Launch of the FoodNexus European Agrofood Start-up of the Year Challenge

Europe Uncategorized

Do you want to pitch your food or agrotech start-up to a European audience and work with leading food companies? Then stay tuned for the European Agrofood Start-up of the Year Challenge.

Martijn van Dam, Minister of Agriculture

In this challenge, initiated by FoodNexus, we’re looking for the most promising food or agrotech start-up in Europe. The challenge consists of national selection rounds in seven European countries, followed by a European final. The seven participating countries are: Denmark, Spain, Italy, Ireland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The final will take place in Wageningen in the Netherlands on 7 December 2017. The winner will receive a cash prize, as well as business development support from high-level mentors and leading European food companies.

Why take part? Any startup who enters will get the following benefits:

  • Connecting and validating your business with European investors and food companies.
  • High-quality support in working with large food companies through the Corporate Start-up Engagement programme.
  • Strong communication and visibility benefits through the FoodNexus consortium.

To keep updated about the challenge, including following the launch and criteria for participating in the national rounds, look here.

‘Start-ups can provide the game changers in the agrofood industry, helping to accelerate the required transformation to a sustainable and economically viable food sector,’ explains Rob Hamer, president of FoodNexus.

‘The FoodNexus network of companies, research institutes and universities can offer the start-ups support to accelerate the growth of these new companies,’ he continues.

The thematic scope of the challenge is agrotech and food, from seed breeding to retail and the consumer, including start-ups from other sectors that apply their technology in the agrofood sector.

The programme was announced on Wednesday 17 May 2017 by Martijn van Dam, Dutch Minister for Agriculture and Economic Affairs, at the event ‘F&A Next’ in Wageningen in the Netherlands, with more than 500 participants. In his speech, the minister underlined that ‘Innovation needs technology, but technology is not the driving force! Its people connecting that actually make the change.’

FoodNexus is a business-led community representing Europe’s strongest agrofood regions and the partnership represents the broad food sector across Europe, as well as the full value chain. Among others, the partners in FoodNexus are: Unilever, Friesland Campina, Heineken, Barilla, Eurofins, Danone, INRA, Achmea, Kerry Ingredients, Arla Foods, Novozymes, Chr. Hansen.

FoodNexus will help the EU food sector undergo the transformations necessary to address the complex challenges related to food security and the economic sustainability of the food sector.

For more information about FoodNexus, visit