Leuven, 10 June 2020 – EIT Food (The Food Innovation Community of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology) announced the 60 high-impact agrifood startups that have been selected to join the EIT Food Acceleration Network (EIT FAN) in its 6 acceleration hubs across Europe. The chosen startups will benefit from world-class mentorship, programming, and resources to accelerate their growth and impact.
This year’s EIT FAN participants were selected from a record number of applications, making the 2020 cohort EIT Food’s most competitive programme to date. Close to 450 startups from the EU and its associated countries were evaluated online by more than 130 experts from the agrifood industry. During May, over 120 agrifood startups advanced to a second round of judging and pitched their ideas virtually to one of the 12 panels comprising of at least 5 judges.
On selecting the 60 EIT FAN startups, Dr. Christoph Mandl, Programme Manager of the EIT FAN said: “We are thrilled to welcome the third cohort of 60 outstanding agrifood startups into the EIT Food Accelerator Network. These startups have gone through a rigorous and comprehensive review process to assess their innovative potential, commercial viability and positive impact on our food system. Thus, we are extremely grateful not only to the startups trusting us with their application, but also for the tremendous effort from our EIT FAN community who supported the selection.”
Launched by EIT Food, the FAN programme fosters efforts to identify and support high-impact Agri- and Food-Tech startups, making Europe the go-to innovation hub for this evolving industry. The 60 startups of the EIT FAN will be spread across 6 program locations running in parallel: in Munich (Germany), Haifa (Israel), Lausanne (Switzerland), Bilbao (Spain), Helsinki (Finland) and Cambridge (UK). The selected startups are offering solutions to diverse challenges within our food system – for example in smart farming, alternative proteins, packaging, sustainability, and digitalising the food supply chain.
During the course of the programme, startups are set to benefit from EIT FAN’s curriculum and unparalleled network, and gain access to a powerful agrifood customer base to bring their innovation to the market faster. Its corporate partners include leading international corporations representing all key elements of our food system. The curriculum was created by academic and industry leaders in agrifood to ensure that participating startups would transition from early-stage to impactful innovators.
On announcing the EIT FAN startups, Benoit Buntinx, Director of Business Creation at EIT Food said: “As we continue to attract more startups and relevant actors in the agrifood industry every year, we are also seeing Covid-19 reveal the fragility of our food system affecting established companies and startups alike. More than ever, it’s now an imperative to push for even higher levels of collaboration across companies, academic institutions and startups and share capabilities, resources and know-how so that we can maintain Europe as the go-to place for agrifood innovation. During crisis innovation flourishes, and we are confident that the European innovation ecosystem will emerge stronger.”
To learn more about the third cohort of EIT FAN startups please download the full list below.
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Christoph Mandl
Programme Manager Business Creation / EIT Food Accelerator Network
+49 (0)172 436 9825