Young companies who are ready to change the future of Food and Agriculture

F&A Next is all about innovation and connecting game changing Food & Agri tech startups and scale-ups to dedicated investors and innovative corporates. Aside from the many network opportunities that are offered throughout the event, we offer 10 most promising agrifoodtech startups a special opportunity to take the stage at the event and present themselves to the entire audience as ‘Next Heroes in Food & Agtech’. A great opportunity since our audience consist of an international and influential group of key stakeholders in the industry, including many investors, corporates and media. 

Startup Tickets

This years registration for the Next Heroes in Food and Agtech is closed. But if you are part of a early-stage startups (<5 years old) don’t miss your change to enjoy our amazing lineup of thought leaders, hands-on breakout sessions, and connect with leading investors and innovators alike. Grab your opportunity and secure your spot for F&A Next 2024, we still have a limited number of startup tickets available. 

For the ninth consecutive time, F&A Next has selected young companies that they believe have what it takes to become true game changers in the world of food and agriculture: the Next Heroes in Food & Agtech. The startups are divided into two categories: early and later stage.

Early stage ‘Next Heroes in Food & Agtech’ (Pre-seed / Seed)

  • Scope Biosciences (The Netherlands) – provides rapid molecular diagnostics using CRISPR-Cas.  
  • Besso (Switzerland) – uses Artificial Intelligence powered trade compliance software, starting with the chocolate industry.  
  • Bolder Foods (Belgium) – introduces MycoVeg, a functional mycelium ingredient that offers creamy and stretchy textures.  
  • Novogaia (United States) – uses Machine Learning and metabologenomics to discover bioactive natural products from fungi.  
  • Number 8 Bio (Australia) – a platform that uses synthetic biology to produce microbial proteins for livestock feed.

Later stage ‘Next Heroes in Food & Agtech’ (Series A & B) 

  • Rival Foods (The Netherlands) – is the next generation of plant-based alternatives in the whole-cut category.  
  • CarbonMaps (France) – is an environmental accounting platform for the food industry.  
  • Onego (Finland) – uses Trichoderma technology to produce animal-free egg protein.  
  • CherryPick (United Kingdom) – offers an all-in-one app that finds recipes, plans meals, and orders groceries, while reducing waste.  
  • Jord BioScience (United States) –develops microbial technologies that enhance performance of biologicals products for improved crop productivity 

Each startup has 3 minutes to present yourself on stage to the live and online audience, amongst which a small expert panel. After your presentation you have a 3-minute Q&A session with the expert panel with an extensive track record in the agrifood industry. This panel will also decide who of the 10 startups will take home the Feike Sijbesma Sustainable Innovation Award 2024, which comes with a €25,000 prize grant. 

If you are one of the startups to be selected as one of our heroes, your benefits are:

  1. free (in-person) ticket to F&A Next, giving you access to key network opportunities.
  2. Pitching your innovations and solutions to leading corporates, investors, media, and other stakeholders that can help you grow.
  3. One-on-one Pitch Training with a professional pitch coach (optional)
  4. Pitch Deck workshop by Anterra Capital
  5. Media exposure: Your logo and short company profile with be shared with all event attendees and media.
  6. The distinguished title ‘Next Hero in Food & Agtech 2024′ 
  7.  The chance of winning the “Feike Sijbesma Sustainable Innovation Award 2024“, including a winners grant of €25,000
Feike Sijbesma Sustainable Innovation Award 2024

One of our ‘Next Heroes in Food & Agtech 2024’, you automatically enter the competition for the Feike Sijbesma Sustainable Innovation Award 2024, which comes with a prize grant of €25,000. 

This award, named in honor of Feike Sijbesma (former DSM CEO), who is renowned for making a significant impact with sustainable innovations in his capacity as a global corporate leader, is empowered by DSM Brighter Living Foundation to promote science-based solutions from innovative startups around the world. On 23 May, at the closing of the F&A Next summit, Mr. Sijbesma will personally hand over the award to the winner. The winner will be selected by an independent jury of investors and experts with an extensive track record in the agrifood industry. The jury includes: 

  • Maurien Olsthoorn, Senior Science Fellow at dsm-firmenich
  • Arnout Dijkhuizen, Investment Principal at Astanor Ventures
  • Stéphane Roussel, Partner at European Circular Bioeconomy Fund 
  • Matilda Ho, Bits x Bites VC
  • James Caffyn, Partner at Lever VC 


What previous 'Next Heroes in Food & Agtech' have to say!

Follow in the footsteps of the startups that were previously selected as ‘Next Heroes in Food & Agtech 2023‘.

"Having the opportunity to be on stage at a renowned event like F&A Next, gave us visibility with many high-quality investors and potential strategic partners. It was a valuable opportunity to boost our traction and visibility in the market, which supported us in successfully closing our 8.5M euro Series A, but also helped us recruiting high quality talent to the team."
Katelijne Bekers
co-founder & CEO of MicroHarvest
Apply if your startup is
  • working on a truly innovative and sustainable product or technology with an application in food and/or agriculture.
  • aiming for impact at scale with a focus on sustainability (people, profit and planet) and climate resilient agrifood systems.
  • on track or building a successful business and is building something that consumers or the industry needs / wants.
  • anywhere from Pre-seed to Series-B stage. (Startup is not older than 10 years)
  • actively looking for funding or partnerships

Needless to say, we only take your application into consideration when you meet the above qualification criteria.

How does F&A Next evaluate and review the pitch applications?

High-ranking startups exhibit the following evaluation criteria, so make sure to include all this information in your pitch deck!

A) Team Background
Exceptional domain and entrepreneurial experience

B) Business Model:
Company has a strong view on its revenue model, competitors, how to scale, customer acquisition and cost base. Company knows its margins and how it can improve as it scales

C) Market Opportunity:
High growth market opportunity and high barriers to entry

D) Product Innovation:
Concept is a game-changing approach to solving a problem or gap in the market

E) Product Validation & Traction:
Team is on track or building a successful business and is building something that consumers or the industry needs / wants. Company was able to raise external funds

F) Sustainability / Social Impact:
Concept is focused on the triple bottom line: people, profit and planet

Application deadline

Applications close on Thursday, 29 February 2024 at 23:59 Central European Time (CET).

How to apply?

Fill in the online application form, which you find by clicking on the following apply button.