News Archive 2020
Driving entrepreneurship in the local, national and global food industry
EIT Food Seedbed Showcase Event at Queen's: Hear from agri-food start-ups with revolutionary agri-food technologies
Would you like first sight of early innovation in the agri-food sector and pipeline of investable agri-food tech start-ups within Europe? Are you a SME or corporate who would like to provide innovation training to your employees? Or, are you a researcher who would like to get your research ‘out-of-the-lab’ to explore commercial opportunities? Then EIT Food Seedbed could be just for you!
The Institute for Global Food Security are approaching the second year of their game-changing Seedbed Customer Discovery programme supporting aspiring entrepreneurs developing cutting-edge, disruptive technologies for the food system. The programme will conclude with a final Showcase event on Thursday 5 November which is open to the public. If you are interested in joining the programme in 2021 or hearing more about the innovative solutions offered by this year’s start-ups, register for our EIT Food Seedbed Showcase Event here.
As the global impact of coronavirus was being felt by start-ups and businesses across the globe, the EIT Food Seedbed programme, led by Queens University, Belfast, presented 50 high quality agri-food tech early stage startups, across 17 different countries in Europe, with invaluable training, mentorship and up to 10,000 Euro to validate their business ideas and develop a solution customers are willing to pay for.
The start-ups began with training at a four-day online bootcamp on a unique customer orientated methodology, supporting the development of a start-up business model; and with invaluable access to experienced coaches. After the bootcamp, the teams were provided with a mentor from the agri-food sector and up to 10,000 Euro funding to facilitate market testing activities and speak to potential customers, stakeholders and end users to test the commercial feasibility of their technology and better understand the market needs.
This unique customer-orientated approach has been proved to de risk the chance of commercial failure and allow innovative ideas to reach a point where they can attract further investment. Most importantly, it provides teams with a validated business model primed for attracting follow-on support and investment that will help take their proposition closer to market. Teams were also provided with added value sessions on IP, negotiation and funding, among others. The Seedbed programme also offered an intrapreneurship track, providing innovation training to SMEs and corporates operating in the agri-food sector.
The EIT Food Seedbed teams are now approaching the end of their 6-month market discovery activities. They will complete their journey at the Seedbed Options Roundabout Showcase event where they will have an opportunity to showcase their innovative technological solutions and Seedbed
learnings to a panel of industry experts; and receive recommendations for follow-on funding. This event will take place online from 5-6th November and it is open to all.
Introducing our EIT Food Seedbed 2020 Belfast Cohort
In 2020, our EIT Food Seedbed teams where not only provided them with the tools, mentorship and funding to validate their market, but with an avenue to test and showcase their ideas which opened doors to help them launch their business. AgriFoodX Ltd.: Developing materials for biodegradable / compostable bio-based packaging solutions.
The team were recently successful in the Innovate UK SMART award competition AlgaCraft: Developing a novel, automated, high precision bioreactor that can accurately measure the optimal cultivation conditions for industrially relevant algal strains BioFeyn: Developing a targeted, modular, delivery mechanism (what we call a “Feyn”) for drugs and nutrients that can be adapted to meet the most critical needs in the industry. They also recently just graduated from the prestigious IndieBio Accelerator Origin Chain: Origin Chain Networks provide proof-of-origin services to enterprise customers tailored to market needs.
Their founder Fiona is the recent winner of the CEN-CENELEC Standards and Innovation Awards 2020 PerOxiGen: Produce a powerful disinfectant from water called Ozone with applications in animal drinking water and fruit and vegetable washing. Recently announced as finalists in this year’s Agri T-Jam, a global competition run by Tesco and World Agri-Tech Plantik Biosciences: Plantik Biosciences aims to tailor the perfect plant for each industrial need, whilst cutting down the developmental time from years to months.
They have recently been selected among 9 European startups for the well-renowned StartLife Accelerator Programme SoluBlue: An innovative and patented seaweed-based packaging material that extends shelf-life, reduces food waste and is fully biodegradable. The SoluBlue team have recently been shortlisted for the 2020 Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge for its work in eliminating food and plastic waste
Over the last 6-months our Belfast cohort have developed into independent, creative and market aware entrepreneurs who defined clearly a consumer target market, formalized their business assumptions and tested the feasibility of their solution on key stakeholders.
Looking forward to 2021
As the programme moves into 2021, Seedbed is seeking to support entrepreneurial teams with business propositions underpinned by science and technology. In particular, we hope to collaborate with university and research-intensive institutions across Europe, offering a commercial validation platform for emerging technologies across Europe and support new venture creation. If you are
interested in getting involved, as a participant, mentor, investor or collaborator and keeping up to date with our EIT Food Seedbed Programme and our participants come along to our showcase event to hear more.