Since 2018, EIT Food (European Institute of Innovation and Technology) has been supporting numerous impactful agrifood entrepreneurs and startups. Through their work, they have noticed that many teams struggle to commercialize their innovative agrifood technologies because the founders lack entrepreneurial skills and competencies.
That is why in 2021 EIT Food launched a new programme – TeamUp – that connects people who have innovative agrifood solutions with people who have the skills and experience to build a successful agrifood business.
TeamUp matches leading technologists (tech co-founders) with entrepreneurial business professionals (business co-founders) and supports them on their journey to co-create truly impactful agrifood ventures. The programme provides important tools and support to build your startup including expert guidance, world-class training, mentorship, networking and funding.
TeamUp is available for applicants from selected countries in Eastern and Southern Europe (see the eligibility criteria below). The programme is run by EIT Food and is supported by their partners Bühler, Danone, Döhler, Givaudan and PepsiCo.
TeamUp – who can join the programme?
Apply for TeamUp and meet your perfect co-founder if:
You’ve got a technology that can transform the food system and you:
- Want to bring your innovative solution to the market but struggle to commercialize it
- Are passionate about entrepreneurship, want to develop and grow an impactful agrifood startup
- Want to partner up with the right co-founder who would lead the business side of developing a startup
If the points above describe you, apply for TeamUp as a ‘Tech co-founder’. Tech co-founders can be researchers, scientists or technologists with an impactful agrifood solution as well as early-stage agrfiood startups that struggle to commercialise their technology.
You’ve got the skills and experience to build a successful agrifood startup and you:
- Want to apply your entrepreneurship/business development skills to commercialise an impactful agrifood solution
- Are passionate about innovation and technology in the agrifood sector
- Want to partner up with a brilliant technologist and become a co-founder of an innovative agrifood startup
If the points above describe you, apply for TeamUp as a ‘Business co-founder’.
TeamUp is available for applicants who are citizens/residents of one of the following RIS (Regional Innovation Scheme) countries: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine.
How will you benefit from joining TeamUp?
By joining TeamUp programme you will:
- Find the right business or tech co-founder: You will meet experienced business professionals and brilliant technologists. You will get guidance to select the right co-founder with the relevant skills, connections and expertise.
- Commercialize your solution and build an impactful agrifood startup: Together with your co-founder, you will develop, test and validate the business model of your startup during a 3-month exploration phase.
- Get access to expert training and industry network: You will receive business training and support from mentors and industry experts. Joining the EIT Food programme also means getting access to a network of top agrifood universities, corporates and successful startups.
- Get funding: Each new team will be supported with a €2K monthly stipend (per team) during a 3-month exploration phase. At the end of the programme, all teams will get a chance to compete for further funding from EIT Food.
- Benefit from personalized coaching. You will get a psychometric analysis of your profile, strengths and opportunities, values, behavioural preferences, teamwork style, soft skills and co-founder preferences.
About EIT Food
EIT Food is the largest European initiative in the field of food innovation, aiming to build a sustainable agri-food sector responding to the challenges of the future. EIT Food pursues this goal by, among other things, supporting innovative entrepreneurs and start-ups by offering training, mentoring, expert advice, testing solutions with sector leaders or financial support allowing for business development and entry into new markets.
The initiative is built as a consortium of key business players, startups, research centres and universities from across Europe. It is one of eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), an independent EU body created in 2008 to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe.