EIT Food Accelerator Network announces 2024 startup cohort

The EIT Food Accelerator Network (FAN programme) welcomes its 2024 cohort of 50 ground-breaking European startups and eight Brazilian startups, bringing cutting edge technology and science together to transform the food system.

These fast-growing startups, whose impactful solutions look set to contribute to transforming the food system, were selected from over 500 applications received. Not only are they challenging conventional practices across the entire food and agriculture value chain, but they are also working to solve urgent sustainability challenges and build value aligned with both planetary capacity and consumer demand.

EIT Food Accelerator Network startup cohort 2024

The EIT Food’s Accelerator Network programme brings together emerging startups, research centres, experts, change makers, corporate partners, and investors, linking those who need technology and innovations, those who are developing it, and those who might finance and scale it, the EIT Food Accelerator Network is undeniably one of Europe’s top startup accelerator programmes in agrifoodtech.

“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,” commented Richard Zaltzman, CEO of EIT Food.

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 the 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.

Thanks to their support and guidance the 50 European startups will be able to navigate 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.

“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,” said Benoit Buntinx, Director of Business Creation at EIT Food.

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.

“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,” said Marie Russier, Programme Manager of the EIT FAN.

Some of the trailblazing startups from this year’s cohort

Pacifico (Germany) Labs have developed a scalable, carbon-neutral biomass fermentation process that produces seafood alternatives using mycelium and microalgae.

Nukoko (UK) is the new wave of bean-to-bar manufacturing, using faba 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.

Clean Food Group (UK) makes sustainable, local, scalable, healthier oils and fats, using fermentation.

NOOVI (Slovakia) offers a globally unique line of marking pheromones “Pheromark” that prevent pests from laying eggs on crops, without using any toxins, zero negative impact on our planet or human health, moreover with potential to create a blue ocean.

P-Agro (Latvia) Minerals 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.

Pack2Earth (Spain) have developed robust biomaterials from plants & minerals to substitute contaminating plastic in packaging and more.

Melt&Marble’s (Sweden) mission is 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!

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.

The evaluation process

During the evaluation process, over 60 industry experts ensured that the selected 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 our five innovation hubs:

  • Food bioprocessing, Helsinki Hub
  • Next generation of plant sourced solutions, Paris Hub
  • Sustainable food packaging, Bilbao Hub
  • Future proof agriculture, Munich Hub
  • Food as medicine, Haifa Hub

For more information about the EIT Food Accelerator Network programme and the Entrepreneurship programmes, visit: entrepreneurship.eitfood.eu