Accelerating AgriFoodTech Startups Shaping a Sustainable Food System

StartLife Accelerate

Our flagship (zero-equity) support program for innovative early-stage startups in AgriTech and FoodTech addresses what is crucial to Validate your business, Raise funding and Grow your company.

Net Promoter Score of ⭐ 92 (World-Class!)

StartLife Accelerate

Our flagship (zero-equity) support program for innovative early-stage startups in AgriTech and FoodTech addresses what is crucial to Validate your business, Raise funding and Grow your company.

Net Promoter Score of ⭐ 92 (World-Class!)

Accelerate your big idea

At StartLife we believe that startups are the driving force behind innovation and that innovative agrifoodtech startups can make a lasting impact on the world. However, the fact that only one out of every ten startups thrives past the five year mark, indicates that entrepreneurs who enter the food and agri domain face many challenges.

Even the most promising ideas fail to meet success due to insufficient inside business knowledge, limited access to corporates and investors and a lack of funding. During our 12-week program, the best trainers, inspiring entrepreneurs, leading investors and experts from Wageningen University & Research help you overcome these roadblocks on your path to success.

Next program
April-Jul 2025
Application deadline
19 January 2025
Demo Day
September 2025
Participation form
Hybrid

What we offer

Action-oriented Business Development Curriculum

You’ll enjoy a series of practical training and business coaching sessions by a stellar team of professional trainers, industry experts, business leaders and entrepreneurs. You’ll learn how to elevate your product & customer validation, team (leadership) and investor-readiness.

Market and Customer Insights & Validation

You’ll get to talk and learn from industry experts. We’ll connect you with leading corporates that are willing to share their knowledge and expertise on industry, markets, technology and customers and provide you with valuable feedback to help you move forward.

Access to Wageningen University & Research Experts

We can connect you with researchers from Wageningen University & Research, world’s leading agricultural university, who may support you on the advancement and validation of your technology.

Warm Introductions to Investors

We’ll provide warm introductions to our investor partners. Aside from a potential investment, they can provide you with valuable business insights and advice. You can also practice negotiations and standard clauses of a term sheet before entering a real life investor meeting.

Office & Meeting Spaces on Wageningen Campus

Want to be close to the action in Europe’s agrifood hotspot? During the program you can make free use of our flex offices. We can also help with the facilitation of office or meeting spaces here on the Wageningen campus.

And much more

Think peer-to-peer sessions, access to talent, company exposure, services from our program partners. What it all boils down to, we’ve got your back!

Who can apply?

StartLife Accelerate is open to startup teams working on technologies and new business models in the food, agriculture or bio based economy. We are particularly interested in ideas with a clear technical focus and a strong innovative aspect. Our criteria for entry are as follows:

  • You are active in AgriTech or FoodTech
  • You are addressing a relevant social, health or environmental need
  • You are developing a highly innovative technology or product
  • You are beyond the idea phase; you have a prototype or MVP of your product
  • You have at least two founders able to participate for the full duration of the program
  • You have the ambition to scale and grow fast
  • Show full commitment to participate in all elements of the program

How do I apply?

Apply for an intake, which entails a conversational chat with one of our startup analysts. After a quick check to see if you’re indeed eligible for StartLife’s support, we’ll set up a call to discuss the program with you. Then you’ll be invited to fill out a more in-depth application form. From all applications, we’ll invite about 15 startups to our ‘Selection Day’. Each startup will then present themselves in three separate sessions. Categories covered are as follows:

  1. Team,
  2. Product & Technology
  3. Market & Customers

The best scoring startups (8-10) are offered a spot in StartLife Accelerate.

FAQ

Are there any costs involved?

We don’t take any equity, upsides or charge fees. Our foundation is backed by a mix of public and private funding, providing us the means to support you fully free of charge. Any travelling to and staying in Wageningen comes at your own expense.

What commitment is expected from you?

We offer you free support, but we invest a lot of our time, energy and resources in you and your company. In return, we expect you to make sufficient amount of time available to attend (most) sessions and make the best of our program.

Can I join as a solo founder?

We prefer a minimum of two fully dedicated (founding) team members participating for the full duration of the program.

Is my startup eligible if we are not based in the Netherlands?

Yes, you are. We support startups from all over the world. Beware of potential differences in time zones.

Do I need to come to Wageningen?

You’re always welcome to visit us or to settle your business in Wageningen. The only times we expect at least one founder to attend in Wageningen, is  at the kick off week (at the start) and the live Demo Day (at the end) of the program. All else, you can choose to participate remotely or in person.

How is this program different from StartLife à la Carte?

StartLife Accelerate is an in-depth, immersive and cohort-based support program for early-stage startups. Unlike StartLife à la Carte, it includes a curriculum with expert workshops and individual business coaching on product & customer validation and investor-readiness. The level and amount of dedicated support is also much higher.

What does the intake entail?

For the intake we ask for some basic information about your startup, which you’re likely to provide in 5-10 minutes. We will then run a quick check to see if you are eligible for the program. If we feel you’re a potential match, you will be invited to fill out the full application. If we don’t see a match, we’ll have saved you the time and effort to fill out the full application form.

What does the actual application entail?

The actual application includes approximately 30 questions. The goal is to get a thorough understanding of the technology, the stage of the company, team, financial needs, milestones etc. To answer all questions properly you will need 45-60 min. Please note that the pitch deck, business model canvas and financial projections need to be submitted as well. If these are not ready and up to date then that will take additional time to prepare.

When will we hear if we are invited to Selection Day?

Within several days after the application deadline, we’ll let you know if you’re invited to our Selection Day.

When will we be notified about the outcome of Selection Day?

The results of the selection day will be communicated to the startups within two days after the selection day.

What does the review board do and who is on it?

At the end of the program a small team of investors and financiers will judge if you’ve made significant progress and are eligible for receiving a (first) pre-seed loan of €25,000.

Still questions prior to applying for an intake?

Please send us your questions via our contact form

What our startup alumni have to say

A selection of our startup alumni

Entrepreneurial talents building the future of Food & Agriculture
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