Validate your business and raise funding
StartLife Accelerate is the #1 program in The Netherlands supporting 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. A new cohort starts on 30 March 2020. Check the a full program timeline below.
Interested? Please apply before Feb 1st, 2020!
StartLife Accelerate Program
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.
|Our offer to startups||Startups commit to|
|1) €10,000 pre-seed soft loan at the start and €25,000 after successful completion of the program. After validating your growth strategy you are eligible for another €50,000 soft loan.||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 food, agriculture or the biobased economy
- 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 will startups be 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:
- Product & Technology and
- Market & Customers
The best scoring startups (6-10) are offered a spot in the StartLife Accelerate program.
- November 1, 2019: Starting date for Applications
- February 1, 2020: Closing of Applications
- February 3, 2020: Selection Day (Save the Date!)
- March 30, 2020: Program Kick Off
- Jun 24, 2020: Review Board & Graduation Day
Frequently Asked Questions
Are we eligible to enter the program if we are not based in the Netherlands?
If you are a European or non-European startup you will only be eligible for the StartLife Accelerate Program if you set up your business in the Netherlands within a year from entering the program.
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.
Wat 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 of 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 25k euro in soft loan.
StartLife Graduates Fall 2018 cohort
StartLife Graduates Spring 2019 cohort
What startups have to say about our Accelerate program
“We are so pleased to have been a part of this fantastic program! We have come such a long way since the selection day and been provided with the tools and coaching necessary to grow our little venture! Thank you StartLife!”
Henry Fairbairn – founder, PreMal BV
“Thanks to StartLife and the Accelerate Program for all the learnings during the last months. We are officially Investor Ready ;)”
Edgar Garcia Suarez – 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 – founder, BurgsFoods
“In 12 weeks I went from just the technology and concept into a real company with a clear business plan”
Birgit Dekkers – founder, Plant Meat Makers
“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 – founder, ZERO FoodWaste
Still questions about the StartLife Accelerate program?