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RFP: Communications Services (Business Creation)

EIT Food's Business Creation team is looking for an experienced agency (or consortium of agencies) to help plan, coordinate and execute its communications activities for the rest of 2020.
Deadline: 20 August 2020

About EIT Food Business Creation

EIT Food’s Business Creation arm is on a mission to build an inclusive and innovative community of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs who can contribute to EIT Food’s strategic objectives: to make the food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted.

We run a range of programmes tailored to aspiring entrepreneurs, startups and scaleups at various points in their journey - divided into three segments (Launch, Accelerate and Scale) - supporting them in a number of ways including funding, mentoring from the best in the field and access to a thriving European network of innovators.

We also partner with corporates who contribute to our programmes in various ways: offering mentoring, access to facilities and piloting projects with startups for instance.

We are very keen to make sure that our programmes are as inclusive as possible. We believe that a diverse food system is a more sustainable, fair and healthy one, and that the best ideas come about when people from different backgrounds come together. Any communications that we do should have this principal in mind, and we particularly want to recruit programme participants from underrepresented groups such as female founders and those from BAME backgrounds.

EIT Food Business Creation – project background

We are at a stage where EIT Food’s Business Creation arm and its work is relatively unknown by the majority of its identified target groups. We want to build EIT Food Business Creation’s visibility and credibility as the leading EU Food Entrepreneurship support vehicle.

We are active in a large number of countries, and as a department have a matrix structure between regional / local leads and programme leads, often with one person playing dual roles. With a small core team and many different groups to engage, resources can feel stretched thin.

Up until now, there has been no dedicated communications person for Business Creation. Now, with the appointment of a Business Creation Communications Manager, we would like to bring together many of the different strands of work into one place so we can manage them efficiently and coherently. We would also like to tell a cohesive story for our Business Creation whilst feeding into bigger picture storytelling for EIT Food (this is being led on by another agency appointed by the EIT Food central communications team).

As there are a large amount of activities and parties involved in the execution and communications for each programme, clear prioritisation of activities and roles and responsibilities will need to be agreed early on, with the appointed agency leading on this aspect.

We also want to make the most of flagship moments such as our Venture Summit in November (now online, and separated out into another RFP) and the announcement of our COVID-19 funds for entrepreneurs (which will have already happened when the agency is appointed, but which will continue to generate interesting news from the startups awarded).

Objectives of this assignment

We are open to your suggestions as to what you feel is the highest priority in terms of activities, channels etc for meeting our objectives. However, we would expect there to be a greater amount spent on digital engagement than media relations.

1. Inspire more high-quality applications to our programmes: plan and produce key content for us that can be implemented up until June next year – focusing on recruiting new cohorts for the programmes

  • Seedbed: Target of 250 applications, 200 of which are scored at least a 3/5
  • FAN: 600 applications
  • RFS: 150 high-quality applications

2. For the first time, help us to create a strong sense of a corporate network and success stories between corporate partners and startups – so that:

  • Big business is encouraged to continue to partner with us
  • Our current partners are encouraged to offer up in-kind benefits such as mentors, access to their resources / infrastructure and more active partnerships
  • NB: We will be changing our corporate partnership model in 2020/2021. Details TBC towards end of 2020, but the appointed agency would support this

3. Develop the building-blocks and structures needed to support different EIT Food Business Creation areas and local regions to communicate in the right way within a decentralised marketing ecosystem

  • Bespoke marketing materials for programmes
  • Targeted, localised communications strategies (how these are delivered will differ per programme)

4. Create a strong community of EIT Food entrepreneurs past, present and future (with a specific strand focused on diverse leaders)

  • Co-design a specific strand of work with us that targets diverse entrepreneurs and provides ongoing inspiration, resources and peer to peer support
  • NB. We have several ways in which online community building might be possible; for instance an online platform called FoodHive where we connect entrepreneurs with others in our network. We also use F6S, and there are also a number of other initiatives being experimented with internally, alongside our usual social media channels etc.

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