Three StartLife alumni, Carbominer, ChainCraft, and Toopi Organics, collectively receive €6.4M in non-dilutive grants plus potential equity investments of up to €21M from the European Innovation Council Accelerator. The EIC Accelerator offers startups and SMEs grants of up to €2.5 million combined with equity investments through the EIC Fund ranging from €0.5 to €15 million or more.

The alumni are three of 47 companies selected to receive European Innovation Council (EIC) funding, combining grants and equity, following the third 2023 EIC Accelerator cut-off in June. In addition to financial support, all projects benefit from a range of business acceleration services that provide access to leading expertise, corporates, investors, and ecosystem actors.

The EIC Accelerator is a funding program by the European Commission and the European Innovation Council as part of Horizon Europe. The goal of the EIC is to identify, develop, and scale up breakthrough technologies and game-changing innovations.

2.5M grant for ChainCraft and circular chemical production

ChainCraft receives €2.5M plus a potential equity investment of up to €15,000,000 from the EIC Accelerator.

The Dutch-based company develops and exploits proprietary fermentation processes to produce biochemicals from organic waste. The grant will help ChainCraft to build a new, larger factory which can produce 20,000 tons per year of circular chemical production.

Their first product range, Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA), can be used in existing and new applications in animal feed, lubricants, plasticizers, polymers, coatings and flavors, and fragrances. The main product, the C6 fatty acid Caproic Acid, serves as an important intermediate for a C6 chemistry platform.

“We are delighted to have been selected by the jury of the European Innovation Council as one of the companies that receive funding to further develop our innovative fermentation technology for circular chemical production. A great recognition of the innovativeness and strength of our business plan!”

2.4M grant for Toopi Organics and urine upcycling

Toopi Organics receives €2.4M plus a further €6M in equity to be invested in 2025 from the EIC Accelerator.

The French company develops plant biostimulants derived from the fermentation of human urine. Every year, 200 billion liters of urine are flushed away with over 6 trillion liters of drinking water in EU toilets. Concurrently, Europe faces increasingly frequent and severe drought conditions, and remains highly dependent on fertilizer imports (>70% for phosphorus).

“We believe urine is the missing link to close the nutrient loop between consumers and farmers” says Alexandra Carpentier, CEO of Toopi Organics. “Urine does not contain enough nutrients to feed plants, but it is an excellent medium to cultivate micro-organisms of agronomic interest. These microorganisms can solubilize soil phosphorus, capture atmospheric nitrogen, or protect crops from drought stress. Upcycling urine is therefore beneficial on many levels: water preservation, fertilizer use, and soil quality, as well as carbon footprint and crop productivity.”

Following the funding, Toopi Organics’ first move consists of launching 120 agronomic trials in six target member states: Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Italy.

Toopi founders image

€1.5M grant for Carbominer and Direct Air Capture

Carbominer receives a €1.5M grant from the EIC Accelerator.

Carbominer is a Ukrainian startup developing Direct Air Capture (DAC) machines designed to enhance indoor agriculture while mitigating carbon emissions. The company’s innovative technology captures and repurposes carbon dioxide, creating a sustainable and efficient solution for agricultural needs.

“As a Ukrainian team committed to global environmental goals, we are honored and excited to receive this grant support from the EIC Accelerator,” said Viktoria Oseyko, CMO at Carbominer. “We are grateful to European Innovation Council for its commitment to promoting breakthrough innovations that make a positive impact on the world. This funding will empower us to pursue our mission of making Direct Air Capture technology accessible for any industry that needs it, while making indoor agriculture more sustainable and resilient.”

The grant funding enables Carbominer to scale the machine to 50-ton capacity, pilot it with greenhouses, and create new jobs. Therefore adding strength to the local and European economies through environmental innovation. With Carbominer, DAC becomes a potential a solution to both food security and climate change mitigation.

Team photo of Carbominer

StartLife call for early-stage AgriFoodTech startups

Are you an early-stage startup looking to take the next step on the road to success? Applications are now open for the 12th cohort of our StartLife Accelerate program.

To find out more about the program, register for our information webinar. Or get started with your application by filling out our intake form here.