Pre-Germinator programme

Pre-Germinator was a pilot programme organized in autum 2022 - spring 2023 for student innovators with food system transforming ideas.
Are you a student or a group of students with an idea which refers to the future food system?

Viikki Food Design Factory and University of Helsinki piloted pre-Germinator for the first time in 2022-2023. The program was mainly for UH master's students from all fields, but also 2nd or 3rd-year students were welcome.


What is Pre-Germinator?

Pre-Germinator was a program that consisted of two parts, and it took place from 1st period 2022 to 3rd period 2023. The first part started in the 1st period, with a course called FOOD-911 Me as a change maker (2cr). The first part consisted of six lectures, innovation excursion and a group work of creating and/or developing ideas. The course was about innovativeness, concepts, and innovation contexts. This course was part of the pre-germinator program, but it was also open for everyone interested in innovations. Groups with the best pitches, held at end the of the course, were welcomed to the second part of the pre-Germinator as well.

The second part, FOOD-912, was called "From ideas to innovation". This part of the pre-germinator was only for the chosen ones, who have have been selected via pitching at the end of the first part.  It was a five credits hands-on innovation course consisting of workshops, creation of minimum viable products building teams, testing the ideas with food professionals and finally pitching the innovation in the final gala.

​Viikki Food Design Factory provide the facilities (communal space & laboratory for testing the idea in practice in EE-building), coaching, workshops, contacts, and the possibility to work with other innovative people. ​

How to take part in all of this?        

We start with the idea. Students could apply either individually or as a team, but the main thing was to have an idea that aims to change the food system. Those without a team could also apply individually, and were helped to team up if needed.

The application criteria were:

  1. Passion and commitment to change the future ​
  2. Ability to recognize the problems and the needs ​
  3. Motivation to lead the solution ​
  4. Fit of the idea to the food system transformation goals (SDGs & FOOD 2030)​



For more information, contact:

Reetta Kivelä
Professor of practice
+358 40 669 0824
LinkedIn profile

Isa Stucki
Viikki Food Design Factory Education Coordinator
+358 44 3533389