We proudly announce our strategic partnership with Blue Ocean Xlerator (BOX). As two startup builders from the Food Valley we aim to accelerate the growth of startups that are developing sustainable innovations for the food supply chain. We also want to increase the international profile of the Food Valley region and draw more domestic and foreign startups and scale-ups to it. 

StartLife and Box have known each other for a long time. There was informal contact, but no structural cooperation until now. “It was only a matter of time before we entered into a partnership,” says Jan Meiling, managing director of StartLife. “For years, both our organizations have been committed to helping startups make the transformation to a sustainable food and agriculture supply chain. We both do this in different ways. StartLife is a startup accelerator, while Box is a venture builder. This is why we complement each other so well.”

“We get involved in technological innovations when they are still only rough ideas,” explains BOX partner Raşit Görgülü. “If we think a new technology looks promising, we will form an entrepreneurial team to bring it further if necessary. With our own R&D companies, we can also actively contribute to advanced product development. Of course, we also invest capital; we examine what each startup needs and what we can contribute to it.”

Transformation to sustainable food system

Raşit Görgülü (Partner, Box), Lin Zhu (Investor Relations Manager, StartLife) and Jan Meiling (MD, StartLife)

“We share an ambition to transform the food supply chain into a sustainable system,” continues Görgülü. “Think in terms of new products like plant-based proteins, sustainable dairy products and meat substitutes. We all now realize that this transformation is badly needed and that it must take place as soon as possible. This demands focused and collective efforts, and by joining forces and actively supporting impactful innovations, we can help to accelerate this transformation.”

“We share an ambition to transform the food supply chain into a sustainable system.”

For this reason, BOX recently also became a partner in F&A Next, the internationally renowned conference organized by StartLife in collaboration with Wageningen University, Rabobank and Anterra Capital, among others. Earlier this month, 600 entrepreneurs, investors and major companies from 44 countries attended the seventh edition of F&A Next to share knowledge and explore new partnerships for a sustainable food supply chain

“We’re proud to have made this event possible together with StartLife,” says Görgülü. “It was a major happening and helped put the Food Valley region on the map. With so much energy and inspiration, it will certainly result in beautiful new initiatives.”

Call for startups

StartLife and Box strongly believe in the power of cooperation – with each other, with startup and with all the parties in the Food Valley ecosystem.

“Now that we have joined forces, we can streamline our collective support processes and help achieve great things,” says Meiling. “Any startup that would like to benefit from our support is warmly invited to connect with StartLife. It’s time for a sustainable food system, and there is no time to waste!”

About Blue Ocean Xlerator (BOX NV)

BOX is a venture builder that invests in high-tech startups that develop sustainable breakthrough technologies for the food, agriculture and life sciences sectors. BOX combines sound scientific and technological expertise with entrepreneurship and years of experience in building and selling businesses. The two in-house R&D companies of BOX, Top and TDI, both have a solid track record and reputation. BOX’s startup portfolio includes companies like Ojah, Bflike, Eatch, Dutch Structuring Technologies and Advanced Biotics.