The annual Agri-Food Masterclass on Entrepreneurship took place in Greece from 3-5 November. Eighteen startups participated the 3-day Masterclass. The Masterclass was initiated and supported by the Netherlands Embassy in Athens and the Wageningen-based organization StartLife. The first prize was won by Eleni Gogou, from startup Natural Food Additives. She gets the opportunity to participate in the incubation program of StartLife in Wageningen.
Orange Grove Agri-Food Masterclass Patras 3-5 November 2017
The annual rotating Agri-Food Masterclass on Entrepreneurship took place this year in Patras, from 3 to 5 November. In total, 18 startups with activities in the fields of agri-food, agri- and bio-technology, rural tourism and related services were selected to participate. The Masterclass is initiated and supported by the Netherlands Embassy in Athens and the Wageningen-based organization StartLife. This year the local co-organizers were incubator Orange Grove Patras, Patras Science Park and Aroma Innovation Hub. The 3-day Masterclass aimed to help startups work on their business propositions, develop entrepreneurial skills, optimize their business ideas, network and explore the business possibilities within the European and world market. The first prize was won by Eleni Gogou, from startup Natural Food Additives.
The startups participated in an educational program and received training and coaching from Dutch experts from Wageningen University & Research (WUR). On Sunday evening November 5 the startups competed against each other in a pitching event, where a winner was selected. The startups presented their business models, improved throughout the weekend, to an audience of players in the agri-food scene.
Dutch agri-food incubator
The Masterclass was conducted by StartLife, a leading Dutch organization operative within the field of development of entrepreneurship in the agri-food sector. In the past 6 years, StartLife helped more than 170 startups develop innovations. StartLife belongs to the Food Valley region, centered at Wageningen University & Research, one of the most prominent agri-food and nutrition research centers in Europe. The company Tropos Branding Co trained the selected startups in communication and media skills – vital for setting up a business.
The event is initiated and supported by the Netherlands Embassy in Athens, as part of its aim to support young entrepreneurship and share Dutch knowledge and expertise to strengthen the startup ecosystem in Greece. Local co-organizers of the event were: non-profit organization Orange Grove Patras, the new co-working space and incubator in Patras supporting startups in Western Greece through 6-month incubation programs; Patras Science Park, an incubator for tech companies, offering hosting and support to over 20 businesses in Western Greece; Aroma Innovation Hub, a joint initiative by Patras Science Park encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship in the agri-food sector and plant-based health products. The Masterclass was furthermore made possible by FrieslandCampina, Athenian Brewery, delivery.gr and Fibair broadband, along with the support of Tentoura Castro, PAXMAN and LAV, and communication sponsors Athens News Agency – Macedonian Press Agency (ANA-MPA), Skywalker.gr and Ypaithros Chora.
The winner Eleni Gogou from startup Natural Food Additives gets the opportunity to participate in the incubation program of StartLife in Wageningen for 4-6 weeks, where she will follow seminars and receive individual mentoring and support. A free return flight ticket to the Netherlands will be provided by Orange Grove Athens. Last but not least, Natural Food Additives will have the possibility to participate in the pitching event at the 2018 edition of F&A Next – an event where investors and agri-food startups meet.
“Greece has the potential to become a much larger vegetable producer for Europe and beyond”, says the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Greece, Caspar Veldkamp. “But you need a boost in innovation and entrepreneurship to get there. We have the expertise available for such a boost and are happy to share our knowledge”, says the Ambassador. “There is much talent in Greece. I believe it is important to nurture such talent, which will boost the Greek economy and create business partners for Europe’s and Greece’s future. The Agri-Food Masterclass is called into life to give talent a boost and promote entrepreneurship. I am therefore happy to announce we will organize the Agri-Food Masterclass again next year, this time in Crete.”
Additional information is available on the Masterclass website. Can’t find the information you’re looking for? Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call: +30 6 94 294 1886. As the Agri-Food Masterclass is an annual and rotating event, the 2018 edition will take place in Crete. We look forward to another educative and fun Masterclass!