Best food & ag tech accelerators, VC funds, and consultancies for your startup

  • How long and by how much can you grow without outside funding?
  • Can outside investment speed up that growth?
  • Do you know exactly how you would spend the funds?
  • Can you achieve the growth VCs expect? Will it interfere with your goals and values?

Support can come from many places

“But I’m in it for support, not the money!”, I hear you saying.

Join an incubator/accelerator

Accelerators can be a great way for someone with no startup experience to quickly learn basic business skills, adopt the right lingo, and build their initial network.

  • Their landing pages will overpromise, and namedrop experts who are only indirectly involved.
  • You’ll likely overpay for the privilege, especially with lesser known programmes (different accelerators tend to take similar amounts of equity, yet provide completely different value).
  • If you are an avid self-learner, you can master the curriculum faster, and in your own time.

Find a co-founder

If you’re missing skills core to your business, and don’t mind giving up equity, consider finding a co-founder first.

Form an advisory board

You’ll be surprised how many genuinely busy, important people are happy to help you for free if you approach them politely, with an interesting question or project.

Pay a startup consultancy

The word ‘consulting’ may conjure up an image of overpaid, underslept suit-and-ties, milking their corporate clients for every penny. In reality, there are many small, specialist consultancy firms working with startups and entrepreneurs at all stages.

  • Provide many of the same benefits as an accelerator, but tailored to your needs, and on your own schedule.
  • Give you access to a range of specialist mentors, and introduce you to relevant third-party contacts and potential clients.

Accelerators for early-stage food tech companies

If you decide to go the accelerator route, the first question you need to ask yourself is whether you want to join one that targets your particular field, or a more general programme.

Food-X

New York, NY

PlugAndPlay Food & Beverage

Sunnyvale, CA

Startupbootcamp FoodTech

Rome, IT

KITCHENTOWN

San Mateo, CA

The Food Foundry

Chicago, IL

Thrive Agtech Accelerator

Los Gatos, CA

TERRA

San Francisco, CA

Union Kitchen

Washington, DC

WFP Innovation Accelerator

Munich, DE

Kickstart Food & Retail Tech

Zurich, CH

Savour

Kuwait City, KW

The Good Kitchen

London, UK

Just Eat Ventures

London, UK

ShakeUpFactory

Paris, FR

Rockstart Agrifood

Copenhagen, DK

The Yield Lab

Global

H-FARM

Venice, IT

MHP Accelerator

Kyiv, UA

Corporate funds and incubators

Something unique about the food and agriculture vertical is the abundance of startup grants, incubators and accelerators by corporate venture capital (CVC) funds.

Chobani Incubator

The Chobani Incubator is a programme for companies taking on broken food systems to bring better food to more people. In addition to a $25k equity-free investment, they give startups access to their network and expertise in order to scale up their operations and achieve significant growth.

Chipotle Aluminaries

Newport Beach, CA

IKEA Bootcamp

Älmhult, SE

Land O’Lakes Dairy Accelerator

A programme that provides support and mentorship to product pioneers that want to drive innovation in the dairy products space. Invests $25k, equity free.

Food tech competitions & challenges

There are numerous global competitions in the food and agricultural space, organized by governments, corporates and non-profit foundations.

Thought for Food

TFF is dedicated to empowering the next generation of innovators to build new solutions that transform our food system. The TFF Challenge is open to global submissions, and besides cash prizes of up to $100k, you’ll be in for a chance to attend the unforgettable TFF Summit and Academy.

Hello Tomorrow

A global non-profit on a mission to unlock the potential of deep technologies to solve the world’s toughest challenges. Their Global Challenge offers a dedicated Food, Agriculture & Environment track, and besides cash prizes of up to $100k, you’ll be in for a chance to attend the Hello Tomorrow Summit in Paris, and network with deep tech startups from around the world.

Food+City Startup Challenge

Part mentorship programme and part startup competition, entrepreneurs participate for a chance to win valuable prize packages, access to industry mentors and experts, significant exposure to investor networks at the Food+City Startup Showcase during South by Southwest (SXSW). Early bird entry is $35, after which it increases to $50.

Venture capital firms that invest in food & ag

There is only a handful of VC firms that specialize in food and agricultural technology, and most Series A and later stage funding comes from generalist firms.

Better Food Ventures

A venture capital firm that invests exclusively in companies leveraging information and communications technology to transform the food & agriculture sectors.

Bits x Bites

China’s pioneer food tech VC, with a mission to empower early-stage startups to shape the future of good food. They invest in software, hardware, biotech, and CPG startups across the supply chain.

AccelFoods

One of the most active funds investing in food & beverage, AccelFoods partners with high-growth companies and their driven founders to bring unique products and go-to-market strategies to consumers.

AgFunder

One of the most active agrifood VCs globally, backed by 500 Startups, and built on an ecosystem of over 65,000 members.

Acre

A venture capital firm investing in companies creating systemic change in the food system to address the growing problems of human and environmental health.

Cultivian Sandbox

A venture capital firm that invests in companies that increase food production, reduce inputs and increase sustainability.

VisVires New Protein

VVNP is a Singapore-based global venture capital fund that aims to achieve outsize returns from focused investments on disruptive technologies for the food and feed system.

Big Idea Ventures New Protein

Big Idea Ventures is a Singapore-based VC started by ex-VP of Food-X. Their New Protein Fund is investing, accelerating, and scaling global food companies focused on plant-based products and new protein alternatives.

Khosla Ventures

Food & agriculture is one of the key focus-fields for Khosla Ventures, an investment fund with over five billion dollars under management.

First Round Capital

First Round is a seed-stage venture firm focused on building a vibrant community of technology entrepreneurs. They invest across the board, but their portfolio includes numerous food tech startups, including some of the best known names in the industry.

500 Startups

One of the most prestigious VC seed funds from Silicon Valley, 500 Startups boasts a multinational team supporting investments in over 60 countries. The fund includes several prominent food & ag companies in their portfolio.

Food tech, ag tech and startup consultants

Just as accelerators, consultancies can be either generalist, or specialized in a particular field.

Jared Yarnall-Schane

Jared is a serial ag tech entrepreneur, former Program Director of Thought For Food, and current Entrepreneurship Director at the Biomimicry Institute.

Price Intelligently

Price Intelligently, the company behind the popular financial analytics and customer retention tool ProfitWell, specialize at what might be the most important aspect of your business: Pricing.

Neil Patel

Recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under 35 by the United Nations, Neil Patel is one of the best known experts on online marketing.

Japan Intercultural Consulting

Asia is one of the world’s largest food and agricultural markets, so most startups will seek to expand into the region as they grow.

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Philip Seifi

Philip Seifi

Founder https://colabra.app | Cross-pollinating between industries and cultures. | Nomad entrepreneur 🌎 designer 🌸 hacker 💻 | https://seifi.co