Investment in Europe’s food-tech sector reached the $1 billion mark in 2015 representing about 14 percent of the $6.8 billion raised across the world, according to the latest annual report by Rosenheim Advisors.
H-FARM, an Italy-based innovation hub, and IT giant Cisco are taking advantage of this trend by launching a new food tech accelerator.
H-FARM joins a growing number of accelerators cropping up to serve the food and agtech sectors but is one of very few based outside of the US and in Europe.
“The general objective of H-FARM is to offer companies a new collaborative model for pursuing innovation through startup acceleration and to offer startups alternative paths for growing their businesses beyond traditional venture capital fundraising,” Marco Pavan, project manager for H-FARM, told AgFunderNews. “The mission of the program is to select and support five early-stage startups operating in the food and agriculture industry.”
The program will put some of Italy’s leading companies, and others in Europe, in touch with the startups for mentorship and collaboration.
Startups considered will be those involved in food delivery and e-commerce; logistics, supply chain and sustainability; food safety and traceability; nutrition and organic food; and precision agriculture solutions.
“We are looking for early-stage startups developing innovative solutions that have validated their product and are willing to accelerate the project through four intensive months of the program,” Pavan said. “For this reason, we are looking for great teams that are 100 percent committed.”
H-FARM will provide each startup with an “All-Inclusive” investment package comprised of around $22,000 in seed money, room and board, working facilities and acceleration services including mentorship sessions, workshops and seminars, perks from technical partners, meetings and other activities with industry partners.
The five selected teams will join a four-month program, starting in October 2016, and have access to resources from H-FARM and Cisco. They will also be presented with opportunities for business development, pilots, and partnerships with Italian food industry companies and their networks.
The accelerator program will culminate in a Demo Day. Cisco will support the startup providing additional mentorship and access to the DevNet Platform.
Applications will be accepted from all over the world until July 31. Startups can apply here.
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