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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. 

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, RIS 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 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 access to investors, high-quality training and our community of mentors and experts. 

The regional finals will take place 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.

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.

Competition Process

Applications open February 4 - April 19 via F6S website.

Evaluation process April 21 - May 6.

17 regional Demo Day finals will be held between June and September 2020 (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 - November 2020.

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

FAQ

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: 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 or2019. 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: When and where will the regional Demo Days happen? 

A: The dates and locations of the 17 regional Demo Days will soon be announced by EIT Food.

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 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. 

Project team

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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