The first award was given to Francisco Raio, who presented a cellular agriculture startup producing fish meat without fishing or farming. Instead, it uses cellular agriculture cutting edge technologies to produce a fish meal for human consumption without the need to catch it or farm it. Fish cells are harvested from living animals and turned into fish meat in their fish breweries.
The second award went to Pedro Santos for its part in Agrodrone, a company that is building a technology that allows farmers to produce their own live fertilizer instead of relying on chemical fertilizers to grow their crops. The solution is a practical soil fermenter that corrects soil balance for the live fertilizer, which produces an optimal effect on crop and soil fertilization.
The event started with several training sessions, where attendants had the chance to learn how to pitch and how to get non-dilutive funding. After a working lunch, each start-up had 5 minutes to pitch their idea to a panel of judges and a live audience, formed by people from all walks of life, including MIT experts. The first day finalised with a personalised mentoring on the startup business model and a networking dinner.
On the second day, candidates received updated information on intellectual property rights management, technology transfer, legal needs and marketing, amongst other subjects before starting various pitching competitions. Ten startups took part in the EIT Food Innovation Prize Demo Day, presenting their ideas in front of a jury compose of Eunice Alves Costa, Marketing Director MM at Grupo Nabeiro Delta Cafés; Jacqueline Holmes, Private Investor; Lara Rodrigues, EIT Food RIS Project Manager; and Raquel Freire, International Business Development at Sonae.
The AgriFood Demo Days host the international Innovation Grants competition, which rewards start-ups and entrepreneurs working for a healthier and more sustainable food value chain. They are held in a total of 15 countries in the South and East of Europe. The Innovation Grants award a First Prize of €10,000 and a second prize of €5,000 to the best entrepreneurs and start-ups with ideas that could help achieve the EIT Food goals.