Turn your innovation into a market-validated  business and help transform the food system

Do you have an Ag or FoodTech innovation with IMPACTFUL commercial potential?


Sustainable agriculture and carbon farmingDigital and precision farmingCellular & plant-based proteinsAlternative proteins and biotechnologies Targeted nutrition and food as medicineDigital and traceability solutions  Circularity, food waste reduction, and upcycling

You could be eligible to join

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A 4-6 month programme that aims to transform science

& technology-based innovations into market-validated businesses

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Join a community of ag/food tech founders & researchers to collaborate & exchange knowledge within your area of expertise

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Establish if there’s a viable market need for your innovation & evaluate the scale of its commercial potential with experts

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Connect and test your innovation with 100+ customers & stakeholders in the agrifood innovation industry worldwide

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Receive 7,000 € in equity-free funding, & up to 10,000 € additional equity-free funding for all teams eligible for Seedbed+

Business Modelling

Plan a commercial roadmap to develop and scale your impact

Proof of Market

Determine the best strategy for your technology & its IP positioning

Market Discovery

Test and learn from 100+ potential customers & stakeholders 

Tailored Support

Recieve mentorship from business coaches & agrifood experts

Network Building

Connect with key industry media, corporate partners & investors

Agrifood Insights

Attend & participate in agrifood industry events & workshops 

Why Join?

The EIT Food Seedbed Incubator programme turns innovation into impact

Start your market discovery journey, and benefit from specialist training and tailored support to build a successful Ag or FoodTech business. 

The race is on to meet our global impact goals! Gain access to the world’s largest food innovation network, solving the agri & food system’s biggest challenges, with 160+ industry, academic and leading corporate partners in 26+ European countries, and 200+ experts and mentors. 

Stage 1

Apply for the EIT Food Seedbed Incubator

Applications are now open for 2023!

If you are eligible for Seedbed, you will also receive benefits such as additional free training workshops, and exclusive invites to EIT Food networking & matchmaking events throughout the year.


Are you eligible for Seedbed?

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Do you have a science-based technology at TRL 4 (min) that can help transform the food system?

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Are you an individual or a team not yet founded, or a pre-seed startup?

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Are you, or a team member, an EU resident or citizen, with, or intending to incorporate a company in the EU?

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Can you commit to a minimum of 8 hours per week between May & Dec 2023 to participate in this programme?

If you can say yes to all all of the above, then Seedbed can say ‘yes’ to you!

Stage 2

Seedbed Lean Startup Fundamentals

60 eligible teams are invited to participate in an online bootcamp.

Attend a 3 day training where all participating teams receive 1:1 tailored coaching to develop a hypothetical business model. You will learn how to identify customer pain points and determine the best market opportunities for your innovation. At the end of Bootcamp, each team pitches to an expert panel, and 40 teams considered to have ‘high-impact’ commercial potential are selected to join the next Seedbed cohort.

Cohort 2

Stage 3

EIT Food Seedbed Incubator

40 teams join the Seedbed market discovery programme, and receive 7,000 € equity-free funding to attend stakeholder meetings & events across Europe

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What you can expect from the EIT Food Seedbed Incubator

Welcome & Networking

To kick-off the programme, the cohort meet in person at a chosen location in Europe. Here, the Seedbed team are introduced to the EIT Food network, comprising of a diverse, pan-european mix of business experts & industry players, who host workshops and present on topics relating to founders fundamentals, Agritech and Foodtech innovations, and tech commercialisation.

Seedbed Incubator Kick-off

Entrepreneurial Training

The Seedbed programme training consists of hybrid sessions led by business coaches, ag & foodtech experts, entrepreneurship programme specialists, and thought leaders from a range of leading European academic & research institutions. The cohort receives tailored 1:1 business support and is grouped into teams around different specialisms to facilitate peer-to-peer learning, and industry collaborations.

Agri & Food Industry Workshops

These are designed specifically for the needs of startups on a range of topics that align with the EIT Food mission impact goals and key focus areas.

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Connections and Support

Seedbed Business Coaching

Bi-weekly meetings & monthly action planning to keep you on track

1:1 Support from Business Experts in your area of expertise

Learn from experienced entrepreneurs in the agrifood sector

Agrifood Industry Advisors

Deep dive into your specific challenge: technical or commercial

Network Connectors across Europe and Worldwide

Receive warm introductions to 100+ potential customers & stakeholders 

Seedbed Training
Seedbed Community

Startup Community

Peer to Peer Coaching Circles

Startup Networking & Socials

cohort community

EIT Food Venture Summit

This is a prestigious annual event taking place in Lisbon, Portugal, where startups, corporates, investors, and agrifood experts come together to find ways to speed up innovation and drive entrepreneurship. The event is open to EIT Food partners and worldwide leaders from industry & academia. Here, we invite the Seedbed cohort to attend meetings and present their business innovation to target customers and key stakeholders. It’s also a great opportunity for the teams to collaborate with startups from the other EIT Food Entrepreneurship programmes.

Seedbed Showcase

In the same week as the Venture Summit, the cohort gather to present their market discovery findings at the Seedbed Showcase, and graduate as EIT Food Alumni. This is a fantastic forum for all participants to review their commercialisation roadmap, receive valuable feedback from business experts, and share learnings, as well as celebrate their achievements with the EIT Food Entrepreneurs community.

Is there a market for their solution? Or are there bigger opportunities to pivot, or explore a different venture, with a new team! We get to the heart of what is right for each individual to progress and turn innovation into impact.

The teams qualifying for Seedbed+ are also announced, who receive additional business training, coaching, and equity-free funding for professional services to build their business venture.

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EIT show case

Stage 4

Seedbed +

The Seedbed teams with a successful market-validation outcome are exclusively selected to receive further support to build their business. Up to 10,000 € equity-free funding is awarded to teams with ‘high-impact’ commercial potential.

Training development includes:

  • Investment Paths
  • Go to Market Strategy
  • Technical Due Diligence
  • Funding & Fundraising Support
  • IP Strategy & B2B Sales
  • Branding & Marketing Strategy  

New for 2023! More information to follow.

Seedbed Cohort 22
Seedbed Cohort 22

Hear from Seedbed Alumni why the EIT Food Seedbed Incubator

is so essential to developing a startup




What is the Seedbed Incubator eligibility criteria?

Your innovative solution must be underpinned by science or technology with a prototype or lab proof of concept established (TRL 4). It must also fall under one of EIT Food’s missions &  key focus areas

You can apply for the Seedbed Incubator as a project team or as a registered company. A project team must consist of at least two individuals with complementary skills and experiences, and at least one member must be a citizen or resident of an EU member state, or Horizon Europe associated countries. If you are a solo researcher or an academic currently without any team members, you must have support from a member of your Technology Transfer Office for the duration of the programme (and include these details in your application). If you are applying as a registered company, your company must be established in an EU member state, or Horizon Europe associated countries.

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 26th January until the 29th of March, and all applications are evaluated in April 2023. Up to 60 teams considered to have the highest impact & commercial potential are then shortlisted to attend a 3-day Bootcamp in May. At the end of Bootcamp, all the teams involved pitch their business innovation to a panel of experts, who select the final 40 to join the new Seedbed Incubator cohort in June 2023. All selected, participating teams are required to attend regular training sessions during the course. 

Is the programme online or in person?

The Seedbed Incubator training and workshops are online, while Seedbed main events are predominantly in person. The two dates we require all teams to travel to a location in Europe are: 

  • Seedbed Kick off  2 to 3 days – Beginning of July  
  • EIT Food Venture Summit & Seedbed Showcase Final  2 to 3 days – Beginning of November 

    What is the time commitment for startups taking part in this programme?

    All teams are required to commit at least 8 hours a week during the course of the programme. We 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 the final presentations take place in November.

    How are applications assessed?

    The Seedbed Incubator supports validation of the market need of highly innovative solutions to pressing global food system challenges. Applications are assessed based on the understanding of the social, environmental and economic impact the innovation is creating, the problem/solutionsolution fit, and company’s match to EIT Food’s mission goals. Equally important is the innovation and its technology readiness (innovation has been validated at least in the ‘lab’ and a basic prototype/MVP is in place, TRL4), the hypothetical business model, its USP, the potential to commercialise and the dynamics of the founding team, if already in place. 

    Please refer to our programme Terms & Conditions for more detailed information.   


    Who are the programme evaluators?

    All judging panels consist of experienced entrepreneurs, business experts and experts from the agriculture and food industries 

    No, any innovation team or early-stage startup that can create 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? If the answer if yes, then we want to hear from you! 

    Are there any areas within agrifood that you are specifically interested in?

    No, any innovation team or early-stage startup that can create 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? If the answer if yes, then we want to hear from you!

    How much funding does the Seedbed Incubator offer?

    The Seedbed Incubator offers €7,000 sub-granting for travel to meetings & events during the course of the programme, and all teams eligible for Seedbed + have the opportunity to receive a further maximum of 10,000 equity-free, along with the opportunity to access follow-on EIT Food funding and support through EIT Food’s Impact Fund. More information on funding can be found here 

    What makes Seedbed unique compared to other incubator programmes?

    Seedbed provides 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, to launch and build a market-validated business. 

    How do you support Seedbed Incubator Alumni?

    At the end of the programme, each cohort team is automatically enrolled as Seedbed Alumni and then invited to pursue opportunities for follow-on funding to support the development of their commercial roadmap. This may include spinning out, starting up a new company, or establishing further technology feasibility tests with suitable identified partners. There is also the possibility to progress to the EIT Food Accelerator Network, which connects impactful agrifood startups with industry-leading corporate and research partners, to pilot their technology and drive the ultimate goal of every business: a successful market adoption. 

    For more detailed information about the Seedbed Incubator, please refer to the programme Terms and Conditions


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