Promoting innovation: Interzoo paves the way for start-up companies and innovative products
3/10/2023 Start-ups Innovation Trade Fair News Interzoo 2022

Promoting innovation: Interzoo paves the way for start-up companies and innovative products

Interzoo has always provided an important stage for innovations and trends most recently with the successful premiere of the Fresh Ideas Stage and Start-up Pavilion at Interzoo 2022. In this interview, the winners of the Fresh Ideas Contest reveal how they benefit from Interzoo in the long run.

Interzoo Start-up Stories © WZF/Olszewski

Refreshing ideas and new products are welcome in every market segment – but only very few start-ups complete a successful product development and are able to establish themselves sustainably on the market. In the U.S., 20 percent of start-ups fail in their first year; in Germany, 80 percent don't make it past their third birthday. What sounds shocking, however, is on closer inspection a very common occurrence on the market. But what distinguishes successful and failed start-ups? First and foremost, it's presence in the target market and networking in the industry.

Interzoo facilitates market entry and creates contacts

With the Fresh Ideas Stage, which was held for the first time, Interzoo 2022 offered new business ideas in the pet sector precisely this important presence. A total of 19 companies presented themselves on the action stage, and the best three were presented with a special award. Nine months after Interzoo, we spoke with Fabiola Neitzel, Managing Director Prombyx GmbH (1st place Fresh Ideas Contest), and Sören Meissner, Marketing Manager, at The Sustainable People (2nd place, Fresh Ideas Contest), about the development of their start-ups.

Prombyx GmbH produces animal feed protein based on silkworm pupae. Since this has not been considered in economic value chains until now as a waste product of silk production, the product meets many requirements for sustainable production. Sustainability is also a big issue at The Sustainable People, which is making a name for itself with special biodegradable dog waste bags. They counter the non-degradable, environmentally harmful plastic with alternatives made from biodegradable material (starch blend) or, as a cheaper option, from recycled material (PE).

What role did the appearance at Interzoo 2022 combined with the appearance on the Fresh Ideas Stage play for you as a start-up, and especially for sales and marketing?

Sören Meissner: We are still overwhelmed by the numerous, extremely positive impressions during Interzoo 2022. We were able to hold over 150 discussions, both with existing and new customers from all over the world. It was a great experience to have been represented together with other startups at the joint stand young innovative companies. Our appearance on the 'Fresh Ideas Stage' will also be remembered – it's just great that we even took second place in the start-up contest here. For our young, fast-growing company, Interzoo played a very important role overall. Due to liquidity bottlenecks and drastically increased costs, our marketing budget was and is limited. Against this background, both the trade show and our appearance at the 'Fresh Ideas Stage' had a very positive effect on our sales and marketing.

Fabiola Neitzel: We have experienced enormous interest in our idea and our products from customers and the media and have been able to make many new contacts in the industry. In addition, the direct customer feedback has given us new impetus for future developments.

How has your business developed since Interzoo 2022 and where are your goals this year and next?

Fabiola Neitzel: The positive feedback during Interzoo has motivated and encouraged us. This year we are launching our newly developed defatted silkworm meal. Next year, we want to further expand our network of pesticide-free silkworm farmers and increase volumes. We are looking forward to presenting our developments at the next Interzoo on the stand we won at the Fresh Ideas Award!

Sören Meissner: We were already able to acquire substantial orders during Interzoo 2022. And the many trade show contacts also brought new customers and cooperations afterwards. We want to use the momentum to implement our goals, such as product improvements in terms of quality and sustainability (further increase in the proportion of environmentally friendly raw materials), stronger promotion of environmentally conscious pet carrier bags over PE products, and stronger positioning in the stationary retail trade. Last but not least: in view of our extremely positive experience at Interzoo 2022, we are aiming for similarly successful trade show participations at Zoomark 2023 and Interzoo 2024.

Next round: Start-ups and companies on an expansion course can present themselves in the Get Started Pavilion at Petfood Forum 2023

Given the importance of innovative solutions to the industry, it's no wonder that Interzoo‘s concepts for start-ups and expanding companies are constantly evolving. The next community stand for such companies is already using the Interzoo brand as a launch pad: the Interzoo Get Started Pavilion will make its debut as part of the Petfood Forum from May 1 – 3 in Kansas City. Secure one of the few remaining places and get the attractive Get Started package now – all information can be found on the Interzoo Get Started Pavilion website.

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Konstantin Rohé

Konstantin Rohé

Communications Officer Interzoo – WZF GmbH

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