LAUNCH - Seedbed Incubator
Do you have a novel technology-based innovation that could be applied to solve global food system challenges?
Join the EIT Food Seedbed Incubator programme to explore market opportunities and become an exclusive member of the EIT Food community
About the EIT Food Seedbed Incubator programme
The Seedbed Incubator is a 6 month equity-free programme, which identifies and validates the commercial potential of Europe’s most promising IP-backed innovations, with the aim to launch sustainable and scalable Agrifood Tech ventures across Europe.
Why join the programme?
Gain lifetime access to the world’s largest and most dynamic food innovation community
Connect and test your innovation with 100+ industry-leading corporates, investors, research partners, and agrifood specialists to validate your innovation
Receive 10,000 €* in equity-free funding for travel to networking events across Europe, and receive exclusive invitations to EIT Food and Partner events (*subject to Ts&Cs).
Establish where there’s a viable market need for your innovation and evaluate the scale of its commercial potential
Attend entrepreneurial training, and receive 1:1 coaching with Business Experts
Collaborate and share knowledge with an AgriFood Tech startup community
Seedbed Incubator Alumni have access to exclusive, ongoing networking events tailored to early-stage, deep-tech ventures
Shortlisted high-potential technologies are further supported by EIT Food to launch and build new ventures based on a validated market need
Apply for this programme
The EIT Food Seedbed Incubator is for aspiring entrepreneurs and technology developers (professional & academic), who are looking to validate whether there is a market need for their innovation
Take a look at some of the innovation areas we are looking for here
Are you eligible?
The Seedbed Incubator is for aspiring entrepreneurs and researchers, who are driven to solve the complex challenges facing our food system.
Do you have a scalable technology (at lab proof of concept - TRL 4 min) that can help transform the food system?
Are you an individual, or a team either not yet founded, or a pre-seed startup?
Are you or a team member an EU resident or citizen with - or intending to incorporate - a company in the EU, or a Horizon Europe-associated country? Please refer to the terms and conditions to view the list of eligible countries.
Can you commit to a minimum of 8 hours per week between May and Dec to participate in this programme?
NOVEMBER - FEBRUARY
Call for Applications
Evaluation of Applications
Seedbed Stage I Team Announcements
60 successful teams participate in Lean Startup Fundamentals, a 3-day online Bootcamp, where teams are divided into groups and receive startup training and 1:1 business coaching to develop a business model canvas and an action plan. At the end of Bootcamp, the teams pitch to an expert panel, and 40 teams deemed with the most impactful commercial potential are selected as the final cohort to proceed to Seedbed Stage II
The new Seedbed cohort, along with our team of Business Coaches, Industry Experts, Startup Trainers, and Programme Managers meet in Bilbao to kick off the Seedbed Incubator programme
JULY - OCTOBER
An entrepreneurial training schedule is offered in the way of 1:1 clinics and group workshops. All teams work with Business Coaches and Experts to further develop their business model canvas and action plans. Our Community Managers offer support with connections to customers and stakeholders, and networking opportunities at industry events
Everyone meets again in Lisbon for the Seedbed Showcase, where the cohort presents their findings, and pitches to an expert panel, who select the teams to continue on to Seedbed+. Each successful Seedbed+ team will receive up to an additional €20,000 in equity-free funding and further support to develop their business
The Seedbed programme closes with a prize ceremony for the best market discovery journeys
“Thanks to Seedbed we made some really good connections and we managed to close a deal with our first pilot customer, which has led to requests from other potential customers.”
“Thanks to all the training and events, over 500 people tested our products and we received two letters of intention to produce and distribute our products, plus interest from three global clients!”
“Seedbed offered us the ability to meet other agtech startups. It was a fantastic opportunity to talk about our project with many people outside of our local market.“
“As a result of our interviews, we pivoted in both market and technical concepts. We talked to very big corporates like John Deere, Bayer, Unilever, and PepsiCo to discuss their problems and receive feedback on our products.“
“We met a lot of potential customers and investors. All the conversations we had challenged us to think about our business in a different way and to recognise opportunities we did not see before.“
“Our business strategy radically changed! We learned industry insights which shifted us from being a team with one product concept to becoming a focused business with a full range of possibilities.“
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.
Our Programme Partners
Where does the programme take place?
The Seedbed Incubator is a hybrid programme of online training, coaching and workshops, and in-person events. The two dates we require all teams to travel to a location in Europe are:
Seedbed Kick-off in Bilbao, Spain - 2 days, June
Seedbed Showcase Final in Lisbon, Portugal - 2 days, November
What is the time commitment to participate in this programme?
All teams are required to commit at least 8 hours a week during the course of the programme. We expect at least one team member to remain active, and to be engaged with the programme during its full course, from when it starts in May until the final presentations taking place in November.
How are applications assessed?
All judging panels consist of experienced entrepreneurs, business and industry experts from the agriculture and food sectors.
The Seedbed Incubator supports validation of the market need for novel, breakthrough solutions to pressing global food system challenges. Applications are assessed based on the following criteria:
The innovation’s potential contribution to EIT Food’s Mission goals - to have a clear understanding of its social, environmental, and economic impact
The problem/solution fit and its technology readiness (innovation has been validated at least in the ‘lab’ and a basic prototype/MVP is in place, TRL4)
The hypothetical business model and its commercialisation potential
The dynamics of the founding team (if already in place).
Please refer to our programme Terms & Conditions for more detailed information.
Are there any areas within AgriTech and FoodTech that Seedbed is specifically interested in?
Any research team or early-stage startup that can create impact at any point along the food supply chain is invited to apply to this programme. Does your business innovation help to make our global food system more sustainable, healthy, and trusted? If the answer if yes, then we want to hear from you!
What are the conditions of the funding?
The Seedbed Incubator offers €7,000 sub-granting for travel to meetings & events during the course of the programme, and all teams eligible for Seedbed + have the opportunity to receive additional equity-free funding.
What makes Seedbed unique compared to other incubator programmes?
Seedbed provides 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 innovation community to receive continuous support from other like-minded entrepreneurs, with endless opportunities to share knowledge and work closely with our world-leading industry partners.
How do you support Alumni?
At the end of the programme, each cohort team is automatically enrolled as EIT Food Alumni and invited to pursue funding and networking opportunities. There is also the possibility to progress to the EIT Food Accelerator Network, which connects impactful agrifood startups with industry-leading corporate and research partners, to pilot their technology and drive the ultimate goal of every business: a successful market adoption.