Asli Solmaz-Kaiser, CEO and founder of iComplai, and Janosch Peters, CTO of iComplai.
© iComplai

iComplai: More Food Safety With AI

Glass splinters in the product, too many plasticizers, an incorrect use-by date – there are many reasons for food recalls, and they occur again and again. This costs the manufacturers money and trust. The Munich-based startup iComplai is helping them with an AI-supported data platform for predicting risks in their supply chain. Founder Asli Solmaz-Kaiser explains the solution and background of her startup in an interview.

Munich Startup: What does your startup do? What problem are you solving? 

Asli Solmaz-Kaiser, iComplai: iComplai integrates high-dimensional data streams to predict food safety risks in any supply chain. It is an early warning system. We help food manufacturers identify risks in their supply chain and respond early to avoid costly and dangerous recalls. 

It is the product-market fit and our customer orientation that have brought major customers such as Mars and innocent (a company of the Coca-Cola Group) to us. But it’s not just the customers: Since food safety is a critical issue, iComplai is also attracting a lot of interest in the market. 

For example, we were recently selected for the “German Entrepreneurship Master Accelerator” program, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWK). iComplai is also among the startups funded under the European Commission’s WomenTechEU program. In this program, the European Commission provides financial support to high-profile deeptech (AI) companies led by women, among others. 

Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box! 

Asli Solmaz-Kaiser: iComplai provides safety information at your fingertips, it’s very easy to use, and since it’s a login-based platform, there’s no need to install it. But iComplai isn’t just a source of product safety data. With the help of AI technology, the platform can also predict future safety risks to give food processors more time to act preventively. 

“We protect the health of consumers” 

Munich Startup: What’s your founding story? 

Asli Solmaz-Kaiser: I always wanted to have my own business. I think it’s in my DNA, as I come from a family of entrepreneurs. In our industry (quality management) I have always seen the potential of AI and digitization. Turning this potential into reality is very exciting for me. 

Perhaps more importantly, I see that there is a lot of purpose in the work that iComplai does. We protect the health of consumers and we protect the environment from negative impacts. Knowing that iComplai is contributing to this goal is a great motivation for me and the entire iComplai team. 

Munich Startup: What have been your biggest challenges so far? 

Asli Solmaz-Kaiser: We started up in April 2020. That was exactly when the corona pandemic began. It was a challenge to get in touch with potential customers, as there were no trade fairs, conferences or other events. This was not only important for attracting new customers, but also for testing our business idea. 

Munich Startup: How is business going? 

Asli Solmaz-Kaiser: It’s going great! We have gained big-name customers in 6 different countries and want to continue to scale with a strengthened sales team. 

iComplai relies on artificial intelligence for data interpretation 

I’m one of those people who, when someone gives me 1,000 data points, says: “What does it mean? What do I have to do or change based on this data?” The data itself is important, but it’s the insights from the data that customers need. They want to be supported to identify potential problems before they become big problems. The artificial intelligence models we already have and the new ones we will launch later this year will support these insights and provide predictions. 

Munich Startup: How have you experienced Munich as a startup location so far? 

Asli Solmaz-Kaiser: I can’t think of a better location to start a business! Firstly, important start-up support programs such as German Entrepreneurship are located in Munich. We are currently in the Master Accelerator Program of German Entrepreneurship. Among other things, we can benefit from the office space in Munich. This would not be possible at any other location. In addition, there are always startup meetings that help us to gather new inspiration, network and develop further. 

Munich Startup: Quick exit or staying power? 

Asli Solmaz-Kaiser: We have a mission: healthier food for consumers. And we will not hand off our business until this mission – or at least what we have in mind – is accomplished.