Pre-Germinator programme
Pre-Germinator is a programme 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 is piloting pre-Germinator for the first time in 2022-2023. Let’s further develop your idea into an innovation! The program is mainly for UH master's students from all fields, but we warmly welcome also 2nd or 3rd-year student.


What is Pre-Germinator?

Pre-Germinator is a program that consists of two parts, and it takes place from 1st period 2022 to 3rd period 2023. The first part starts in the 1st period, where you'll have a course called FOOD-911 Me as a change maker (2cr). The first part consists of six lectures, innovation excursion and a group work of creating and/or developing ideas. The course will teach you about innovativeness, concepts, and innovation contexts. This course is part of the pre-germinator program, but it is also open for everyone interested in innovations. A group with the best pitch, held in the of the course, is welcome to the second part of the pre-germinator as well.

The second part, FOOD-912, is called "From ideas to innovation". This part of the pre-germinator is only for the chosen ones, who have have been selected via pitching in the end of August or get their place via the first part.  It is 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 will provide you with facilities (communal space & laboratory for testing your idea in practice in EE-building), coaching, workshops, contacts, and the possibility to work with other innovative people. ​

Read more from our introduction to pre-Germinator slides.

How to take part in all of this?        

We start with the idea. You can apply either individually or as a team, but the main thing is to have an idea that aims to change the food system. If you don’t have a team, you can also apply individually, and we will help you to team up if needed. If you don’t have an idea or if your idea doesn’t fit the selection criteria, you can also apply via the FOOD-911 course.

The application criteria are:

  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

Kiia Heinonen
Viikki Food Design Factory Community and Lab Coordinator
+358 2941 58277