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’ll be hosting our first startup hackathon. For four days, we’ll be helping 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’re interested in projects that focus on plant-based foods, fermentation, alternative proteins, and cultured-food products, ingredients, and technologies. In a few years, you could be following in the steps of Incubator alumnus Formo, who just raised $50 million for their alt-dairy brand, or be on your 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.

Investment

Many hackathons offer prizes while others, like ours, end with an investment-focused demo day (although there are also some prizes up for grabs). 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 are looking to engage with motivated food-science, food-tech, and business students, as well as budding entrepreneurs with a passion for sustainable food. Your founding team can be based anywhere in Europe. If you don’t have a team, that’s not a problem. We’ll match up solo participants with a suitable team for the hackathon.

To keep our hackathon COVID-safe, all of the workshops, talks, and networking sessions will be delivered online. This means that you don’t have to travel anywhere to be able to take part. We will organise local lab space with our partner universities for you though. This means that you’ll have the facilities and equipment you need to prototype your products.

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

What will you get?

During the four days of the hackathon, which runs from 4-7 November, we’ll be providing you with:

  • A unique online programme, specifically designed to help you tackle the challenges of building a food-tech startup.
  • Workshops and expert talks covering the five key pillars for starting a successful business.
  • Lab space: we’ll collaborate with universities to organise access to laboratories so that you can work on your product prototype. If your project is not yet at that stage, you can prepare for that step with us.
  • The opportunity to win exciting prizes at our investor-focused demo day.

What we have planned for you

After you sign up to join the Future Food Hackathon, we’ll add you to the participants list and keep you updated with everything you need to know. For now, here is a quick look at the schedule.

Ideation and matchmaking (day 1)

Product development and funding (day 2)

Traction and pitch training (day 3)

Demo Day and pitching (day 4)

At the end of the hackathon, your team will have the opportunity to pitch online. The pitch will be to a high-profile audience of investors, startup founders, and global food-industry experts.

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