EIT Food Accelerator Network welcomes its fifth cohort of impactful agrifood startups
EIT Food has announced the 61 high-impact agrifood startups that have been selected to join the EIT Food Acceleration Network (EIT FAN) 2022. EIT Food is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.
The chosen startups will benefit from industry connections, investment opportunities, programming, and resources to accelerate their growth and impact. This year’s EIT FAN participants were selected from a high number of applications.
“25% of the EIT FAN programme applications came from female founders. It’s great to see this percentage increasing each year," says Marie Russier, EIT Food Accelerator Network Operations Manager.
Over 500 startups from the EU and its associated countries were evaluated online by over 100 experts from the agrifood industry. In April, the top 120 agrifood startups advanced to a second evaluation round, where the shortlisted startups were invited to present their solution in front of a diverse evaluation panel during a technology deep dive session, which resulted in the selection of the 61 most promising ventures.
On selecting the 61 EIT FAN startups, Marie Russier said:
“We are thrilled to welcome the fifth cohort of 61 outstanding agrifood startups into the EIT Food Accelerator Network. These startups have gone through a rigorous and comprehensive review process to assess their innovative potential, commercial viability and positive impact on our food system. Thus, we are extremely grateful not only to the startups trusting us with their application, but also for the tremendous effort from our EIT FAN community who supported the selection process."
The 61 startups selected for the EIT FAN 2022 will be spread across 6 programme locations running in parallel: Munich (Germany), Haifa (Israel), Paris (France), Bilbao (Spain), Helsinki (Finland) and Cambridge/Reading (UK). The startups in the 2022 EIT FAN cohort are offering solutions to diverse challenges within our food system – for example in sustainable agriculture (31%), alternative proteins (23%), targeted nutrition (16%), circular food systems (16%), digitalised traceability 11%) and sustainable aquaculture (3%).
Among the selected startups in Targeted Nutrition is Fermentful, a startup aiming at improving consumers’ mental and physical wellbeing while benefiting the planet thanks to their fermentation technology.
“Getting into the EIT FAN Helsinki Hub was Fermentful’s aim from the very beginning. We see the EIT FAN programme as an amazing opportunity to create new strategic partnerships, explore the Finnish market and continue the product R&D process. The application process as such was very well structured in two levels – an online application and then a hub interview as well as a technology deep-dive session. Moreover, I appreciated the fast communication and supportive attitude from the people behind the EIT FAN programme.”
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During the programme, the EIT FAN carries out an extensive matchmaking process to connect startups with industry-leading corporate and research partners, in order to pilot their technology and drive the ultimate goal: successful market adoption of new, innovative and impactful technologies.
“We take a lot of pride in the number of industry connections we broker during our matchmaking process. By the end of this year’s progamme, we expect a new record number of startups and established companies to enter into partnerships, for example in the form of co-development activities, pilot projects, and/or commercial agreements.”
In addition, the selected startups are set to benefit from EIT FAN’s curriculum and unparalleled network. The curriculum was created by academic and industry agrifood leaders to ensure the participating startups will transition from early stage to impactful innovators.
On announcing the 2022 EIT FAN startups, Benoit Buntinx, Director of Business Creation at EIT Food said:
“I’m very excited that each year more and more startups and industry partners alike express their interest in the EIT FAN. The program is well on track to further establish itself as Europe’s number one accelerator in the agrifood space.”
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About EIT Food
EIT Food is the world’s largest and most dynamic food innovation community. We accelerate innovation to build a future-fit food system that produces healthy and sustainable food for all.
Supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, we invest in projects, organisations and individuals that share our goals for a healthy and sustainable food system. We unlock innovation potential in businesses and universities, and create and scale agrifood startups to bring new technologies and products to market. We equip entrepreneurs and professionals with the skills needed to transform the food system and put consumers at the heart of our work, helping build trust by reconnecting them to the origins of their food.
We are one of eight innovation communities established by the European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT), an independent EU body set up in 2008 to drive innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe.