EIT Food Startup-Corporate Matchmaking

Mar 1, 2022

EIT Food Startup corporate matchmaking

EIT Food is committed to supporting the growth and development of agrifood innovations that are helping to make the entire food system more sustainable, healthy, and trusted. We believe startups and corporations together play a major role in this transformation process towards a better food system for all. Thus, EIT Food is on a quest to connect disruptive agrifood startups with world leading industry.

This unique matchmaking opportunity is designed to help startups fast-track their innovation, unlock industry connections and pilot their technology to drive the ultimate goal, i.e. the scale-up and market adoption of innovative technologies for a better food system. This is not a training program but a structured matchmaking format to facilitate meaningful collaborations!

2022 Key Food Challenges

For 2022, we have teamed-up with BASF, Bayer, Südzucker Group, IFF, Kerry Group, Zoetis, PepsiCo, John Deere, Döhler and many more.

In collaboration with our partners, three key challenge areas from farm to fork have been identified:

1. Sustainable Agriculture & Aquaculture

This includes methods and products that improve efficiency in farming. For example; biobased pest control, fertilization, and disease detection technologies for crops; innovative monitoring solutions in agriculture and aquaculture; and functional nutrition for animal farming.

Technologies within this food challenge include: Biopesticides and biofertilizers, Big Data and AI, agricultural prediction models, IoT health monitoring, automation & robotics, precision farming and more.

2. Alternative Proteins & Healthy Food

This includes production methods and innovations that create a healthy diet based on alternative protein foods. Relevant solutions will allow the food industry to develop products, based on alternative proteins, that are tasty, healthy and affordable.

Technologies include: Plant-based innovations, taste & texture modifications, crop extraction, food colouring, sugar and saturated fat substitutes, clean label, cellular agriculture, precision fermentation and more.

3. Circular Food Systems

This includes decarbonizing the food industry and making it more sustainable by valorizing side-streams and reducing food waste. For example, solutions that recycle waste streams from the food industry, technologies repurposing carbon emissions, innovations that help reduce food waste, and more sustainable packaging.

What’s in it for the startups selected?

  • A direct link to decision-makers within our partner organisations and the opportunity to showcase your technology.
  • A structured and facilitated pilot process: We will connect you not only with the right stakeholders in our partner organisations but also facilitate the process from matchmaking, project set-up all the way until successful project completion.
  • Access to additional resources to support your growth and impact: As an EIT Food Accelerator Network program participant, RisingFoodStar or program alumni, you will have also access to more than €1.2M in equity-free grants and to EIT Food’s €2M investment opportunities.

Who should join the startup-corporate matchmaking?

We are looking for impactful startups and scaleups that adhere to the following criteria:

  • Your company is registered in the EU member states and associated countries.
  • You are working on a solution in one of the challenge domains detailed above.
  • You have successfully completed a proof of concept backed by data.
  • You have less than 49 employees (excluding interns or contractors).
  • You have generated less than 10 million euros of revenue per year.
  • Your last funding round was Series A or less.
  • You are open to collaborate with industry and looking to scale your technology.

How the EIT Food Startup Corporate Matchmaking works

  • Relevant applicants will be introduced to our partner network.
  • Selected startups will be invited to (one or more) exploration sessions with R&D, open innovation, and business unit heads for further discussion and to evaluate the potential for collaboration.
  • Following the exploration sessions, we foresee a detailed sharing of information, typically covered by a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
  • Next, we expect the creation of a joint pilot to evaluate the scaling potential of the product which will ultimately result in investments and/or an ongoing partnership.

Please note that every step is totally at the companies and your discretion, and there is no obligation to proceed unless the both of you wish to do so.

How to apply

Submit your matchmaking profile before March 31st. To start working on the profile click here.

In the form, select all the partner corporations for which you believe that your technology could be useful, and provide a thoughtful explanation as to how you envision a pilot project with industry. The answer will be read by our partner corporations, thus the more specific your explanations, the more likely they will want to engage with you.

Key dates

  • March 1st: Registration open for EIT Food Startup-Corporate Matchmaking.
  • March 31st: Submission deadline for matchmaking profile at 23:59 CET.
  • Starting April 15th: Announcement of companies selected for exploration sessions facilitated by EIT Food.


Launch - Seedbed Incubator

Accelerate - EIT Food Accelerator Network

Scale - RisingFoodStars

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