EIT launches accelerator network to help agri-food start-ups succeed

By Niamh Michail

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/monkeybusinessimages
© GettyImages/monkeybusinessimages

Related tags Entrepreneurship Agriculture

EIT Food is hunting for 40 agri-food start-ups that will catalyse a change in our food system through its EIT Food Accelerator Network.

The 40 successful start-ups will take part in network sessions held in Germany, Israel, Switzerland and the UK over a four-month period.

Start-ups at each location will be coached and mentored by academics and food sector players – participating companies include Bühler, Nestlé, Givaudan, Strauss and PepsiCo – as well as having access to technology, pilot sites and a route to international markets.

The top three start-ups at each location will also share €180,000 in equity free cash.

Communication director at EIT Saskia Nuijten said the four locations were chosen thanks to their strong existing start-up ecosystems.

“EIT Food has the ambition to catalyse the transformation of the way in which we produce, distribute and consume our food, working with the consumer as change agents.  Start-ups also play an important role in this. EIT Food wants to help entrepreneurs of start-ups to succeed,” ​she told FoodNavigator.

“Furthermore, the proximity of our excellent academic and corporate partners means that we will be able to deliver effective accelerator programmes at each of the locations. This is only the beginning, and we hope to be able to extend the Food Accelerator Network to more locations in the future,” ​she added.

Partnering with global non-profit start-up accelerator, MassChallenge – which claims to have accelerated more start-ups than any other organisation in the world – EIT Food Accelerator Network is looking for potentially disruptive start-ups in any agri-food related field.

“There is not a particular area we are more interested in, we are looking for start-ups that are developing products or services that are set to make a big impact on any part of the agriculture or food supply chain,” ​said Nuijten.

Applications open on January 29th 2018.

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Food is a pan-European consortium that focuses on entrepreneurship and innovation in the food sector.

Funded by the EU, it has a number of initiatives such as innovation grants, the RisingFoodStars association and the investment fund Foodsparks.

Think your start-up has what it takes? Details of how to apply can be found here​.

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