Some cool food startups are now emerging from Ukraine – a country which has been traditionally known as the farming superpower of Eastern Europe.

Recently we reported on AgriEye and Drone.ua. The previous offers a full-cycle land farming solution; the latter is an integrator of unmanned technologies which aims to become the largest provider of drone services for agriculture in the country.

Another startup, BIOsens, launched last year to develop an Internet-of-Things (IoT) biosensor to detect mycotoxins in food products. The device can be applied in the field, in farms and elevators.

Substances are tested when put on the sensitive side of the biosensor. The data is sent to a mobile phone via Bluetooth, and subsequently to the BIOsens online platform, where it is analyzed. The analysis takes just 15 minutes, according to the startup, while it usually takes days with other systems.

“We are still working on the mycotoxin detection mechanism. It’s the key point before commercialization, which we expect to start in 2018,” said Andrii Karpiuk, CEO and founder of BIOsens, in an exchange with Ukraine Digital News.

“We seek to make people confident that the food they produce or eat is safe. With the sensors we expect to develop in the future, people will be able to control the quality of the food in real time,” he added.

Karpiuk claims that no BIOsens rival can can match its super-fast mycotoxin detection method.

“This is an IoT solution, and we have seen such inventions neither in Ukraine nor abroad,” he added.

Swiss acceleration

BIOsens has attracted $20,000 in a pre-seed round of funding, said Andrii Karpiuk, who declined to name the investors. The investment has been used for market research and recruitment purposes. The startup currently employs five people in Kyiv (Kiev).

BIOsens has just started the Kickstart acceleration program in Switzerland. The first Ukrainian startup in this case, it has been selected out of 1,500 applications from 86 countries.

Presented as one of Europe’s largest zero equity, multi-corporate accelerators, Kickstart Accelerator claims to give access to some of the best-known corporates locally and internationally.

Food delivery is another hot market in Ukraine, in which the local oligarch Leonid Chernovetskiy is investing sizeable amounts to create the regional leader in Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, Zakaz.ua, Ukraine’s first online grocery delivery operator, launched its service in Boston as well as a B2B solution under the CartFresh brand.