The agrifood industry is actively searching for sustainable food alternatives, like plant-based dairy, land-based salmon and, oh yes, bugs! The industry is also concerned with a more sustainable use of resources, striving to minimize water usage and crop spoilage and optimizing the circularity of materials. How can corporates ensure trust, quality and fair ownership in their agrifood supply chains? And how can we keep our waters safe from blue algae? Nine early-stage startups that tackle these global challenges are selected for the StartLife Spring 2020 cohort.
Meet the StartLife Spring 2020 cohort
We take great pleasure in introducing to you the StartLife Spring 2020 cohort:
- CELINE – automated water & nutrient management for high tech indoor farms
- CIED – providing transparency in agro supply chain with blockchain
- Insectocycle – turn-key black soldier fly breeding
- Mythronics – AI-based quality inspection and monitoring for vegetables and fruits
- NaturalPond – sustainable treatment of blue-green algae bloom
- NXT Cotton Solutions – turning used jeans into clean cotton fibres
- PAR+ (Physee) – optimizing light transmission inside greenhouses with high tech coating
- Time-Travelling Milkman – plant-based ‘dairy’ using oleosomes
- Van Holland Zalm – land-based salmon production
From April to June we will help these companies to validate their customer segments and business model and prepare them for fundraising. They will receive intensive training and individual coaching and shall be introduced to various corporates and program partners. On June 24th we will conclude the 12-week acceleration program with the graduation day.
Record number of applicants
“We were thrilled to see a record number of applicants for our acceleration program.”, says Joar Nilssen, scout of StartLife. “The overall quality of the applications has improved as well, making it even more of a challenge to reduce the list to just 15 startups for the Selection Day.” On March 3rd the StartLife team interviewed the nominees in person to assess which teams are best suited to join the upcoming program. We assessed the startups on three main elements: Market & Customers, Product & Technology, and Team.
Assessing startups, in particular in early-stage, is quite challenging, given the limited visibility of information and the venture’s potential impact. Joar: “As a scout who pre-selects the startups, it is always exciting to see how the startups perform during the interviews and how they are assessed by our team members. We are confident about our final selection though and look forward to helping them to excel.”