Access an unparalleled network
Are you looking for pilot projects, investment or market growth opportunities across Europe? Then this programme could be for you!
The EIT Food Accelerator Network (EIT FAN) is a four-month equity-free grant funded programme that aims to fast-track science and technology-based innovations that are helping to solve global food system challenges. The programme is managed by our leading EIT Food partner organisations, operating from different regional hub locations Europe. Each hub connects impactful agrifood startups with industry-leading corporate and research partners, to pilot innovative technology and drive the ultimate goal of every business: a successful market adoption
This is your opportunity to move your startup beyond acceleration – to become part of a rich ecosystem of business and research institutions, setup to help you transition from an early-stage company to a global scale up, disrupting our food system to make it more sustainable, healthy, and trusted
So, what are you waiting for? Apply to EIT FAN to advance your entrepreneurial skills and benefit from expert coaching and mentorship. You will also have access to specialist facilities such as labs, pilot sites, maker spaces, and agricultural land, as well as financial support to help you raise your seed or series A investment round
“Thanks to the EIT Food Accelerator and its partners, we sharpened our strategy, our value proposition and our business model. We found new strategic partners and advisors and we raised a pre-seed round”
Eshchar – Founder Redefine Meat, EIT FAN Participant
“The EIT Food Accelerator Network has been a catalyst to get us to market as quickly as possible through its network in the food industry”
Nick Hooton – Jellydrops, EIT FAN Participant
Hear what our Alumni have to say about their experiences
To apply for EIT FAN, join our community, then you will be notified when programme applications are open to check your eligibility
We also offer startup training and networking events to our community members throughout the year!
Programme Applications open again in January
We will be launching some expert panel discussions and networking events soon so join our community to get involved when these are announced
What is the EIT FAN eligibility criteria?
Your business innovation must be underpinned by a science or technology with a proof of concept, or pilot project execution. It must also fall under one of EIT Food’s key focus areas
To apply for EIT FAN you must be a registered company established in an EU member state, or Horizon Europe associated countries (NB This includes the UK!). Your company must be at a pre-seed stage (you must not have closed a Series A investment round yet), and ideally, it has successfully completed customer validation and is able to demonstrate traction, for example, through letters of support, sales, or signed letters of intent
Switzerland and UK-based companies are eligible to apply. However, eligibility to receive funding will be determined based on Switzerland’s and UK’s eligibility status for EU funding at that time
What is the programme timeline?
Programme Applications are open from the beginning of January to the end of February each year, and all applications are evaluated from March-May. Up to 60 startup teams considered to have the highest impact potential are then selected to join the new cohort. Our regional hubs run the programme from June to October and all selected, participating teams are required to attend regular training sessions during its course
Do I have to be located in the same country as one of the programme hubs?
No, you don’t! EIT FAN operates in different locations across Europe. Each startup team is asked to select the hubs that are most appropriate for them as part of the programme application process
What is the time commitment for startups taking part in this programme?
All selected, participating teams are required to commit at least 10 hours a week during the course of the programme. To take advantage of all what the EIT Food Accelerator Network has to offer, and to minimise travel (due to Covid-19 restrictions), our hubs facilitate the programme mostly online. Simply choose the elements that work best for you: the online events to attend, the mentors to meet with, the partners to network with, and the information sessions to participate in. Whilst we offer this flexible approach, we DO expect at least one team member to remain active, and to be engaged with the programme during its full course, from when it starts in June, until it ends in October. Please note, each hub varies in how they design and structure the FAN programme so please contact a specific regional hub for more information.
How are applications assessed?
Applications are assessed based on the understanding of the food system problem, its commercial solution, and your company’s fit with our ecosystem. Equally important is the potential impact of the innovation, its technology readiness, the business model, its USP, and the dynamics of the founding team
Please refer to our programme Terms & Conditions for more detailed information.
Who are the evaluators?
All judging panels consist of experienced entrepreneurs and experts from the agriculture and food industries
Are there any areas within agrifood that you are specifically interested in?
No, any company that is creating an impact at any point along the food supply chain is invited to apply to this programme. Does your business innovation help to make our global food system more sustainable, healthy, and trusted? Then yes, we want to hear from you!
How much funding does this programme offer?
The EIT FAN offers funding of up to €10,000 along with the opportunity to access follow-on EIT Food funding and support through EIT Food’s Impact Fund. More information on this fund can be found here
What makes EIT FAN unique compared to other accelerator programmes?
We provide direct access to experts who fundamentally understand the commercial potential of science and technology in the agrifood sector. You will be joining Europe’s largest agrifood startup community to receive continuous support from other like-minded entrepreneurs, with endless opportunities to share knowledge and work closely with our world-leading industry partners.
How do you support EIT FAN Alumni?
At the end of the programme, each cohort team is automatically enrolled as EIT FAN Alumni and then invited to pursue opportunities for further pilot projects and follow-on funding, to support their commercial roadmap, which may include pivoting or spinning out with suitable identified partners. There is also the possibility to become an EIT Food RisingFoodStar, which supports the scaling of impactful agrifood startups to enter international markets.