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Innovation Prizes

Innovation Prizes

Do you have an idea that could transform the agriculture, fisheries and food sector?
Apply for RIS Innovation Prizes and receive up to €25,000 of equity-free funding. 

Innovation Prizes Online Finals

Watch online country finals and meet the most innovative agrifood startups in Southern and eastern Europe!

In June-July 2020 EIT Food will run 17 online Country finaIs of the Innovation Prize startup competition.

Innovation Prizes is one of the largest startup competitions in the agrifood vertical in Southern and Eastern Europe. We award prizes to entrepreneurs and early stage startups developing innovative products and services that can transform our food system.

In each of the 17 online Country finals three best startups will win €1,000, €3,000 and €5,000. The viewers will also have a chance to vote for their favourite startup during the live stream and help them win the Audience Prize of €2,000!

The 1st prize winners from all 17 countries will also have a chance to compete for the prizes of €10,000, €15,000 and €25,000 in the Grand Final in October.

About RIS Innovation Prizes

RIS Innovation Prizes is one of the largest startup competitions in the agrifood vertical in Southern and Eastern Europe. Prizes are awarded to entrepreneurs and early stage startups to support the development of new products and services which can help transform our food system, making it healthier, more sustainable and more trusted. 

This year, Innovation Prizes are open to early stage entrepreneurs and startups from 17 countries in Southern and Eastern Europe. 

The prizes will be distributed at 17 online regional finals with the three best startups taking €1,000, €3,000 and €5,000 in each final. In addition to the cash prizes, participating startups will benefit from high-quality training and expert feedback. 

The regional finals will be organised online by EIT Food Hubs in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.

The competition will conclude with the Grand Final during which the 1st prize winners from all 17 countries will compete for three main prizes: €10,000, €15,000 and €25,000.

Applications open February 4 - May 24 via F6S website (deadline is extended until June 14 for Estonia and Slovenia)

Evaluation process May 25 - June 7.

17 regional Demo Day finals will be held online between June and July 2020 (exact dates to be soon announced by EIT Food).

Bootcamp training for 1st prize winners of the 17 regional Demo Days - October 2020.

Grand Finale for 1st prize winners - October 2020.

Please refer to the competition Terms and Conditions for full details about the competition process and eligibility.

Eligibility Requirements

We welcome applications from those who meet the following eligibility criteria: 

Be a resident/citizen from one of the eligible RIS regions/countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy* (only regions: Molise, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sicilia, Sardegna, Umbria, Marche, Abruzzo, Campania, Valle d'Aosta), Latvia, Lithuania, Poland* (only regions: Łódzkie, Lubelskie, Małopolskie, Podkarpackie, Świętokrzyskie, Podlaskie, Wielkopolski, Lubuskie, Dolnośląskie, Opolskie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Warmińsko-Mazurskie, Zachodniopomorskie, Mazovia Regional excluding Warsaw), Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain* (only regions: Galicia, Principado de Asturias, Cantabria, La Rioja, Castilla-la Mancha, Extremadura, Illes Balears, Andalucía, Región de Murcia, Canarias, Castilla y León, Aragón, Comunidad Valenciana), Turkey. With any questions about ineligible regions please email at yulia.bodnar@eitfood.eu.

The proposed products or services must be innovative and align with one or more of our strategic objectives: 

  • Making the food system better for people’s health
  • Making the food system better for the environment
  • Making the food system more trusted and transparent

Applicants will be considered ineligible if they are alumni or currently participating in FAN (Food Accelerator Network) or if they are RisingFoodStars members

FAQ

Q: How will the COVID-19 pandemic influence the competition? 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 some the Innovation Prize finals will take place online. 

Q: What stage of idea/startups is this competition for? 

A: There is no exact formula for this. However, startups should note that this programme is aimed at early stage entrepreneurs and startups. If you have raised large amounts of investment (i.e. more than €100,000) or have large revenue streams (i.e. more than €50,000), this Prize is probably not for you. In fact, one of the criteria that your application will be judged upon is whether the Innovation Prize will be ‘catalytic’ in your startup's success. If you wish to discuss the individual situation of your startup, please contact us. 

Q: Do I have to have an incorporated startup to apply for this competition? 

A: No, you do not have to be incorporated to apply for the Innovation Prizes. We accept applications both from registered companies and entrepreneurs/teams who haven't yet oficially registered their startup.

Q: What is RIS? 

A: RIS stands for Regional Innovation Scheme, which is a special funding scheme to support entrepreneurs and startups located in Eastern and Southern Europe. It is only available for residents and/or citizens of one of the following countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain, Turkey. Please note that only certain regions of Italy, Poland and Spain are eligible for this program (see the details in Terms and Conditions). With any questions about ineligible regions please email at yulia.bodnar@eitfood.eu.

Q: I applied and became a finalist of the EIT Food RIS Innovation Prizes in 2018 or 2019. Can I still apply for the Innovation Prizes?  

A: Yes, you can! However, winners of 2018 and 2019 editions of RIS Innovation Prizes will be considered ineligible (please read the complete eligibility criteria in the Terms and Conditions).

Q: Do I have to take part in the Demo Day? 

A: Yes, you do. A minimum of one member of your team must participate in the online Demo Day and accompanying training. However, the more, the merrier! 

Q: What does the training that accompanies the Demo Day consist of? 

A: The training will be tailored to the needs of the startups participating. However, likely topics include pitch training, building strong relationships with investors, effective communication, funding sources and marketing. 

Dates

Join one or all of the finals to see the most brilliant agrifood innovators in the region! 

Learn about the latest tech innovations in agrifood and vote for your favourite finalist in:

Project Lead

Joseph Gridley
Institution

EIT Food

Role

RIS Business Development Manager

Contact details

joseph.gridley@eitfood.eu

Yulia Bodnar
Institution

EIT Food

Role

RIS Startup Support Manager

Contact details

yulia.bodnar@eitfood.eu

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