StartLife has selected nine new early-stage startups to join its seventh acceleration program this fall. The startups have been selected for their promising technological solutions that are designed to fix issues like food waste, pollution and decarbonization, and support sustainable food production. Almost half of the tech startups selected are co-founded by women.

Globally, we have a growing number of mouths to feed. That is a huge challenge. But it’s not just about producing more food. Affordability, health, accessibility and sustainable production also play an equally important role. To achieve this, we need to radically change our food supply chain. “And that’s where startups come in,” says Loet Rammelsberg, program director at StartLife. “The startups that we selected are SDG-driven and aim to contribute to a sustainable agriculture and responsible food production.”

Together with our partners, which includes Wageningen University & Research, venture capital firms and corporates in the food and agriculture domain, we will help these early-stage startups to speed up their business development process towards becoming an impactful company.

Smart and novel agrifood technologies

A quick rundown of the nine companies and their agrifood technologies:

  • Agcurate (NL) – Providing rural agricultural intelligence via remote sensing
  • Crocus Labs (DE) – Disrupting the horticulture industry with smart lighting solutions
  • Glaia (UK)* – Nanotechnology-based solutions that optimize plant performance for a sustainable agriculture
  • Infitiv (NL)* – Early-warning solution for food quality degradation and spoilage detection
  • InPhocal (NL)* – Sustainable and waste-free marking of food and packaging
  • Irriot (SE) – Wireless intelligent irrigation automation
  • Muddy Machines (UK) – New generation of agricultural field robots
  • ReShore (NL) – Creating living breakwater: regenerative aquaculture and coastal protection
  • Solasta Bio (UK)* – Nature-based insecticides for safe and effective crop protection

Identifying all-star startup teams

Choosing the most promising startups is a challenge for any investor, in particularly when it concerns early-stage startups.

“It is not just about technology and impact. In the end it all comes down to how well the startup team performs.”

~ Loet Rammelsberg

“The startup teams we have selected are pretty diverse. Some of the founders are recent university graduates, others are renowned experts in their fields. Some startup teams are have years of experience together, other teams are recently formed.”

Rammelsberg also points out that almost half of the startup teams selected include female co-founders.* This is remarkable considering that there are relatively few female tech entrepreneurs. “Gender is not a selection criterion for us, but we do appreciate diverse teams. Startup teams with both genders are known to be more successful, show a higher return on invested capital and are built in a more sustainable way.”

Live virtual pitching event on 9 December

In the coming months, the startups will sharpen their business case, improve their technologies and prepare for (further) investments. On December 9th, at 3PM CEST, startups will conclude the acceleration program with an online presentation to a wide and global audience of investors, corporates, partners and other agrifood enthusiasts. It is an open event. If you are interested in attending, we invite you to register now via the form below.

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