Is your startup working on a game-changing technology that will accelerate circular agriculture, climate-neutral horticulture, improve the health & safety of food or sustainable water consumption in horticulture? Then you are an ideal candidate for the Topsector T&U Innovation Prize! The deadline for registration is Sunday, 15 August 2021. The winning team will receive a prize package which includes a wildcard to StartLife’s accelerator program.

On behalf of the Topsector Tuinbouw & Uitgangsmaterialen (T&U), the stakeholder organization for the Dutch Horticulture and Propagation Materials Top Sector, StartLife invites startups with ground-breaking innovations that are of interest to horticulture, to compete for the Topsector T&U Innovation Prize. The innovation prize is intended for startups that integrate innovative technologies into a product or service while simultaneously contributing to sustainability and/or circularity in horticulture.

Technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotization, Hydrogen technology and ICT, are considered to play an important role in finding solutions for challenges relating to climate, health, production, cultivation and mobility. Ground-breaking innovations that are of interest to horticulture could have their origins in other sectors. Therefore, Topsector T&U also particularly calls tech startups from outside the horticulture sector to enter the competition.


The winning team receives a voucher worth €25,000 for the further development of their solution or concept and/or the resolution of bottlenecks in collaboration with Wageningen University & Research. In addition, the winner will receive personal support from a T&U innovation broker (20 hours, worth €2,500). And, as mentioned before, StartLife provides the winning team a wildcard for its accelerator program for agrifoodtech startups.

In addition to the Jury Prize, an Audience Prize of €1,500 plus a 6-month HortiTech Startup Membership with access to the network, knowledge and facilities of World Horti Center and the HortiHeroes innovation platform will also be awarded. Both winners will receive €1,500 worth of media exposure via KAS Magazine.

Selected participants can also make use of project support provided by students of Wageningen University & Research (Academic Consultancy Training program) or will be given the opportunity to attend the Market Readiness training course provided by WorldStartup.


The deadline for registration is Sunday, 15 August 2021 at 5 PM via the registration form on An expert jury of entrepreneurs and researchers will assess the entries and select ten finalists who will be invited to pitch their ideas before the jury.

Awards ceremony

The Innovation Prize will be conferred at the National Horticultural Congress on Thursday, 7 October 2021 in Bomencentrum Nederland in Baarn, the Netherlands. Three finalists will be pitching their innovation before an expert jury. An interactive workshop will be organized by World Startup, in which the various innovative startups and entrepreneurs will be paired with one another.

About IMPACT2025

Topsector T&U is organizing a series of activities as part of the IMPACT 2025 program to gather ideas and involve new parties in order to translate both new and established research into concrete applications in practice.

Please visit for more information about the Topsector T&U Innovation Prize. Information can also be obtained from Michiel Roelse, Director of Operations of TKI T&U, at or on +31 6 51407623.