The newest cohort to join the EIT Food Accelerator Network (EIT FAN) 2022 were chosen for their potential, commercial viability and impact on the food system.
The 61 startups are spread across the six programmes – Sustainable Agriculture, Alternative Proteins, Targeted Nutrition, Circular Food Systems, Digitalised Traceability and Sustainable Aquaculture – running in parallel in Munich (Germany), Haifa (Israel), Paris (France), Bilbao (Spain), Helsinki (Finland) and Cambridge/Reading (UK).
For example, Green Spot Technologies has developed a zero-waste process that is circular by design and relies on ‘nature co-design’ millenary technology (fermentation), the side streams (such as seeds, pulps and peels) of processing from sectors like the cereal and beverage industries to create functional ingredients. The French company has been included under the Circular Food Systems programme.
“25% of the EIT FAN programme applications came from female founders and it’s great to see this percentage increasing each year,” said Marie Russier, EIT Food Accelerator Network operations manager.
“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 process.”
Over 500 startups across the EU were initially evaluated online by over 100 experts from the agrifood industry. In April, 120 advanced to a second evaluation round to present their solution during a technology deep dive session, resulting in the 61 most promising ventures.
Among the startups are Little Inca (Targeted Nutrition) – smart baby food made from quinoa and other plant-based ingredients scientifically proven to support gut health and brain development; Rize ag (Sustainable Agriculture) – helps farmers to define and finance their climate action plan; the VERY Food Co. (Alternative Proteins) – plant-based functional ingredients that can replace eggs and dairy in baking applications; and Biovaaka (Digitalised Taceability) – which makes waste tracking and reduction practical for professional kitchens.
During the programme, the EIT FAN carries out an extensive matchmaking process to connect the startups with industry-leading corporate and research partners, in order to pilot their technology and drive the ultimate goal: successful market adoption.
Christoph Mandl, head of Corporate Venturing at EIT Food, said, “We take a lot of pride in the number of industry connections we broker during our matchmaking process.
“By the end of this year’s programme, we expect a new record number of startups and established companies to enter into partnerships, for example, in the form of co-development activities, pilot projects, and/or commercial agreements.”
In addition, the startups will benefit from EIT FAN’s curriculum, created by academic and agrifood leaders.
EIT Food 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. The platform is the world’s largest food innovation community, founded to accelerate a future-fit system that produces healthy and sustainable food for all.