Change Makers

Change Makers

Empowering diverse communities to transform our food system

EIT Food, alongside YSYS - a leading Startup Community and Diversity and Inclusion Consultancy - and King’s Cross Impact Hub are bringing together the best minds from all corners of society to find fair, sustainable and safe solutions for the greatest food challenges of our time. 

The EIT Food Change Makers Programme is a new, collaborative initiative which gives diverse talent the chance to become agrifood-tech innovators or entrepreneurs through a series of events, mentorship and training. We are committed to supporting people to find solutions that tackle everything from how food is produced and distributed to how it is consumed and disposed of. 

What’s agrifood-tech?

EIT Food supports new businesses across the entire agriculture, fisheries as well as food manufacturing, distribution, consumption and disposal sectors (collectively called agrifood-tech). 

We run a variety of programmes to support startups at all stages of their journeys, helping them to collectively create positive impact across the food system to make it more sustainable, healthy and safe.

Why now?

Growing population levels coupled with dwindling resources continue to strain our ability to feed billions of people.  The issues behind this huge challenge are global, complex and interrelated - and we need a diverse range of ideas and organisations if we are going to address them.  

There is abundant evidence that startups can and should play a key role in creating positive and transformational change across the entire food system, and that particular attention should be posed to the risk of startup “gentrification” in order to ensure real innovation happens.

At EIT Food we work hard to ensure a diverse pool of participants get to access our programmes - especially from underrepresented backgrounds such as women, BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) and the  LGBTQI+ communities. This dual objective is vital to our systems change strategy and means that not only can we empower those with less immediate opportunities - but just as much potential - as overrepresented groups, but we can also encourage more diverse solutions.

The EIT Food Change Makers Programme’s vision is to unlock this potential by ensuring that participants feel confident they have the skills and qualities to create a meaningful and lasting impact. Together, we will contribute to EIT Food’s mission to transform the food system - making it healthier, more sustainable and trusted.

The Programme

We’re calling all agrifood-tech innovators from diverse backgrounds to join the Change Makers Programme.

Participating in the EIT Food Change Makers Programme involves attending two meetups during the summer and participating in a Startup Weekend where you will get to generate and work on your brilliant ideas to solve the problems that we face in the food, agriculture, and fisheries sectors.

You will be coached on how to pitch your ideas to our panel of judges for a chance to receive a mix of grant funding - worth a total of 25,000 euro, split across 3 winning teams - and other types of support such as mentoring and access to our network of food system experts. 


In July and August, we’ll be hosting two meetups, exploring the food system and its relationship with health and the environment. These interactive, thought-provoking sessions are designed to give you some inspiration for the kinds of challenges you might like to work on - and are also a great opportunity to learn more about the EIT Food Startup Weekend. 

Above all, it’s a meetup between the best and diverse agrifood-tech innovators across Europe who are coming together to discuss the latest tech trends, forge co-founder relationships and be part of a growing community. 

Key Dates:

Food and Health Meetup: Wednesday 24th July REGISTER HERE

Food and Environment Meetup: Wednesday 21st August  REGISTER HERE

EIT Food Startup Weekend

In October we’ll be kickstarting EIT Food Change Maker’s Startup Weekend, for diverse entrepreneurs and innovators. Over the course of 3 days, participants will join teams, come up with ideas, test solutions and pitch in front of stakeholders for a chance to receive grant funding and other support. Applications will open on 24th July 2019

Who can apply: We’re looking for ambitious individuals from underrepresented groups, who are interested in launching a startup or joining a team, inclusive of the following:

  • Black, Asian and minority ethnic people (BAME)
  • Women and non-binary

N.B You don’t have to have an idea to join, just lots and lots of passion!!!

We are  passionate about intersectional support, and are therefore particularly interested in supporting women and BAME individuals who identify as: disabled, LGBTQ+, and other groups currently not represented in the agrifood startup sector

Key Dates: 

Startup Weekend, King’s Cross Impact Hub - Friday October 4th 6:00pm BST  to Sunday October 6th 9:00pm  BST

Applications open: 24th July (12:00pm BST) 

Applications close: 1st September (11:59pm BST)   

Community Partners

We understand that to create a diverse and rich agrifood-tech ecosystem, we need to work with others. Thank you to the below Community Partners who are helping us create an ecosystem of Change Makers.

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Community partners:





Project lead

Dr Lukxmi Balathasan

EIT Food

Contact details

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