Up to 50 women entrepreneurs from countries with modest to moderate innovation rates have taken part in a 6-month-long mentoring programme for successful women entrepreneurs in agrifood, which is run as a part of the Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS). These women, from Czech Republic, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Turkey, have been able to enhance their entrepreneurial skills thanks to experienced mentors, engaging educational materials on a dedicated online platform and the exchange of good practices among other female participants.
In each country, 10 female-led agrifood startups competed for the two jury prizes of €10,000, and €5,000. The jury comprised of food professionals, academics and investors, selected the startups that have the biggest potential to transform our agriculture and food system making it healthier, more sustainable and more trusted. An important part of the evaluation was also the analysis of the progress made by female entrepreneurs throughout the intensive mentoring, when they were able to develop their products and services in agrifood and work on the highly-valued pitching presentations.
Here are the startups who won EWA 2020 Prizes:
1st Prize: Lamya Zítková Kourdi - Pro-Soil Blocker
Pro-Soilblocker is a hand operated tool forming blocks of soil for growing seedlings of vegetables, flowers and herbs. It is specially designed for small-scale farmers.
2nd Prize: Vendula Donátová - Zeleninová školka V Poli
Seedling production aimed at shortening the vegetable supply chain by improving the availability of locally produced vegetable seedlings for home growers.
1st Prize: Iracema Stramotas - Agrolux
The Agrolux aims to implement multiple high-tech food-production units in urban centres and help towards social inclusion of more vulnerable groups. Since 80% of all food will be consumed in cities by 2050, we want to make urban centres more resilient. The Agrolux will enable an industrial production system for fruit and vegetables in urban environments to be created.
2nd Prize: Shimejito
Shimejito has developed micro precision system for agriculture. Their business model is based on an automated IoT system that enables decentralization of indoor mushroom cultivation. With Shimejito, you can produce up to 25 species of fresh and organic mushrooms with social impact and mitigating climate impacts.
1st Prize: Cosmina Dinu - Pastured Poultry Farm
The Poultry Farm offers the best quality chicken, produced ethically and locally in compliance with all food safety regulations. It is a family farm and a project born from passion and the desire to accelerate the transition to regenerative agriculture in our country. The project includes: a holistic management system for poultry farming - by grazing; an authorized veterinary slaughter center; the establishment of a modern sale-purchase platform, based on Facebook that brings together consumers from Brașov and Bucharest (2 city from Romania) with several small producers.
2nd Prize: Ibolya Oprea – Reset
Reset is the program that makes the process of weight loss and re-education a worthwhile effort, being a single solution that fully responds to the need to eat smart, through nutritional plans, substitution guide, instructions for buying and preparing food, nutrition education, community and support from specialists in nutrition, sports and psychology.
Reset solutions are designed by a team of specialists who approach the process holistically, aiming for a sustainable long-term lifestyle change.
Reset encourages healthy choices, the consumption of organic foods from sustainable agriculture and the avoidance of processed foods high in sugar, fat and additives.
1st Prize: Elena Fernández - Panduru
Circular pastry made with care and conscience. Panduru elaborates traditional recipes based on the culture of reusing, through the valorisation of discarded high quality bread and use of other local and seasonal products.
When you eat a Panduru product you are helping to reduce food waste. Since in their recipes they use bread that is not sold on the day, thus avoiding that it is thrown away when it still maintains all its nutritional value. In addition, you boost the local economy because they use local and seasonal products.
2nd Prize: Josefa Fernández - GROAP Biotech
GROAP proposes to obtain a high value protein source through the transformation of organic waste from other sectors in a safe and efficient way, feeding insects in the larval phase with agricultural and food industry waste. In 1m2 of the farm in Spain, GROAP generates the same protein as in an 1hc of soy in America.
1st Prize: Gonca Çamkerten - Lmwatt
Lmwatt create Smart Horticulture Systems. They are problem-solvers for creating sustainable food systems, by an ultimate dataset for every edibles' need for efficient growth, creating customizable farming solutions for indie growers and designing and producing horticulture lighting systems for indie growers & individual users.
2nd Prize: Deniz Yüksel Ovalı - Ancient Greens
Ancient Greens has stemmed from its mother farm Teofarm, a long-standing farm focusing on quality production from ancient seeds. With a new focus for health and prevention, leads the way to better meet the needs of consumers through quality wheatgrass juice. Ancient Greens uses the highest quality wheatgrass plant. A natural superfood that has stood the test of time for its nutritional properties and speedy absorption in the body. Grown under natural and non-chemical practices, their local farm based in Hatay, Antakya, a sacred land for wheat, uses heirloom seeds to ensure you get a better tasting and quality supplement.