More than 60 mentors and experts take part in coaching and supporting start-ups in the ToasterLAB program. In order to let you get to know these experts and experienced professionals, each month we will be publishing a "mentor profile".
R&D project director at Dijon Céréales
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM
Like the agricultural fields that he frequents, Pierre-Yes cultivates... himself! Or at least, his mind. He is interested in understanding all the complexity the world has to offer at the crossroads of agriculture, nutrition, economics and innovation. Pierre-Yves is delighted to share the fruits of his search for knowledge and solutions that rise to the challenge of adressing food and agricultural challenges of today and tomorrow.
"The world is complex. That complexity is beautiful. But that's because there's something to be learned from mastering that complexity," said Ward Cunningham, an American pioneer of software design and collaborative knowledge management.
Pierre-Yves Dymarski shares this sentiment: the world is indeed complex - and there is much to be gained from accepting this fact. From his student days up to his career with Cérélab then with the agricultural cooperative Dijon Céréales (rising to the position of R&D project director in under 10 years) Pierre-Yves has always sought to understand in order to better build a solution.
As an engineering student from 2006 to 2009, he switched halfway through from food to agricultural engineering. "I had a degree of natural curiosity that pushed me towards exploring the links between agriculture and food. This was still relatively rare at the time, although now the silos have been taken down between the two sectors," he remembers. In his professional life, he takes every opportunity learn what is at stake for the various players in these sectors: in 2015, he became a mentor for the "Entrepreneuriales de Bourgogne" start-up contest, and for the ToasterLAB acceleration program in 2017. "With ToasterLAB, I've met people who are positive, with strong values and a desire and motivation to succeed."
Immersed in the world of agriculture, open to the needs of entrepreneurs, and focused on the food expectations and behaviours of a generation of consumers, Pierre-Yves relishes this complexity. "I'm intimately aquainted with farming and its difficulties," he explains. "Concerning the transition of our food systems, there is much at stake, in particular how to protect the environment. For example, so far in 2020, our farmers have undergone 4 months of drought in our region. The technical and economic challenges of how to store water from the rainy months to tide us through the dry months are huge. To that we can add the complexity of the political dimension, and of course the overarching dietary and nutrition stakes since we need to feed our populations and meet their dietary needs and expectations as much as possible."
Piere-Yves is optimistic. "By integrating al the complexity of these competing dimensions, we are trying to do things in the most intelligent and healthy way possible, which is positive for us all. Start-ups contribute a lot," he underlines. "They
are both a source of technical solutions, for example in irrigation systems, and in generating demand for products that boost the biodiversity of our crops, such as peas, buckwheat or hemp, and in the recycling of by-products."
His one piece of advice to start-ups beginning their acceleration? "Keep your enthusiasm and your agility! Be prepared that your business model will be challenged – but don't compromise on your values and your ambitions."
HOW PIERRE-YVES CAN HELP YOU
Farming networks, access to agricultural testing grounds
R&D in agriculture, plant proteins, gluten-free, nutrition
Knowledge of innovation markets: insects, fermented foods etc.
Innovation management and project management
IN HIS OWN WORDS
"Talking with start-ups represents a real resource for me. As much as I enjoy providing feedback, I am aware of what they have to teach me."
Do you want to take advantage of coaching support that is challenging, generous... but never complacent, from our exceptional mentors? Contact me and find out more about the ToasterLAB program: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business Developer and "start-up back-up" as he likes to call himself, Clément was immersed in world of start-ups before joining the ToasterLAB team. A keen volonteer for a number of evironmental causes that he holds dear, Clément is the main point of contact for ToasterLAB's start-ups. Contact him: : email@example.com.