Thursday, December 3, 2020

Food innovation initiative seeks agrifood entrepreneurs

EIT Food, a food innovation initiative supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), has launched a search to find the next 100 agrifood entrepreneurs who can transform the food system to be healthier, innovative and more sustainable.

The search for the 2021 cohort, comes following news that EIT Food has provided more than €10 million in direct financial support across its Business Creation programmes in 2020.

This support has helped entrepreneurs to grow and scale their impact faster – from help with market testing new ideas, providing access to experts, connections to corporate partners across the food industry, and support with investors.

Last year, successful EIT Food startups raised more than €91 million in external investments as a result of the programme.

From aspiring entrepreneurs with new business ideas across universities and education centres, to early stage start-ups and scaleups wanting to expand internationally, EIT Food is looking for ideas and businesses across European markets, designed to have the highest impact when shaping the future of food, and aligned with the European Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy.

The search focuses on new ideas across six key focus areas; sustainable agriculture, sustainable aquaculture, alternative proteins, digital traceability, circular food systems and targeted nutrition.

In the first ever virtual EIT Food Venture Summit, on 17 and 18 November 2020, investors and corporates will be able to explore commercial partnerships and investment opportunities with 130+ high-impact start-ups and will hear pitches from a select group of some of EIT Food’s existing partners and entrepreneurs.

Interested new start-ups will also have an opportunity to learn about flagship programmes and connect with other agritech leaders.

“Only a spirit of entrepreneurship will help Europe to make the transformation we need, creating a food system fit for the future, that is healthy, sustainable, and meets the needs of a growing population,” said Andy Zynga, CEO of EIT Food.

“Today we are calling for new ideas from experts, innovators and investors, right across the food system. We encourage anyone who has an idea or a business that can make a real difference, with potential to scale and grow, to apply for this once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Applications will open early next year and close in Spring 2021.

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