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EIT Food opens Entrepreneurship applications for 2024

15 Jan 2024

EIT Food – the world’s largest food innovation community – has announced the launch of its 2024 entrepreneurship programmes, with applications open from 18 December 2023 until 19 February 2024. EIT Food is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

The EIT Food entrepreneurship programmes are designed to launch, accelerate and scale impactful agrifood tech startups to solve global food system challenges and deliver new food innovations and businesses. From personalised nutrition solutions to alternative proteins and innovations tackling food waste, the three programmes support the development of healthier, more sustainable and resilient European food systems.

Programme applications are now open to new entries from the European Union and its associated countries.

Startups benefit from high-quality training, personalised mentoring and high-impact pilot projects. They also enjoy access to the world’s largest food innovation community, as well as the exposure, resources and tools needed to grow and succeed. Startups that are successful in their application will have the opportunity to apply for EIT Food’s Impact Fund and receive investments of up to €500K.

EIT Food’s Entrepreneurship programmes cater for all stages of business growth: from market validation of novel research and tech innovations (EIT Food Seedbed Incubator); to tech validation and business acceleration (EIT Food Accelerator Network); to scaling up commercial capabilities (EIT Food RisingFoodStars).

LAUNCH: EIT Food Seedbed Incubator

For technology developers who want to deeply understand their customers and validate whether there is the market need for their innovation before launching a commercial venture.

ACCELERATE: EIT Food Accelerator Network Programme

For impactful agrifood startups looking for tech validation and commercial acceleration to drive the ultimate goal: a successful market adoption.

SCALE: EIT Food Rising Food Stars

For impact-driven ventures on their journey to scaleup their commercial capabilities and grow exponentially.

In 2023, the EIT Food Entrepreneurship Programmes received around 1000 applications from over 30 countries, supported 123+ startups and since first launching in 2017, the Entrepreneurship programmes have amplified the impact of over 500 startups and 30 companies have received over 12m in direct investment from EIT Food's impact fund., who attracted over €1.1 billion of public and private investment contributing to the start of an agrifoodtech revolution across Europe.

“New ideas, innovations and technologies are essential if we are to transform the food system into one that produces healthy and sustainable food for all. Our Entrepreneurship Programmes empower and enable entrepreneurs to deliver agrifood solutions, connecting startups with finance, resources and support at the right time.”

On a mission to address climate change through the lens of food, Bosque Foods, has been through the three entrepreneurship programmes from 2021 Seedbed Incubator, to 2022 EIT Food Accelerator Network to 2023 and is currently a RisingFoodStar member. Bosque Foods is a pioneering biomass fermentation company boasting a versatile mycelium-platform from which they create next-generation whole-muscle meat and fish alternatives.

- Benoit Buntinx, Director of Business Creation at EIT Food

"With the support of the programme we were able to expand our business creating the next generation of meat alternatives from Mycelium, accelerating the world's transition to environmentally sustainable, equitable, and animal-free protein".

- Isabella Iglesias, CEO and founder of Bosque Foods

EIT Food’s unique European powerhouse of 200+ leading corporate partners, research institutes, decision makers, innovation hubs, experts, mentors and investor networks provide the right connections, resources and tools needed to support and empower startups to launch accelerate and scale. So that they can play their part in transforming our food system with new innovations, products and technologies.

All applications to the programmes will be evaluated, and the selected startups will be announced in stages, with the first announcements in April 2024.

To apply, visit:

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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 nine 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.

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