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Seedbed Incubator

Seedbed Incubator

Seedbed supports aspiring entrepreneurs to determine whether there is a market for products or services which utilise innovative agrifood technologies.

The agri-food sector is in need of new technologies, new processes, new automation and innovative products that meet consumer needs and helps create a healthier, innovative and more sustainable food system. The Seedbed programme is a game-changing customer discovery programme that is well placed to address this agenda. Through the recruitment of high-quality-tech-based teams and the provision of structured training, mentorship and up to €10k funding over a period of 6 months, research teams and aspiring entrapreneurs and intrapreneurs, will test the market directly with 100+ potential customers, stakeholders and end-users and develop a technological solution that customers are willing to pay for. At the end of this journey, the teams pitch their idea to a panel of industry experts, receiving constructive feedback and the chance to secure up to 20k Euro follow on funding and other opportunities from EIT Food to help bring the product to market.

This approach has been proved to de risk the chance of commercial failure and allow the idea to reach a point where it can attract further investment. Most importantly, our teams finish with a validated business model primed for attracting follow-on support and investment that will help take their proposition closer to market, not to mention continued access and opportunities within EIT Food. The programme is unique in that it is set to capture innovation at the earliest possible stage! If you are interested in having first sight of early innovation in the agri-food tech space and pipeline of investable European agri-food businesses why not sign up to our 2020 Showcase event here.

Seedbed programmes will enable you to identify key customers, test the market and take your minimum viable product or service from a commercial proposition to a validated business

Benefits of Seedbed

Held in Northern Ireland, Denmark, Germany, Spain and Poland, the Seedbed programme supports innovators, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs from across Europe to go out and meet potential customers. You will receive: 

  • Training at a five-day online bootcamp based on unique customer-oriented methodology to help you create a startup business model.
  • Mentorship from leading agrifood sector experts with specialised knowledge and skills to develop food sector innovation
  • Funding of up to €10,000 to validate your business idea with potential customers, plus the opportunity to access a further €20,000 through a Startup Launch Grant.
  • An opportunity to pitch to a panel of industry experts and receive constructive feedback.

Ultimately, Seedbed is designed to produce independent, creative, and market-aware entrepreneurs with the necessary multi-disciplinary skillset to address not only key challenges in the agri-food sector, but make important contributions to ensure our food systems secure and trusted. Most importantly, our teams finish with a validated business model primed for attracting follow-on support and investment that will help take their proposition closer to market, not to mention continued access and opportunities within the EIT Food network.

Who Should Apply?

Are you doing or supporting research that has commercial potential? Have you an innovative idea for an agri-food technology that could revolutionise the food system? Or, are you working in the food sector and think you have an new innovative idea for your company? Then Seedbed 2020 could be for you!

As the programme moves into 2021, Seedbed is seeking to support entrepreneurial teams with business propositions underpinned by science and technology. In particular, we hope to collaborate with university and research-intensive institutions across Europe, offering a commercial validation platform for emerging technologies across Europe and support new venture creation.

Proposed innovations must fall under one of the of EIT Food's Focus Areas, listed below:

  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Sustainable Aquaculture
  • Alternative Proteins
  • Digital Traceability
  • Circular Food Systems
  • Targeted Nutrition

2021 Seedbed Applications

Applications for Seedbed 2021 will open at the beginning of next year.

If you are interested and would like to keep up to date with Seedbed application opening periods, please register your interest here.

Mentoring with Seedbed

During the Seedbed programme, the successful participants will be assigned a mentor with specialised knowledge and skills to boost the entrepreneurial spirit of aspiring entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs in the food system and support them on their customer discovery journey.

Not only with mentors be provided with a unique opportunitty to make a difference to the career development of aspiring entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, but they will received personal satisfaction, expand their network within EIT Food and stay up to date on industry trends.

Moreover, mentors will be reimbursed up €2,500 for expenses related to travel and subsistence accrued on the programme. 

To register your interest please email k.crossey@qub.ac.uk

Terms and Conditions

To be considered eligible for the programme, applicants must:

  • Have a disruptive early stage business idea that has the potential to transform the agrifood tech space
  • Be a resident, citizen or legal entity based in a Member State of the European Union (EU) or H2020 associated countries
  • Be available to attend the one-week Seedbed online bootcamp, options training and pitch event
  • Not have received more than 50,000 Euros of funding in total from EIT Food in 2020
  • Not be an alumni or currently a participant of Seedbed 2019/2020 or the Food Accelerator Network (2018/19/20).
  • Not have been a recipient of an EIT Food Innovation Prize (2018/2019/2020)
  • Accept the EIT Food Seedbed Terms and Conditions

Partners

The following partners are involved in the project

Queen’s University of Belfast
University of Warsaw
AZTI
DIL
DOEHLER
Grupo AN S.Coop
PEPSICO
Aarhus University
PeakBridge
Danone Research
StartLife

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