Accelerate your business and validate your agrifood technology
Are you looking to grow your network, speed up your progress,
accelerate your tech innovation & fast-track your business?
Who is the programme for?
For registered (pre-) seed startups with traction indicators looking for
TECH VALIDATION AND BUSINESS ACCELERATION
to drive the ultimate goal – a successful market adoption.
What is it about?
EIT Food Accelerator Network is a 3-month, Pan-European, theme-based
and cohort-style programme, delivered in 5 unique innovation hubs.
Helsinki – Munich – Paris – Bilbao – Haifa
The EIT Food Accelerator Network supports agrifood startups tackling
the biggest challenges within the European food system by
developing their capacity as founders and establishing continued
partnerships with the world’s largest most dynamic food innovation
community totalling €1+ billion to accelerate their growth and impact.
Start Up Benefits
Grow your own network
Be part of the world’s largest & most dynamic agrifood community of entrepreneurs and founders and find the perfect partners, customers & employee to grow your venture. We connect you with industry-leading corporates, investors, research partners, peers, mentors and industry specialists. Benefit from direct links to decision makers within our partner organisations and plenty of opportunities to showcase your business and technology.
Gain Investor attention
Investors are drawn to accelerators, as they are hoping to discover the next big innovation. We get you pitch and investment ready and organise demo and investor days, so that you can showcase your company. Just remember, accelerator graduates are more likely to receive their next round of financing significantly sooner.
Speed up your progress
Transition from an early-stage company to an investment and market-ready business. Learn new entrepreneurial skills & benefit from expert coaching and mentorship.
Accelerate your tech innovation
Access to cutting-edge facilities and equipment across Europe. We help you locate labs, pilot sites, maker spaces and agricultural land etc. to help you pilot, validate and accelerate your tech innovation.
Avoid costly mistakes
Joining the EIT Food Accelerator Network programme gives you a safe space to talk about what keeps you up at night, an outlet to clear up mental space and reduce anxieties and a network to learn from one another and avoid costly mistakes.
Fast-track your business
We offer mentorship, coaching and funding opportunities to help you raise your seed or series A investment round. This includes direct financial support from EIT Food, where you can receive up to €500,000 per venture through a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) tool. We also, provide up to €1,500 equity-free funding for travel to networking events and meetings.
Benefit from top-notch training, personalised mentoring and support and investor attention
Gain access to the world’s largest & most dynamic food innovation community & profit from resources and tools needed to grow and succeed
industry & academic partners
alumni accelerated supported & funded
€ invested in start up accelerations
From its inception in 2018, EIT Food Accelerator Network Programme has:
Received over 2000 applications from 30+ countries accelerated, supported & funded over 300 start-ups
Invested €9M+ in startup accelerations & raised over €200M of investments
mentors and experts
€ investments raised
Don’t just take our word for it
Why is the EIT Food Accelerator Network so essential to growing a business?
The programme is managed by our leading EIT Food partners operating from different regional hub locations across Europe
Scaling the alternative protein revolution
Novel ingredients & processes
Achieving carbon zero farming
Accelerating the tech revolution in agriculture
Food as medicine
Our 2023 Corporate Partners
Bayer, IFF, General Mills, The Südzucker Group, Danone, Sodexo, Ingredion Incorporated, ICL Food Specialties together with ICL PLANET Startup Hub, FrieslandCampina, Valio Group, Paulig Group, Lantmännen, John Deere, the CORE by CBC Group and the Kerry Group.
Did you know that startups graduating from an accelerator programme have a 23% higher survival rate than their counterparts?
(Regmi, Ahmed, and Quinn 2015, Data Driven Analysis of Startup Accelerators)
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 the EIT Food Accelerator Network programme:
1- You must be a registered company established in an EU member state, or Horizon Europe associated countries (NB This includes the UK!).
2- Your company must be at a pre-seed stage (you must not have closed a Series A investment round yet), and ideally, have 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 open on the 26th of January 2023 and close on the 29th of March 2023.
All applications are evaluated in April 2023.
Up to 60 startup teams, considered to have the highest impact potential, are then selected to join the new cohort and themed based hubs.
Our regional hubs run the 2-month programme between April and September (see hub specific timelines) and all selected, participating teams are required to attend regular training sessions in person and online during the course of the programme.
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?
To take advantage of all what the EIT Food Accelerator Network has to offer, our hubs facilitate the programme in person and online. Despite offering a hybrid and flexible approach, we DO expect at least one team member to remain active, and to be fully engaged with the programme during its full-term (2 months programme, Corporate & Investor Demo Days, EIT Food Venture Summit).
How are applications assessed?
Applications are assessed based on the understanding of the food system challenges, its commercial solution, and your company’s fit with our ecosystem and partners. 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, food and tech industries.
Are there any areas within agrifood that you are specifically interested in?
We are inviting all companies that are creating an impact at any point along the food supply chain related to the EIT FAN quest themes 2023, to apply to this programme.
Does your business innovation help to make our global food system more sustainable, healthy, transparent and trusted? If yes, we want to hear from you!
The EIT FAN themes 2023 are:
- Scaling the Alternative Protein Revolution (Helsinki)
- New ingredients and Process (Paris)
- Achieving Carbon Farming (Bilbao)
- Acceleration the Tech Revolution in Agriculture (Munich)
- Food as Medicine (Haifa)
How much funding does this programme offer?
The EIT Food Accelerator Network programme offers funding of up to €1,500 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?
Supported by the European Union, we provide direct access to experts, who fundamentally understand the commercial potential of science and technology in the agrifood sector. You will be joining the world’s largest agrifood startup community and receive continuous support from other like-minded entrepreneurs, with endless opportunities to share knowledge and work closely with our world-leading industry partners, whilst getting attention from investors.
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 RisingFoodStars, which supports the scaling of impactful agrifood startups to enter international markets.
For more detailed information about the EIT Food Accelerator Network, please refer to the programme Terms and Conditions