Scaleup your business across borders

Is your start-up ready to become an international game changer in the agrifood sector?

You could be eligible to apply for


The RisingFoodStars programme addresses early scaleups that are past the ideation phase, have paying customers or a paid pilot project, and are ready for significant global expansion. 

The RisingFoodStars association helps early scale ups to grow and scale faster – through:

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Testing and launching in new international markets

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Exceptional support from agrifood experts

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Excellent connections with our industry partners

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Access to EIT Food funding and our investors community

Applications open in February 2023

We also host expert panels and networking events throughout the year. Join our community so we can keep you informed of all our entrepreneurship activities

Why the EIT Food RisingFoodStars programme is so essential to scaling a business

Exposure across the food industry

“We have gained so many benefits from joining RisingFoodStars. From getting exposure across the European food industry to scaling our vision, and the opportunity to apply for funded projects to continue innovating”

Solveiga Pakštaitė, Founder and Director, Mimica 

Funding support

“The RisingFoodStars network really supported us to grow our business. We recently received funding that helped us develop at continued speed despite these difficult and challenging times during Covid-19”

Magdalena Kozłowska, CEO & Founder, NapiFeryn BioTECH

Validate your business

“Joining the RisingFoodStars network is the easiest way to be validated by the agrifood market”

Brij Sahi, Co-Founder & CEO – SwissDeCode 


What are the benefits of the RisingFoodStars (RFS) programme?

The higher goal of the RFS network is to facilitate and stimulate collaboration and cross-fertilisation between RisingFoodStars, the members of EIT Food, and external parties.

The value proposition includes:

  • Easy access and personalised introductions to world-leading corporates, academia, investors and research organisations
  • Increased visibility through accessing high-impact international agrifood and startup events and our own social media
  • Backing from a ‘trusted network’, including names as Pepsico, Danone, Nestlé, Cambridge University, and TUM.
  • Individual support to scale up, raise investment, and tackle typical startup growing pain points

Membership comes in terms of three consecutive financial years against a fee of €3.000 per financial year. We waive the fee for the accession year

What is the eligibility criteria to become a member of the RFS association?

We welcome all companies that at the submission stage, identify with the following:

  • You have your legal entity based in a member state of the European Union (EU) 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.
  • You are a SMALL sized company as defined in the EU recommendation 2003/361 (between 5 and 49 employees and less than 10 million turnover or balance sheet)
  • You expect to conclude a Series A within the next 6-12 months or you have recently raised a Series A 
  • You are past the ideation phase, with preferably paying customers and at least a product-market fit in your home market
  • You have a technological solution within one of the six key focus areas of EIT Food 
  • You have the ambition of strong growth, and your next milestone is to scale your business across borders
  • You complement the current pool of RisingFoodStars and EIT Food partners, and you can add value to the network. The current list of members is available here 
  • You are not involved in another EIT Food Entrepreneurs programme, i.e. Seedbed Incubator or the EIT Food Accelerator Network
  • You have no conflict of interests. Ventures owned by EIT Food employees or members of EIT Food governing bodies and engagements in which EIT Food employees or members of EIT Food governing bodies have an interest are also excluded. EIT Food includes all CLCs of EIT Food and all governing bodies.

How can you apply to become a member of RFS?

Interested candidates must first join our community to check if they pass the programme’s eligibility criteria. Once this is passed, you will be invited to complete your application, and after your answers are submitted, we will evaluate your application and submit it to the Advisory committee.  Some applicants might be invited to an online pitching and Q&A session. The Board of the Association RisingFoodStars will issue a final decision on the acceptance of applicants to the RisingFoodStars network

For more details, refer to the Terms & Conditions

When are programme applications open?

Programme applications are open from the beginning of January to the end of February each year, and all applications are evaluated from March-May

What is expected of members to remain active in the association?

Our RFS manager undertakes an annual evaluation of the RFS members to assess their eligibility to remain a member of the association based on the following criteria:

  • You must be supporting the aim of the EIT Food RisingFoodStars programme
  • You must still be directly or indirectly active in the food sector, in one of EIT Food’s key focus areas 
  • You must be involved in a minimum of 3 x EIT Food activities in one financial year, such as KAVAs and/or other activities, including podcasts, FoodUnfolded, and various external representations of EIT Food RisingFoodStars trainings etc. external 
  • You must attend EIT Food (supported) events
  • You must be showing signs of growth and progress

For more detailed information about RisingFoodStars, see programme Terms and Conditions

Companies supported by EIT Food from early entrepreneurs to companies that we support in scaling internationally

Collaborative innovation projects with startups and EIT Food Partners

Million euros direct financial support in grants & investments in 2020 - including directly supporting those through Covid-19

Million euros external investments attracted by supported start-ups


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Apply to participate in one of our funded flagship programmes

LAUNCH - Seedbed Incubator

ACCELERATE - EIT Food Accelerator Network

SCALE - RisingFoodStars

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