ACCELERATE - Food Accelerator Network
Are you an impactful Agrifood or FoodTech startup looking to boost your go-to market readiness? Validate your technology and prepare for commercialisation to tackle the biggest challenges within our Food System.
About the Food Accelerator Network
EIT Food Accelerator Network is a 2-3- month, theme-based programme, delivered through five unique innovation hubs in Europe: Helsinki, Munich, Paris, Bilbao, Haifa.
The programme enables the most promising AgriFoodTech startups to accelerate, further validate their technology and advance their investment and commercial readiness to achieve the ultimate goal: a successful market adoption.
Why join the programme?
Validate your technology and win up to € 50,000
Identify your technology gaps and re-shape your product tech development roadmap with experts.
Pitch your tech validation case and win a price up to € 50,000 to implement your tech innovation roadmap.
Access EIT Food’s network of facilities and equipment across Europe (universities, research centres).
Prepare for commercialisation
Attend top-notch master classes to further advance your corporate and investment readiness.
Access to expert mentors, advisors and key industry leaders
Access to investors
Opportunity for direct financial support from EIT Food: received up to € 500,000 per venture through a Simple Agreement For Future Equity (“SAFE”) instrument.
Tailored matchmaking with selected startups with agrifood investors including our core partner FoodSparks, managed by PeakBridge.
Extend your EU Agrifood Tech Network and partner with key players
Introduction to high-profile corporates and industry leaders.
Up to € 1,500 funding for travel to networking events and meeting.
Exposure during demo days and major agri-food tech events.
Apply for this programme
Shape & validate your product technology development roadmap thanks to top-notch master classes, 1:1 coaching, connection to relevant facilities & experts, and networking to support a successful market adoption.
Are you eligible?
To apply for the EIT Food Accelerator Network programme:
Your business innovation must be underpinned by a technology with a prototype, or pilot project (paid or unpaid).
It must also fall under one of EIT FAN’s themes.
You must be a registered company established in an EU Member State, or Horizon Europe associated countries (NB This includes the UK) in or after 2024
Your company must be at a (pre-) seed stage meaning you must not have closed a Series A investment round yet.
Ideally, you will have successfully completed customer validation
Ideally, you will be able to demonstrate traction for example through letters of support, sales, or signed letters of intent
Switzerland and UK-based companies are eligible to apply. However, eligibility to receive funding will be determined based on Switzerland’s and the UK’s eligibility status for EU funding at that time.
December – February Applications open
March – April Evaluation & Selection
May - July Programme: successful applicants access master classes, mentoring and product tech development support, culminating in a Tech Validation Case pitch
August - onwards Exposure at Demo Days, Winners of the Tech Validation pitch will implement key milestones of their Tech Validation
November EIT Food Venture Summit
“Our aim is to reduce environmental impact of livestock agriculture and therefore bring food production closer to net-zero targets. The EIT Food Accelerator Network programme was the best fit for what we do. A great forum to validate our approach and a massive platform, which will be useful through our entire company journey. We chose EIT Food Accelerator Network programme for its credibility, useful connections, stamp of approval from the EU and fantastic network of people.”
“The EIT Food Accelerator Network programme was a natural next step for us to grow and prepare for commercialisation journey. To test our business model and ideas in a safe pan-European space was extremely important to us before entering the market. We reached trl 9 and crl 6-7 levels and now are ready. Thanks to the programme we learned, adjusted our perceptions and developed accordingly. The mentors were just excellent, and I have learnt so much from them.”
“For Fermentful's development taking part in the EIT Food Accelerator Network programme was a huge milestone to accelerate the business and create strong network around it. I'm grateful for the opportunity, the EIT Food Accelerator program is a very respectable in the food industry, being a part of it adds credibility for the new player in the market and it can help you massively in terms of fund-rising, R&D, commercialisation and high-end connection creation.”
“Connections and contacts are so important in agri-food sector. EIT Food brings you the perfect ecosystem for you to connect and meet the perfect partners. Thanks to the EIT Food Accelerator Network programme we are now in touch with a massive community of experts, professionals, mentors, startups and investors for both commercial exchanges and business opportunities. Since taking part in the programme we have manage to double our revenue, create 2 new products and are now starting to scale-up the production.”
“The EIT Food Accelerator Network programme gave us the tools to prepare our startup to find an investor and the funds needed to support the next steps. We chose this programme, because of its mentors, its AgriFoodTech ecosystem, connections and the visibility and exposure it offers to startups with possible investors.”
How to apply
APPLICATIONS OPEN DECEMBER 2023
If you are an aspiring agrifood entrepreneur, a startup, or a scaleup interested in one of our programmes, register your interest and we will notify you when our 2024 applications open.
Do I have to be located in the same country as one of the programme hubs?
No, you don’t! EIT FAN operates in different locations across Europe. Each startup team is asked to select the hub and theme that is most appropriate for them as part of the programme application process.
What is the time commitment for startups taking part in this programme?
To take advantage of all what the EIT Food Accelerator Network has to offer, our hubs facilitate the programme in person and online. Despite offering a hybrid and flexible approach, we DO expect at least one team member to remain active, and to be fully engaged with the programme during its full-term (2-3-month programme, Tech Validation pitch, Corporate & Investor Demo Days, EIT Food Venture Summit).
How are applications assessed?
Applications are assessed based on the understanding of the food system challenges, its commercial solution, and your company’s fit with our ecosystem and partners. Equally important is the potential impact of the innovation, its technology readiness, the business model, its USP, and the dynamics of the founding team. Please refer to our programme Terms & Conditions for more detailed information.
Who are the evaluators?
All judging panels consist of experienced entrepreneurs and experts from the agriculture, food and tech industries.
How much funding does this programme offer?
The EIT Food Accelerator Network programme offers funding of up to €1,500 along with the opportunity to access follow-on EIT Food funding and support through EIT Food’s Impact Fund. More information on this fund can be found here.
How can I win a Tech Validation award up to € 50,000?
All selected startups have to pitch their Technology Validation case developed during the programme to a jury panel composed of external experts, EIT Food and hub representatives, corporates partners. Startups are evaluated against pre-defined criteria set by EIT Food. 3 awards of € 50,000, € 30,000 and € 20,000 are given the top 3 most successful startup.
What makes EIT FAN unique compared to other accelerator programmes?
Supported by the European Union, we provide direct access to experts, who fundamentally understand the commercial potential of science and technology in the agrifood sector. You will be joining the world’s largest agrifood startup community and receive continuous support from other like-minded entrepreneurs, with endless opportunities to share knowledge and work closely with our world-leading industry partners, whilst getting attention from investors.
How do you support EIT FAN Alumni?
At the end of the programme, each cohort team is automatically enrolled as EIT FAN Alumni and then invited to pursue opportunities for pilot projects and follow-on funding, to support their commercial roadmap, which may include pivoting or spinning out with suitable identified partners. There is also the possibility to become an EIT Food RisingFoodStars, which supports the scaling of impactful agrifood startups to enter international markets.
For more detailed information about the EIT Food Accelerator Network, please refer to the programme Terms and Conditions
EIT FAN Network Community