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EWA Italy kicks off the Agritech programme for 10 female innovators

EIT Food EWA offers its participants training and personalised mentorship with a business expert, as well as access to funding opportunities of up to €10,000

18 Jul 2022
EIT Food South

For the first year, EWA - Empowering Women in Agrifood has been launched in Italy by EIT Food with the support of the Future Food Institute.

The programme, which will be held online and in person at the Paideia Campus in Pollica, is supporting motivated women to bring their ideas and startups to another level through training, mentoring, networking and financial opportunities.

EWA represents a concrete path in which ten talented female innovators will have the opportunity to undertake a six-month-long training programme to create business solutions designed and implemented entirely by women. The goal is to bring out the extraordinary potential that female entrepreneurship expresses, promoting inclusivity and diversity among business founders and increasing the number of start-ups founded by women.

How does it work?

The EWA programme has been launched at the Paideia Campus in Pollica during the EU Agrifood Week, organized by Future Food Institute in collaboration with the European Commission Representation in Italy.

On July 12th for the first time the 10 mentees came together and met the mentors that will accompany them along these months.

Sara Roversi - Future Food founder - kicked off the programme by saying, "In Italy, we are lagging on the issue of the role of women in the agri-food sector, despite the fact that our role has always been strategic in Mediterranean culture. This is not a matter of Feminism. Rather, it is the potential to create shared prosperity, which we need to tend to for the wealth of our ecosystem and communities. Being here today is an important gesture that can inspire those women who next year will be able to complete the application and have the courage to tackle a path of empowerment like this”.

For the next 5 months the mentees will meet once a week and will be trained by the experts from the Future Food Institute as well as they will be supported by the mentors.

The programme will end with a pitch day at the Paideia Campus in Pollica and our mentees will present their projects in a final contest where they can win up to 10 000 Euro to finance their business idea.

Who are the selected mentees?

  • Annalisa Acconciaiocco - T-EAT-ro: A format to provide support & advice for implementation of lab activities. The activities aim to provide food education, enhancement of nutritional & nutraceutical quality and provide technical support.

  • Cristina Diomede - ZiaCris: Build a network of producers in the area that sell organic products and km0; organize working days at the producers, self-production courses, horticulture, recycling and anti-waste.

  • Elisa Altomonte - Consorzio Sugherete del Golfo: Use local cork as material for food packaging, trying to enhance its natural insulating characteristic.

  • Irene Cavalleri - PLUS: Creation of an innovative seasoning that acts as a nutraceutical, useful to prevent and combat cardiovascular, metabolic, neurodegenerative and oncological diseases.

  • Linda Montagna - Azienda autosufficiente: Grow healthy food with techniques that aim at soil regeneration and nutrient food production. Promote conscious consumption through: sales, consulting, and production of zero waste items.

  • Sarah Khoudja - Sow Slowly: Reduce the use of plastics in the agro-food sector, contributing to social regeneration and allowing other women to participate in a recycling movement of material for the production of zero waste and upcycling items.

  • Silvia Santato - Stove+: Pyrolysis and multifunction stove for the recovery of waste biomass and the production of heat and biochar.

  • Susanna Graziano - Mindful Morsel: Sustainable e-commerce of 100% vegetables. Made in Italy, sustainable foods and production workshops.

  • Valentina Pressanto - Essicchiamoci: Recovering unsold goods from small organic farms to dry them at low temperatures with alternative energy powered tools.

  • Viviana Aiello - IL FICO: Create jams and marmalades that are the combination of traditional Sicilian recipes and innovation improving the nutritional profile and sustainability.

Who are the mentors?

  • Alessandro Fusco - Future Food Japan Lead, Future Food Institute

  • Andrea Magelli - CEO & Founder, You Can Group

  • Antonella Manuli - Founder, Fattoria La Maliosa

  • Chhavi Jatwani - Head of Design Innovation, Future Food Institute

  • Edmondo Soffriti - Founder, Azienda Agricola La Petrosa

  • Francesca Colicigno - Quality & Technology Manager, Barilla Group

  • Francisco Alvarez - Food Alchemist Manager at Future Food Institute

  • Linda Carobbi - Co-founder, TurismiAmo and Associazione Nazionale Le Donne dell'Ortofrutta

  • Luciana Cipriani - Founder, Natura Humana

  • Roberto Mazzei - Head of Economic Department at Coldiretti Campagna, Expert in Agri-Food chains and Rural Development

  • Serena Cilento - Board of Directors, Rareche Mercato Naturale

  • Simona Caselli - CCFS Commercial Director and Head of European Affairs Legacoop Agribusiness.

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