Press release:

Food​ ​Stars to build ecosystem for horticultural startups

Joint press release by World Startup Factory and iMPACT Booster:
Food Stars: New platform for horticulture innovation and startup ecosystem

The Hague, 3 October 2017 – Food Stars, a joint initiative of World Startup Factory and iMPACT Booster – today announced it has launched its platform to connect the Dutch horticultural sector to build an ecosystem for innovative horticultural startups. As the global leader in horticulture, the Dutch sector warrants the startup ecosystem to match its reputation, the industry’s own ‘Silicon Valley’.

As part of its launch, Food Stars hosted a breakfast meeting for representatives of the horticultural sector to invite them to share their ambitions and focus for the new platform. Gathered around the table were companies like Ludvig Svensson, Royal Brinkman, de Ridder-HortiMaX, investors such as the Dutch Good Growth Fund, and other organizations working on promoting startups and innovation, such as Allart Inc and the New World Campus. The co-creation session was held ahead of the Impact Startup Fest in The Hague and everyone was also invited to attend this one-day festival that focuses entirely on impact startups and scale-ups that are working on innovations that make the world a better place.

Dutch horticultural SMEs and related businesses are keen to invest in and partner with innovative startups, especially in innovations that help to increase food security and promote sustainable agriculture to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. They signal however too few investment opportunities. SMEs are interested in attracting innovative startups from abroad, who barely find their way to the Netherlands despite the sector’s global reputation. They are also keen to make Dutch innovations fit-for-purpose in the context of emerging markets.

“We welcome a collaborative platform to recruit and grow innovative startups, especially foreign businesses, says Maarten Oostenbrink, General Manager of Ludvig Svensson, at a co-creation session with representatives of the sector on the fringes of The Hague’s Impact Startup Fest. The sector has all the right ingredients to forge a startup ecosystem that can draw businesses and talent from around the world. Food Stars can also promote the horticultural sector as the attractive industry it actually is.”

Food Stars – Accelerating controlled-environment agriculture

World Startup Factory and iMPACT Booster, two international accelerators for impact-driven startups, have launched Food Stars as an open innovation platform to bring to market disruptive horticultural innovations that can feed the world’s cities. Food Stars successfully accelerates startups and intrapreneurial innovations in the horticultural supply chain with a focus on controlled-environment agriculture.

Food Stars focuses initially on attracting startups and innovations that have crossovers with other industries, such as energy, water management, lighting, ICT, and the chemical industry. The real disruptive innovation will occur where there is friction between the horticultural sector and other industries. Whether they are new technologies, production methods or business models; Food Stars seeks innovations that have a social, health and or ecological impact.

How to partner with Food Stars?

Please find more information on Food Stars landing page or and get in touch if you would like to be one of the founding partners of this ambitious platform.

How to apply for the first acceleration round?

In November the application is open to startups for Food Stars first six-month acceleration round that starts in February 2018. Please register for Food Stars newsletter on the website to stay up to date about the programme and selection process.