to foodlab's infrastructure, coachings, pitch trainings, network and more—all of which are tailored to their individual needs. Companies can position themselves as "Fast Movers", are given access to new ideas, gain insight into the start-up scene, and even have the possibility to buy stakes in innovations.
What role does sustainability play at foodlab? And how do you expect this to evolve in the years to come?
Sustainability plays an important role at foodlab. It starts with waste reduction and prevention and goes as far as owning and utilising our own composter for all the organic waste we produce. With the humus from our composter, we plan to support urban farming activities in kindergartens. We also use the leftover milk and coffee grounds from our coffee bar to produce ricotta and granola. We expect initiatives such as these to play an even more important role in our work in the next few years.