How a startup hackathon could help your food-tech career

Hackathons help innovators to make major progress on projects, fast. The general idea is to gather a team, hack away at a project for a set period of time, and to (hopefully!) reach significant goals. As you might expect, we’re particularly interested in that goal being the creation of a kick-ass startup.

In November, we hosted our first startup hackathon. For four days, we helped budding entrepreneurs transform their ideas into pioneering food-tech companies.

Hackathons are great platforms for sparking innovation, tackling challenges, and making quick progress with the aid of input from experts. You might find yourself starting out with the kernel of an idea and walking away ready to found your first company!

For our Future Food Hackathon, we were interested in projects that focus on plant-based foods, fermentation, alternative proteins, and cultured-food products, ingredients, and technologies. In a few years, participants could be following in the steps of Incubator alumnus Formo, who raised $50 million for their alt-dairy brand, or be on their way to building a global snack empire like the Nu Company, another graduate of the ProVeg Incubator .

You just need an idea, a team, and the motivation and dedication to turn your ambitions into reality. We’re here to help get you there.

How a startup hackathon can help you

Explore your concept

If you come armed with an idea, a startup hackathon is the perfect setting to test it out, get feedback, and improve. This can be especially true if you are toying with several projects and trying to decide which to focus on. If you don’t have a concrete project yet, a hackathon could be where you come up with your next venture.

Knowledge sharing

Connecting with your peers and experts in the fields that you want to pursue provides the ideal opportunity to learn. Go into the hackathon with your mind set to sponge mode, ready to soak up knowledge and tips. This should not just be from the workshops, talks, and official sessions, but also from the people you meet during the event.

Problem solving

Hackathons help to solve genuine problems. They’re an opportunity to develop creative and practical solutions to the challenges you’re facing. Not only will you have the time and the resources needed to help you leap over potential hurdles, but you’ll also have access to a support network that can provide insights you might be lacking.

Team building

We mean this in the warm and fuzzy sense – events like this will help to bring your team closer and work better together. But we also mean it in a literal sense – a hackathon could be where you connect with your future co-founders, recruit new team members, or find mentors who can help you to get your project up and running.


Many hackathons offer prizes while others, like ours, end with a demo day (although there were also prizes). This is a valuable opportunity for you to pitch your business to people who can back you financially. Or – if you’re not yet at that stage – you can at least get a foot in the door.

Who is our Future Food Startup Hackathon for?

We engage with motivated food-science, food-tech, and business students, as well as budding entrepreneurs with a passion for sustainable food. Founding teams can be based anywhere in Europe and we match solo participants with suitable teams for our hackathons.

Hackathon teams will be working on alt-protein, alt-dairy, and cell-based food solutions

Seven teams, four days, one winner

Seven teams from across Europe were hand-picked to take part in our first hackathon in November 2021. Over the course of four days, they participated in nine expert-led workshops and spent countless hours developing their concepts and products in the lab.

The event culminated in a Dragon’s Den style demo day, with teams pitching their ideas to our jury. The panel included representitives from EVIG Group, Green Generation Fund, Unovis, EIT Food, and TUM Venture Labs.

All of the participants did extremely well, but there was one team that particularly stood out to our jury and were ultimately crowned the winners. Congratulations to Bernard Prasetyo, Florence Ignatia, Camilla Sartori, Pia Voltz, and Christian Birkenhauer of Nice Slice!

Nice Slice, from Germany, harnesses the power of fermentation to transform by-products of the brewing industry into dairy alternatives. The team aims to deliver vegan cheese with a “greate taste, tiny footprint, and a nice price”.

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