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Meet 10 participants of the EWA programme in Lithuania and their mentors

36 women entrepreneurs signed up for the Empowering Women in Agrifood (EWA) programme in Lithuania to develop business ideas in the agrifood sector.

11 Aug 2022
EIT Food North-East

The program developed by EIT Food, implemented by AgriFood Lithuania DIH and supported by Baltic Amadeus offers the 10 participants personalized mentoring, networking sessions, connections and access to an international digital platform with the possibility of receiving funding of up to 10,000 euros.

The 10 entrepreneurs selected in the program are:

  1. Austėja Keraitytė wants to breed bumblebees and transport them to specific areas where they would be used to pollinate cross-plants. It is easy to control where bumblebees fly, also they can fly even in poor weather conditions. Also, their successful use has been shown to increase yields by up to 30%.​
  2. Irmantė Jurelytė-Kovaliova is creating​ healthy snack bars of plant origin with collagen, which would be later turned into whole line of healthy products filled with collagen. Such a product is not yet produced in Lithuania.​
  3. Daiva Bičkauskė wants to create a "breaker" of green algae cells based on proven global research. It would be used to turn algae into vegetable oil that can be converted into biofuels, aviation fuel and other fuel and plastic products, as well as organic fertilizers.
  4. Eglė Valuckaitė-Stašauskienė​ is building a biodynamic farm that runs the full circle of the circular economy, no chemical additives are used and no fruit or vegetables are ever thrown away. Products with poor appearance or environmental impact are used to create other products.​
  5. Šarūnė Vaitiekūnė’s idea​ is to create healthy sweets from pumpkins without leaving any waste.​
  6. Dovilė Ilevičienė​ wants to ferment garlic grown in Lithuania. It helps to solve the currently existing problem that Lithuanian garlics root in November and are not suitable for consumption anymore. With the help of this new innovation the lifespan of Lithuanian garlic would be extended to the whole year.​
  7. Rasa Nabažaitė​ wants to create recyclable and reusable containers for food, honey, cosmetics and creams from used beeswax which is no longer needed by beekeepers.​
  8. Paulina Gruodienė​ is creating food mixes from local products with a strong focus on optimizing resources and achieving zero waste and climate neutrality in product development.​
  9. Vilija Vedlūgienė​ is creating natural spreads of plant origin that can be a healthy substitute for fast food.​
  10. Aistė Balčiūnaitienė​ is developing the green substrate created from natural polymer which has a specific amount of bioactive substances and other ingredients. It will be used in hydroponics - this market is growning every year.​

The 10 mentors in the program are:

  1. Dr. Artūras Jakubavičius – Head of Innovation Support Services Department at Lithuanian Innovation Center
  2. Dr. Edita Bagdonaitė – Chief Officer at Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology
  3. Zita Petkevičienė – Production and Supply Chain Director at Vikonda Group
  4. Doc. dr. Sergejus Borodinas – Head of Applied Mechanics Unit at Vilnius Tech Univerisyte
  5. Mantas Vilys – Director at Lithuanian Innovation Center
  6. Inga Juozapavičienė – Business creation expert
  7. Gytis Junevičius – President of Lithuanian Cluster Networks
  8. Eglė Vaičiukynaitė – Business Development lecturer at Kaunas Technology University
  9. Vaiva Kubilaitė – Head of Progress Business Unit at Baltic Amadeus
  10. Ignas Šlapkauskas – Innovation expert at Lithuanian Innovation Center

Entrepreneurs and mentors met during the Matchmaking event on June 27th. During the event, all of them gave pitches about what they do to get to know each other better. 

You can read more about the event here.

What's next?

During the five-month program, participants of the EIT Food Ewa programme in Lithuania will:

  • Devote countless hours to the development of their ideas.
  • Spend at least 6 hours a month consulting with their mentors.
  • Deepen their knowledge by watching virtual trainings and reading tips and research about building a business.
  • Participate in live training sessions.
  • Communicate with the media.
  • Present the progress made during the program during final event in November. The prize fund of the program is 18,000 EUR!

More details are available on the website.

About AgriFood Lithuania DIH

AgriFood Lithuania DIH is a cluster and Digital Innovation Hub that brings together major research, business and public stakeholders in Lithuania for the common pursuit to transform agri-food sector. The organization itself is organizing more than 300 events annually and is participating as a partner in at least 50 initiatives. Agrifood Lithuania DIH is a part of several international projects under the H2020 framework and has a strong background in projects dedicated to women.

Learn more about AgriFood Lithuania DIH on their web page.

Visit Empowering Women in AgriFood – EWA web page and EURACTIVE.com to learn more about the programme and its additional activities.

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