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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.

SEEDBED APPLICATIONS OPEN FROM MONDAY 13TH JANUARY - SUNDAY 22ND MARCH

This multi-location Launch programme trains and supports teams over a six-month period to help them better understand the needs of their customers and validate their business ideas. Seedbed is designed for early stage products or services that utilise innovative agrifood technologies set to make a big impact on any part of the food sector, including the way we produce, deliver, consume, recycle and value our food.

Who: Technology and business savvy agrifood entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and early-stage startups looking to validate their minimum viable product and test their assumptions.

How: This game-changing customer-discovery programme allows you to test the market directly with 100+ potential customers and learn how to progress from commercial proposition to validated business. At the end of the programme, you’ll pitch your idea to a panel of industry experts, receiving constructive feedback and the chance to secure up to €20,000 follow-on funding from EIT Food to help bring your product to market.

Coronavirus Update: Please note the Seedbed team are working hard to ensure the programme goes ahead as planned on a virtual format so that all successful applicants will be able to receive the bootcamp training remotely and be supported with their customer discovery activities through online formats. If you have any concerns surrounding cornavirus and the Seedbed programme please contact m.fox@qub.ac.uk

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

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 residential bootcamp based on unique customer-oriented methodology to help you create a startup business model. Your business address will determine your Seedbed bootcamp location. See below for 2020 dates and locations 
  • 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.

Please note, you will be invited to a final event where you will pitch your validated business idea.

Application

Applications for Seedbed 2020 open on Monday 13th January and must be completed and submitted by Sunday 22nd March at 11:59pm.

The application form will ask you to complete a series of questions about your team; business idea and status; and how it relates to EIT Food strategic objectives.

We also require a short 1-2-minute video which clearly describes the product or service you want to bring to market. Only candidates who submit a complete application, answering all the questions in the online application form, will have their applications evaluated by reviewers. Applications must be submitted in English.

Please complete you application online at F6S:

Apply

Who Should Apply?

We are looking for motivated individuals, teams or legal entities that: 

  • Have a disruptive early stage business idea that has the potential to transform the agrifood tech space
  • Are a resident, citizen or legal entity based in a Member State of the European Union (EU) or associated contries
  • Are passionate about transforming our food system and highly driven to enhance their business skills
  • Proposed innovations must fall under one of the strategic objectives of EIT Food, listed below:
    • Overcome low consumer trust: Support Europeans in the transition towards a smart food system that is inclusive and trusted
    • Create consumer valued food for healthier nutrition and affordable personal nutrition choices
    • Build a consumer centric connected food system: Develop a digital food supply network where consumers and industry are equal partners 
    • Enhance sustainability: Develop solutions to transform from the traditional ‘produce-use-dispose’ model into a circular bio-economy.

Ultimately, you can apply if you have an early stage business idea for an agrifood technology which can make the food system better for people's health; better for the environment; and more trusted, transparent and valued.

Examples of agrifood technologies

Although not an exhaustive list, we particularly encourage applications that fall within one of the following areas:

  • Innovative Food Technologies including alternative/novel ingredients, Sustainable Alternatives, Waste Technologies
  • Sustainable Packaging
  • Biotechnology
  • Robotics & Automation
  • Smart Farming including Precision Agriculture and Indoor Agriculture
  • Farm Management Software/ Sensing/IoT
  • Ag-tech including Animal Health & Livestock, Soil & Crop Tech, Crop Protection & Nutrition, Water Tech
  • Big Data & Predictive Analytics

If you have a technology that does not fall within one of above areas and want to apply please get in touch to discuss your technology.

Bootcamp dates

This multi-location preaccelerator programme will be held in five locations across Europe - Poland, Northern Ireland, Spain, Germnay and Denmark. Each country has been assigned a specific bootcamp. Please ensure you are available to attend the relevant bootcamp before applying:

  • Poland: Monday 20th April - Friday 24th April
  • Northern Ireland: Monday 27th April - Friday 1st May
  • Germany: Monday 11th May - Friday 15th May
  • Spain: Monday 18th May - Friday 22nd May
  • Denmark: Monday 25th May - Friday 29th May 

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 provide us with some information about your expertise here:

Apply

Eligibility Requirements 

To be considered eligible for the programme, applicants must:

  • Be a resident, citizen or legal entity based in a Member State of the European Union (EU) or H2020 associated countries
  • Have a disruptive early stage business idea that has the potential to transform the agrifood tech space and falls into one of the strategic objectives of EIT Food
  • Be able to demonstrate the business idea was developed at least six months prior to applying to the programme
  • State the team members (two maximum) which will be involved in the Seedbed programme and be able to demonstrate that these team members have contributed to the development of the business idea
  • Be available to attend the one-week Seedbed bootcamp at the allocated hub location, 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 or the Food Accelerator Network (2018/19/20).
  • Not have been a recipient of an EIT Food Innovation Prize (2018/2019)
  • Accept the EIT Food Seedbed Terms and Conditions

Please note: We are not seeking to fund new consumer food products or support brand development through the Seedbed programme.  If you have an idea that falls within either of these two categories, you should consider applying to our Food Accelerator Network (FAN).  If you are unsure whether you are suited to apply to the Seedbed programme, please just get in touch to discuss your idea.

Terms and Conditions

Individual, teams or legal entities that apply to the Seedbed programme must accept the following conditions:

  • Applicants must meet the stated eligibility criteria
  • Only the two named team members will be eligible to receive reimbursement of costs from EIT Food.
  • VISAs to travel and participate on the programme are the responsibility of the applicant.  EIT Food Seedbed will provide a letter in support of VISA applications if required.
  • Applicants cannot have received more than 50,000 Euros of funding in total from EIT Food in 2020. 
  • We expect that teams who are applying to the Seedbed programme have received less than 50,000 Euros investment in relation to the development of the idea for which they are applying.  The Seedbed Programme is to help early-stage start-ups/pre-incorporated teams identify whether there is a market for their innovation and de-risk future investment. If you are unsure about your eligibility to apply please just get in touch. 
  • Only candidates who submit a complete application and answer all the questions in the online application form will have their applications evaluated by reviewers.
  • Applications must be submitted in English.
  • Named team members must take part in the residential Bootcamp training at one of five locations: Northern Ireland, Spain, Germany, Denmark or Poland.  Teams who are not available for this training will be not able to participate in the EIT Seedbed Pre- Accelerator Programme. Please Note: Applicants shortlisted for the Seedbed Pre-Accelerator Programme can only take part in the Bootcamp training to which they have been assigned.
  • Named members of the selected teams must take part in the one day Options Roundabout Training and one day Final Pitch event. Teams who are not available for this training will not be able to participate in the EIT Seedbed Pre- Accelerator Programme.
  • The innovation described in the application must be within the scope of the main challenges in EIT Food strategic business agenda:
    • Overcome low consumer trust: Support Europeans in the transition towards a smart food system that is inclusive and trusted
    • Create consumer valued food for healthier nutrition and affordable personal nutrition choices
    • Build a consumer centric connected food system: Develop a digital food supply network where consumers and industry are equal partners
    • Enhance sustainability: Develop solutions to transform from the traditional ‘produce-use-dispose’ model into a circular bio-economy
  • Applicants will be considered ineligible if they are an alumni or currently a participant of:
    • Seedbed (alumni of 2019)
    • Food Accelerator Network (alumni of 2018/19 or participant of 2020 edition)
  • Applicants will be considered ineligible if they have been a recipient of an EIT Food Innovation Prize (2018/19)

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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