Ready to make an impact for a better food system with your solution?

The call for the third Germinator pre-incubation programme is now open! Designed for teams developing their products and services for the agri and food sectors, Germinator offers unique benefits for innovators aiming to succeed in these fields with their novel sustainable solutions.

Viikki Food Design Factory’s Germinator pre-incubation programme is inviting innovators to apply for its third call, open until the 15th of May. The Germinator is designed specifically for the needs of agritech and foodtech innovation teams and startups. It provides the teams commercialization training from sector professionals, demolab facilities for prototyping and piloting, networking in the agri and food sectors, and pitching opportunities, including Y science, the official science startup side event at Slush. 

The Germinator runs from August 2023 to February 2024 and consists of networking events and weekly workshops focusing on key topics in the early commercialization path. Participants get coaching and tools in, for example, sector and market understanding, team building, IP and patenting, investor relations, and business development for creating food system transforming solutions to the agrifood sector. 

The Germinator programme is all about continuous sparring helping the teams in their particular needs. In the workshop sessions the teams engage in both peer-to-peer and coach sparring, iterating on a weekly basis, to refine the solution. The programme’s sponsor-mentor companies are also an important source for feedback and learning. The upcoming season’s Germinator sponsor-mentors include Raisio, Valio, Foodwest, Verman and Foodiq.

"For the third time in a row Raisio is happy to sponsor the Germinator program to support new talents in developing NEW FOOD. We are really eager to see what’s cooking and happy to provide our expertise where needed!" greets Heli Töykkälä, New Business & Development Manager at Raisio Group.

"We joined as sponsor-mentors of the Germinator program at Viikki Food Design Factory again, as we see this as a unique opportunity to follow science-based food innovations. It is to the advantage of the whole industry if the results of research can be commercialized, and thus new innovations can be created," says Riitta Partanen, Research Manager at Valio. "In addition, it is always inspiring to hear and learn from the scientist and other innovators and get to know them better."

"Being a sponsor-mentor in VFDF’s Germinator program offers a great platform for cooperation and also challenges us to think food system transformation from different perspectives", says Harri Latva-Mäenpää, PhD and the CEO of Foodwest. "And as mentioned earlier, it is always inspiring to be take part in the journeys of new teams and inventive startup companies". 

"Foodiq is actively involved in the development of a plant-based 2.0 food system. We want to be part of the Germinator programme to mentor the commercialisation of new innovations. The food of the future is an agenda we all share," comments Jari Karlsson, Chief Marketing Officer at Foodiq.

"Sustainable innovation is one of Verman Group’s goals and requires a combination of different minds and skills with outside-in thinking. We are really excited to join VFDF Germinator program as a sponsor-mentor and look forward to hearing the ideas of new teams and sharing our learnings on commercialization," tells Minja Miettinen, Growth & Innovation Director at Verman Group. 

For developing prototypes and minimum viable products (MVPs), Germinator teams get access to the Viikki Food Design Factory’s own demolab. The programme also assists teams in landing piloting opportunities for testing their solutions in real-world environments and in connecting with relevant mentors in the sectors’ professional networks.

Last but not least, four Germinator teams that have progressed the most will have the opportunity to pitch at the Y Science stage at Slush in late November, which is an exceptional opportunity to showcase their solution to potential investors and business partners. 

So, if you have a solution that could transform the food system, don’t miss out on the Germinator and all its possibilities, but apply now, and take advantage of the programme’s unique benefits to bring your solution to the world!