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EIT Food RisingFoodStars announces new cohort of agrifood scaleups to address long-term food sustainability

  • 14 startups from across Europe chosen for prestigious programme to scale solutions that address the long-term sustainability of food and agriculture
  • The chosen startups include sustainable palm oil alternatives, animal-free dairy products and platforms to manage agricultural data
  • RisingFoodStars alumni have secured over $700 million in investment since the programme’s inception in 2018
11 Jun 2024

Leuven - EIT Food, the world’s largest food innovation community, has announced its new cohort of 14 groundbreaking startups for RisingFoodStars, one of its prestigious entrepreneurship programmes. EIT Food is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

The successful startups were chosen for their potential to scale solutions that address the long-term sustainability of food and agriculture in Europe, faced with global challenges such as the need to secure food self-sufficiency and reduce net emissions by 90% by 2040

Startups joining the cohort will benefit from access to the world’s largest and most dynamic agrifood community of industry experts and leaders, research institutions and investors.

The startups will also be able to benefit from support with enhancing the global competitiveness of EU products, navigating the complexities of developing and commercialising their innovations, and further establishing themselves as leaders in the agrifoodtech field.

The chosen startups from across Europe include:

EIT Food RisingFoodStars – full details available to download here.

  • SeedForward GmbH - a Germany-based startup that substitutes synthetic agrochemicals with bio-based alternatives, emphasising bio-based seed treatments, biostimulants, and bio-based plant protection – all with the aim of facilitating the transition towards regenerative agriculture.
  • Notpla - a UK-based sustainable packaging firm that provides solutions for everyday applications, including food containers, pipettes for oils, seaweed-paper, dissolving pods and films. Its packaging solutions are made from Notpla, a revolutionary material made from seaweed and plants that naturally biodegrades in weeks.
  • Ficosterra - a Spanish marine biotechnology company applied to organic and conventional agriculture. The company develops prebiotic and probiotic products (biostimulants, biofertilizers and soil activators) based upon different species of seaweeds and microorganisms that favour the development of crops and plants while reducing the planet's carbon footprint.
  • Carbone Farmers - a France-based startup that makes the decarbonisation of agriculture economically viable through the development of a platform that enables stakeholders to valorise their contribution to farmers’ transition to low-carbon agriculture practices.
  • Meala Foodtech - an Israel-based company that is developing innovative ingredients and processes that enable the creation of cleaner, healthier and tastier products with a better environmental footprint.
  • MyEasyFarm - a France-based startup that provides a platform managing agricultural data from many sources (fields, satellites, drones, Ag machines, weather, IoT sensors) to reduce product usage and enhance crop cycles. The company's solution aims to measure and reduce CO2 emission/storage in agriculture by changing crop cycle practices.
  • Neggst Foods GmbH - a German company that develops plant-based whole egg alternatives that consists of a white, yolk, and a biodegradable shell. The products the company develops are made using a legume-based recipe free of soy and gluten.
  • Matr Foods - a Denmark-based firm that develops microbial food solutions allowing the transformation of local plant ingredients into a new generation of clean label plant-based meat alternatives with a unique juicy texture and natural deep umami.
  • Evja - an Italian startup that supports growers in optimising the management and monitoring of irrigation, nutrition and protection of their crops through the use of OPI, an agri-climatic intelligence system based on predictive agronomic models, machine learning, data analytics and sensors.
  • Those Vegan Cowboys - a Belgium-based dairy product producer that makes cow-less milk and cheese products.
  • AgroLeague - a French startup that builds a social platform connecting farmers, providing real-time diagnosis of farming issues, and offering direct-to-farmer services.
  • NoPalm Ingredients - a Netherlands-based company that creates environmentally friendly microbial oils to substitute palm and other tropical oils in food, cosmetics, and detergents. The oil is produced in a sustainable, cyclical, and environmentally beneficial manner by fermenting sidestreams.
  • Bon Vivant - a pioneering French biotech firm specialising in precision fermentation methods to produce dairy proteins without animals, reducing environmental footprint and empowering clients to create environmentally conscious, nutritionally rich dairy products.
  • Cultivated Biosciences - a Switzerland-based startup that improves the mouthfeel of animal-free cheese, yoghurt and more by developing a unique creamy fat ingredient for the food industry, using fermentation.

RisingFoodStars alumni secure over $700 million in investment

Since 2018, more than 130 startups have been supported by the programme, with alumni having already secured over $700 million in investment, supported by an additional $15 million in investment from the EIT Food Impact Fund.

Notable success stories include RedefineMeat, known for developing plant-based meat using 3D-printing technology. Partnering with Givaudan, RedefineMeat has aimed to advance the protein diversification market, and its participation in the programme helped boost the company’s growth, before it went on to secure $170 million in funding over three years.

Over 250 high-impact startups from across Europe were evaluated by more than 20 experts from the agrifood sector to ensure that the chosen startups not only have the potential to disrupt the food industry, but also share EIT Food's commitment to achieve impact towards the following missions:

  • Healthier lives through food
  • A net zero food system
  • Reducing risk for a fair and resilient food system

Each startup has undergone a thorough and comprehensive evaluation process to assess their innovative potential, their impact, their tech and commercial viability, their business model, leadership and growth potential.

“These organisations are truly rising stars in Europe’s agrifood space, and we see enormous potential for them to create impact across our food value chain. We are looking forward to providing these scaleups with the tools they need to boost their chance of business success, and supporting them as they continue to grow and thrive.”

- Benoit Buntinx, Director of Business Creation

"At RisingFoodStars, we recognise the complexity of ensuring food security, reducing CO2 emissions, and providing healthy options for EU residents while remaining competitive in the global market. With over 8% of EU citizens unable to afford regular meat, fish, or vegetarian meals, new solutions are essential. Our personalised approach is key to initiating transformative change, unlocking commercial opportunities, and facilitating rapid, sustainable growth for startups. For example, our alumni company Infinite Roots has secured $58 million from a leading European retailer and the holding company behind Haribo to scale its mycelium fermentation platform."

- Narjis Chakir, RisingFoodStars Programme Lead

For more information about EIT Food’s entrepreneurship programmes, please visit:

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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