StartLife Accelerate

Spring 2021 | Global Cohort

Validate your business and raise funding

StartLife Accelerate is the #1 acceleration program for Food- & AgTech startups to validate customer segments, raise funding and access leading corporates and investors in the industry. The best trainers, entrepreneurs, and Wageningen University & Research experts offer you the resources you need to scale up your company.

In April 2021 we will kick off the 6th edition of the StartLife Accelerate program. The program is open to promising Food- & AgTech startup from all over the world.  The program will -most likely- largely take place online.

Interested? Make sure to apply before 1 February 2021!
(Do you know the pro-verb ‘an early bird catches the worm? Connect now and let’s build up our relationship.)


About StartLife Accelerate 

StartLife Accelerate is a 12-week program for the most promising food- & agtech startups, that offers pre-seed funding, business support and access to leading corporates and investors. The StartLife Accelerate curriculum addresses what is crucial to validate your business, attract funding and grow your company.

The end of the program is celebrated with a festive graduation day. On this day the startups will present themselves to a wide and international audience of investors, corporates, partners and other stakeholders from the StartLife community. If you want to know what to expect, please have a look at the graduation day of our spring 2020 cohort.

Our offer to startups Startups commit to
1) €25,000 pre-seed loan after successful completion of the program. After validating your growth strategy you are eligible for another €50,000.  1) Participation with at least two founders for the full duration of the program
2) The connection to industry experts, WUR researchers, corporates, and investors 2) Presence during several training weeks, workshops and events
3) High-quality curriculum addressing team, product, customer validation and investor-readiness 3) A fee of €400 per team for catering and other expenses

Who can apply?

StartLife is open to early phase startup teams working on technologies and new business models in the food, agriculture or bio based economy.  We are particularly interested in highly innovative technologically driven solutions that have a prototype or MVP and have the ambition to scale and grow fast.

Our criteria for entry are as follows:

  • You are active in foodtech, agtech or the bio agtech
  • 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 in the curriculum
  • You have the ambition to scale and grow fast

How are startups selected?

From all applications a group of about 15 startups are invited to the ‘Selection Day’, which takes place at our office in Wageningen. On this day the startups present themselves and are scored in three separate sessions, concerning the following categories:

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

The best scoring startups (6-10) are offered a spot in the StartLife Accelerate program.

Program timeline

  • September 1, 2020: Starting date for Applications
  • February 1, 2021: Closing of Applications
  • March 3, 2021: Selection Day (Save the Date!)
  • April 5-9, 2021: Program Kick Off Week
  • May 17-21, 2021: Investor Readiness Week
  • June 22, 2021: Review Board
  • June 23, 2021: Graduation Day

Frequently Asked Questions

Are we eligible to enter the program if we are not based in the Netherlands?
Yes, you are. However, only startups that are based in the Netherlands are eligible for the StartLife loan.

What is the commitment expected from the startups?
Attendance at the StartLife office is mandatory for the Selection day, the Kick-off week and the Investor readiness week. Additionally there are 6 sprint sessions for which attendance is mandatory.

What is the minimum number of participants per team?
In order to be eligible for the StartLife Accelerate program, a startup must have a minimum of two fully dedicated team members that participate for the full duration of the program.

When will we be notified if we are invited to the Selection Day?
After the application deadline, the startups will be notified within several days whether they are invited to the selection day.

When will we be notified about the outcome of the 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 the participating startups have made significant progress and if they are eligible for receiving an additional €25,000 in loan.

StartLife Accelerate Graduates

Spring 2020 cohort

Logo Van Holland Zalm Logo CIED Logo InsectoCycle Logo NaturalPond
Logo Time Travelling Milkman Logo NXT Cotton Solutions Logo PAR+ Logo CELINE
Logo Mythronics

Fall 2019 cohort

Logo Evja Logo Corvus Drones Logo Cube-X
Logo Sundew Logo Zymoptiq Logo Viroteq

Spring 2019 cohort

Clevabit Fumiingredients PEF Premal
SAIA Taste Index Thelial Wageningen Agricultural Monitoring

Fall 2018 cohort

Logo Orbisk - Zero Food Waste Logo Burgs Foods
Ellipsis Earth Intelligence Logo Groen Logo Rival Foods


What startups have to say about our Accelerate program

“Thanks to StartLife and the Accelerate Program for all the learnings during the last months. We are officially Investor Ready ;)”
Edgar Garcia Suarez – co-founder, FUMI Ingredients

“This program really helped us move forward and focus on all the aspects important to entering the market with a foodtech company”
George Brandenburg – co-founder, BurgsFoods

“In 12 weeks I went from just the technology and concept into a real company with a clear business plan”
Birgit Dekkers – co-founder, Rival Foods

“I enjoyed most that we were continuously being challenged both by coaches and by peers, who are all in different levels and have unique experiences”

Olaf van der Veen – co-founder, ZERO FoodWaste

Still questions about the StartLife Accelerate program?

Did we not answer all of your questions yet? Our startup scouting team, consisting of Carla van Heck and Joar Nilssen, is more than willing to answer any questions you may have.