EIT Food Accelerator Network announces new cohort of agrifood startups

EIT Food has announced its new cohort of 58 startups for the EIT Food Accelerator Network (FAN), one of its entrepreneurship programmes.

EIT Food is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.  

The successful startups were chosen for not only challenging conventional practices across the entire food and agriculture value chain, but also for working to solve urgent sustainability challenges and building value aligned with both planetary capacity and consumer demand.  

Each startup will receive access to a large and dynamic agrifood community of industry experts, research institutions, corporate partners, and investors.   

The startups will also be able to benefit from support with navigating the complexities of developing and commercialising their innovations on their tech validation and business acceleration journey, effectively reaching their target audience, and further establishing themselves as leaders in the field of agrifoodtech.  

The chosen startups – including 50 from across Europe and eight from EIT Food’s FAN Hub in Brazil – include:  

  • Clean Food Group (UK) makes sustainable, local, scalable, healthier oils and fats, using fermentation
  • Melt&Marble (Sweden) is on a mission to become an enabler for the alternative protein industry by providing it with the best and tastiest fats, using precision fermentation to produce animal fats without the animal. The result: tastier plant-based foods, for consumers and the planet
  • NOOVI (Slovakia) offers a globally unique line of marking pheromones ‘Pheromark’ that prevent pests from laying eggs on crops, without using any toxins
  • Nukoko (UK) is the new wave of bean-to-bar manufacturing, using fava beans instead of cocoa beans to naturally create a new type of healthy and sustainable chocolate from ingredients that are better for humans and planet
  • Pacifico Labs (Germany) has developed a scalable, carbon-neutral biomass fermentation process that produces seafood alternatives using mycelium and microalgae
  • Pack2Earth (Spain) has developed robust biomaterials from plants and minerals to substitute contaminating plastic in packaging and more
  • P-Agro Minerals (Latvia) has developed an affordable technology that recovers Phosphorus from wastewater in municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants, enabling the use of P-Agro directly as a fertiliser in agriculture
  • Papkot (France) makes packaging plastic-free, recyclable, and biodegradable by replacing plastic with pure paper improved by AI
  • PFx Biotech (Portugal) produces highly bioactive alternative human milk proteins, through precision fermentation, creating a new category of ingredients that will support and boost the immune system

Disrupting the agrifood industry

Over 500 high-impact startups from across Europe were evaluated by more than 60 experts from the agrifood sector to ensure that the chosen startups not only have the potential to disrupt the food industry, but that they also share EIT Food's commitment to creating a healthier, more sustainable, and transparent food system in alignment with EIT Food Accelerator Network’s mission-emphasised themes for each of its five innovation hubs:

  1. Food bioprocessing, Helsinki Hub 
  2. Next generation of plant sourced solutions, Paris Hub 
  3. Sustainable food packaging, Bilbao Hub 
  4. Future proof agriculture, Munich Hub 
  5. Food as medicine, Haifa Hub 

The EIT Food Accelerator Network programme brings together emerging startups, research centres, experts, change makers, corporate partners, and investors, linking those who need technology and innovations, to those who are developing, financing, and scaling it.

Richard Zaltzman, CEO of EIT Food said: "Startups play a fundamental role in building a global food system that is strong enough to withstand cycles of worldwide turbulences. At EIT Food we harness the power of innovation and foster a collaborative approach to build a future-fit food system that produces healthy and sustainable food for all. How? We come together as a louder, more direct voice, creating a shared vision, a common agenda, and an environment where innovation can thrive, collectively transforming the way food is produced, distributed, and consumed.”

Benoit Buntinx, Director of Business Creation at EIT Food said: “It is our job to identify and support impactful agrifoodtech startups, so that they can tackle the biggest challenges within the European food system, transform it and develop their capacity as founders. Through our EIT Food Entrepreneurship programmes we create connections right across the food ecosystem, empowering entrepreneurs to develop new ideas and innovations, helping them to launch accelerate and scale.”

Marie Russier, Programme Manager of the EIT FAN said: "We're thrilled to welcome these outstanding startups into our 2024 cohort. Collaborations, knowledge exchange, tech validation, market and investment readiness are at the forefront of everything we do. Not only are we extremely grateful to the startups for trusting us with their application and to our EIT Food Accelerator Network community, but also to the 60+ evaluators, corporate and delivery partners for their continuous support and tremendous effort.

“Diversity is key, which is why during the scouting, evaluation, and selection process we ensure to have a fair mix of startups from our three EIT Food regions, as well as a fair gender balance. By continuing to partner with the best and the brightest talents in agrifoodtech, we continue to offer purpose-led startups even more ways to fuel their impact, grow and achieve their ultimate goals: a successful market adoption." 

Startups joining the cohort will benefit from access to the world’s largest and most dynamic agrifood community of industry experts and leaders, research institutions, investors and EIT Food Accelerator Network programme corporate partners: AAK, Avril, Bayer Crop Science, Barry Callebaut Group, Cargill, Corteva Agriscience, Peter Cremer Holding GmbH & Co. KG, DELTA FOODS SA, EFES, General Mills, Hijos de Rivera, ICL Group, IFF, Kerry, Lantmännen, Mondelēz International, Paulig Group/PINC, Roquette, Südzucker Group, Sodexo, Syensqo and Tesco. 

Since 2018 the EIT Food Accelerator Network programme has successfully accelerated 298 European startups, providing startups with the resources and the support needed to build strong business foundations and to thrive and grow in a competitive world.