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EIT Food RisingFoodStars, a non-profit organisation co-funded by the European Union and the agri-food-tech community, has selected a cohort of start-ups for its three-year programme.


The initiative aims to help scale solutions that can address environmental concerns and the long-term sustainability of food and agriculture in Europe. The programme hopes to solve challenges including securing food self-sufficiency, reducing net emissions by 90% by 2040, providing EU residents with healthy and nutritional food options and halving food waste.


Start-ups in the EIT Food RisingFoodStars cohort will receive support through workshops, coaching and mentorship, as well as access to a network of over 50 investors and 160 industry leaders.


The programme has supported over 130 start-ups to date and has notable success stories, including RedefineMeat, which has successfully developed plant-based meat using 3D-printing technology.


Cell-ag start-ups selected for this year’s RisingFoodStars programme, include:


  • Ficosterra – a Spanish marine biotech company that develops prebiotic and probiotic products (biostimulants, biofertilisers and soil activators) based upon different species of seaweeds and microorganisms that favour the development of crops and plants while reducing the planet's carbon footprint.

  • Meala Foodtech – an Israel-based company that is developing innovative ingredients and processes that enable the creation of cleaner, healthier and tastier products with a better ecological footprint.

  • Matr Foods – a Denmark-based start-up that develops microbial food solutions allowing the transformation of local plant ingredients into a new generation of clean-label plant-based meat alternatives.

  • Those Vegan Cowboys – a Belgium-based dairy product producer that makes animal-free milk and cheese products.

  • NoPalm Ingredients – a Netherlands-based company that creates environmentally friendly microbial oils to substitute palm and other tropical oils for the F&B and other sectors, by fermenting side streams.

  • Bon Vivant – a French biotech firm specialising in precision fermentation methods to produce dairy proteins without animals.

  • Cultivated Biosciences – a Swiss start-up that improves the mouthfeel of animal-free cheese, yogurt and other dairy products by developing a creamy fat ingredient for the food industry, using fermentation.


Meala Foodtech's plant-based burger
Meala Foodtech's plant-based burger

Narjis Chakir, RisingFoodStars programme lead, said: "At RisingFoodStars, we recognise the complexity of ensuring food security, reducing CO2 emissions, and providing healthy options for EU residents while remaining competitive in the global market. With over 8% of EU citizens unable to afford regular meat, fish, or vegetarian meals, new solutions are essential.”


She continued: “Our personalised approach is key to initiating transformative change, unlocking commercial opportunities and facilitating rapid, sustainable growth for start-ups. For example, our alumni company Infinite Roots has secured $58 million from a leading European retailer and the holding company behind Haribo to scale its mycelium fermentation platform."


Programme alumni have already secured over $700 million in investments, supported by an additional $15 million in investments from the EIT Food Impact Fund.


Top image: ©CultivatedBiosciences' yeast-based cream

#EITFood #Europe

EIT Food RisingFoodStars unveils start-up cohort for agri-food-tech initiative

Phoebe Fraser

11 June 2024

EIT Food RisingFoodStars unveils start-up cohort for agri-food-tech initiative

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