EIT Food launches search for the next 100 high-impact agrifood entrepreneurs

Date: 05.11.2020Source: EIT Food

EIT Food, Europe’s leading food innovation initiative supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), today launches a search to find the next 100 agri-food entrepreneurs who can transform the food system to be healthier, innovative and more sustainable.

The search for the 2021 cohort, comes following news that EIT Food has provided more than €10 million in direct financial support across its Business Creation programmes in 2020. This support has helped entrepreneurs to grow and scale their impact faster – from help with market testing new ideas, providing access to experts, connections to corporate partners across the food industry, and support with investors. Last year, successful EIT Food start-ups raised more than €91 million in external investments as a result of the programme.

The food system faces major challenges if the world is to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals and adhere to the Paris Agreement climate targets. Yet, less than 4% of start-ups in Europe are in the agrifood space, creating a huge market opportunity for innovators, investors and entrepreneurs alike.

From aspiring entrepreneurs with new business ideas across universities and education centres, to early stage start-ups and scaleups wanting to expand internationally, EIT Food is looking for ideas and businesses across European markets, designed to have the highest impact when shaping the future of food, and aligned with the European Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy. The search focuses on new ideas across six key focus areas; sustainable agriculture, sustainable aquaculture, alternative proteins, digital traceability, circular food systems and targeted nutrition.

In the first ever virtual EIT Food Venture Summit, on 17 and 18 November 2020, investors and corporates will be able to explore commercial partnerships and investment opportunities with 130+ high-impact start-ups and will hear pitches from a select group of some of EIT Food’s existing partners and entrepreneurs. Interested new start-ups will also have an opportunity to learn about flagship programmes and connect with other agritech leaders.

Said Andy Zynga, CEO of EIT Food: “Our purpose at EIT Food is to create a culture across Europe for entrepreneurship to thrive. Only a spirit of entrepreneurship will help Europe to make the transformation we need, creating a food system fit for the future, that is healthy, sustainable, and meets the needs of a growing population. Today we are calling for new ideas from experts, innovators and investors, right across the food system. We encourage anyone who has an idea or a business that can make a real difference, with potential to scale and grow, to apply for this once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Many start-ups, already working with EIT Food, will be appearing at the Venture Summit to showcase their ideas and pitch to new investors.

Added Brij Sahi, Co-Founder and CEO of SwissDeCode: “EIT Food has enabled us to tap into some of the largest corporations in the world and to establish proof of concepts with them. This opportunity means we can directly engage with corporates and discuss on a one-to-one basis what we could do together.”

Those that join the network benefit not only from easy-to-access funding and investment, but also access to world-leading agri-food entrepreneurs, corporates and partners, such as Pepsico, Danone, Nestlé and Cambridge University.

Comments Damien Jourdan, Open Innovation Manager at Danone: The EIT Food Seedbed program’s focus on customer discovery is really interesting and distinctive – start-ups need to understand whether they will have customers to buy their product. As a key partner in the network, we’re here to bring value and to help entrepreneurs grow their venture faster with our expertise.” For more or to sign up visit eitfoodventuresummit.eu/


David Cox / IDM

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