Could you be Europe’s bakery or snack disruptor of 2020?

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags EIT Food Innovation startups

Are you committed to building a healthier, more trusted and sustainable food system?
Are you committed to building a healthier, more trusted and sustainable food system?
One of Europe’s leading food innovation initiatives is again seeking out high-impact startups that are disrupting the sector.

The EIT Food Accelerator Network – which supports agri- and good-tech startups looking to fast track their growth – is hosting its third annual EIT Food Accelerator Network (FAN) programme.

EIT Food is a consortium of industry players, start-ups, research centres and universities based across Europe. It is one of eight Innovation Communities established by the European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT), an independent EU body set up in 2008 to drive innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe.

Does this sound like you?

EIT is seeking applications from those startups that are changing the food system – from smart farming to consumption and health; sustainable packaging solutions; ideas that tackle food waste; increasing food safety or helping to create a more efficient distribution system for the food industry.

EIT FAN will select 60 startups to participate in the four-month programme – set to start in July 2020 – taking place in six locations across Europe, including Munich in Germany; Haifa in Israel; Lausanne in Switzerland; Bilbao in Spain; Cambridge in the UK; and – for the first time – Helsinki in Finland.

To be considered eligible for the programme, applicants must be agri-food startups that are:

  • Set to make a big impact on any part of the agriculture or food supply chain and committed to building a healthier, more trusted and sustainable food system;
  • At (pre-)seed stage with some indicator of traction (e.g. LoIs, sales, letters of support);
  • A registered company or agree to register during the course of the programme;
  • Active in the EU and its member states or EU associated countries (Iceland, Norway, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Israel, Moldova, Switzerland, Faroe Islands, Ukraine, Tunisia and Georgia Armenia);
  • Committed - the organisers expect active, consistent engagement in the programme, which requires regular, physical presence from at least one team member in one of the hubs for the entire duration).

The programme’s curriculum was created by academic and industry leaders to enable participants to transition from early-stage to impactful innovators. Participants will also gain access to EIT’s powerful agrifood network – representing all key elements of the food system, such as PepsiCo and Nestlé  – to bring their ideas to the market faster.

At the end of the accelerator, startups will be given the opportunity to pitch their ideas, with the top three moving on to receive financial support of up to €100,000 ($110,833) each: €20,000 ($22,170) in equity-free cash, €20,000 ($22,170) in cash-equivalent services and/or €60,000 ($66,499) in SAFEs, a flexible investment vehicle that can be made accessible to the winners of EIT FAN 2020.

The application​ period is open until March 10, 2020. Only agrifood startups at (pre-)seed stage with some indicator of traction (e.g. sales or letters of support) that are based in the EU or one of the 11 associated countries are eligible.

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