What if funding wasn’t a barrier to innovation? With this question in mind funding consultancy firm Catalyze and agri-food accelerator StartLife today announced they have entered into a strategic partnership. The partnership aims to help innovative agri-food startups establishing an optimal long-term non-dilutive funding strategy. By joining forces they expect to better enable game changing startups to realize their full potential.
Many potentially game changing innovations don’t reach their full potential as a result of lacking funds. Program director Loet Rammelsberg said: “It’s such a shame seeing high potential startups fail because they are short of funding. In Europe it is particularly difficult to attract early stage venture capital for startups with a high-risk profile. As a result, they are mostly reliant on non-dilutive funding. We truly believe that together with Catalyze we are better equipped helping agri-food startups succeed and also help prevent founders having sleepless nights over funding issues.”
The right mix
Neeltje Ramnath, manager Agri, Food and Bio-economy of Catalyze, feels the same way. “It is exciting to know that there are billions of Euro’s available for innovative companies. We fully understand the challenge in finding the right grants and being successful in applying.” Next to successfully winning subsidies and taking away the associated administrative burdens Catalyze helps companies secure their financing needs by establishing an optimal mix of financial instruments. This includes bank loans and venture capital but also fiscal arrangements.
Neeltje provides an interesting example of how founders of an early stage campany can shoot themselves in the foot by paying themselves little or no wages. “Although we fully understand the rationale behind this, a subsidy can actually enable raising the founders’ wages with little impact on the startup’s finances.”
StartLife is the first startup accelerator that Catalyze officially partners up with. Neeltje explains: “We found out that several startups that we already supported, were part of StartLife. They all spoke very enthusiastic about the StartLife Accelerate program, which lead us to get into contact with them.”
Loet quickly came to appreciate the in depth knowledge of the agrifood business of Catalyze as well as their entrepreneurial spirit. “They share our common purpose and drive to help startups succeed. Once committed they really go for it. I am convinced we can move mountains together and look forward doing so.”