The EIT Food Accelerator Network (EIT FAN) is a EU-based network that connects impactful agrifood startups with industry-leading corporate and research partners to pilot their technology and drive a successful market adoption. The network aims to transform European agriculture towards sustainability through the development and commercialisation of new, appropriate, and impactful agro-technologies.
This year’s EIT FAN participants were selected from a record number of applications, making it the most competitive cohort of EIT Food's programme to date. Over 600 startups from across the EU and its associated countries were evaluated online by more than 130 experts from the agrifood industry. Throughout May, 120 agrifood startups advanced to a second evaluation round. Over an entire week, short-listed startups were invited to present their solution in front of diverse evaluation panels during this year’s technology deep-dive sessions.
The four-month long accelerator program happens through six European hubs. Volare Solutions was selected as one of the ten participants in the Helsinki hub with only two other Finnish startups. The Helsinki hub alumni include some of the most prominent alternative protein startups, like SolarFoods and Eniferbio.
"We searched for teams whose business idea solves challenges in the food system. Our aim is to help build teams build a more sustainable future by giving them access to our network. Volare's business idea is completely aligned with this mission as the company is renewing the feed and pet food businesses. Additionally, the independent evaluators were impressed with the knowledge and knowhow of the Volare team. A brilliant idea is not enough - you also need a capable group of people to implement it!," says Mirva Lampinen, EIT food FAN startup accelerator Helsinki Hub leader
As the leading European voice for startups including the small and growing business sector, EIT FAN believes that these impactful agrifood startups are a powerful, yet underleveraged tool in addressing social and environmental challenges faced by our food system.
Connections to industry leading companies
As part of the network the participant companies get visibility and connections to industry leading companies and researchers across Europe. The program also includes expert sparring on industry specific topics as well as generic business development themes such as marketing and sales.
“Participating in EIT FAN will grant us access to some very interesting companies and people, giving us an opportunity to both learn and start meaningful collaborations. We have already had meaningful and productive conversations with some of the largest companies in the Finnish food industry,” says Tuure Parviainen, Volare CEO.
The program is valued highly and followed closely by the food industry. Some of the corporate partners from Finland include Paulig, HKScan and Valio. International partners include for instance Pepsico, Nestlé and Bühler.