EIT FOOD Labelled Global Food Venture Programme supports European PhD students to bring their ideas to market

EIT Food Labelled Global Food Venture Programme (GVFP) equips European PhD students with tools needed to turn their research into viable business in the Food & AgTech sector. The programme offers a 6-Month Curriculum that includes training Bootcamps, Mentoring, Corporate Site Visits, Global Networking Events and Pitch Competitions with the aim to provide PhD students with essential business creation skills and knowledge. Bespoke mentoring is implemented by top experts from the EIT food partners by looking at participants’ needs.

There are two calls for applications per year, GFVP Stage I and Stage II.

GFVP Stage I Idea Development programme

40 highly motivated PhD students are selected to live an immersive entrepreneurial experience, learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and develop business propositions in the food space. The programme includes:

  • 10-day Summer School: training on the idea development process, market & competitor analysis, prototyping, and financing is provided. The course is also conceived to allow participants to apply the knowledge acquired hands-on by developing concrete business ideas in response of selected challenges in the food sector. Summer school culminates in a pitching competition, where the four best performers are rewarded with a seat in the Business Incubation Stage II
  • 6-month Mentoring by an EIT Food partner to support the PhD students with their venture
  • Mobility grants: GFVP participants can apply for a mobility grant of up to 5000€ which will enable them to validate their early-stage business idea in a local market setting and experiment with prototypes and technologies in a feasibility study
  • Private Online Course on Food systems

GFVP Stage II – Business pre-Incubation

Stage II is designed to support 25 talented PhD students with a venture idea or early-stage startup project in the field of food & agriculture. The programme includes following opportunities:

  • 1 week Business pre-Incubation Bootcamp to learn all about viable business creation
  • 1 week Immersion Bootcamp to further support participants with business planning
  • 6-month Mentoring by an EIT Food partner who helps them to validate the business idea and provide direct access to their entrepreneurship and knowledge ecosystem.
  • Final Event with pitch competition with the chance to win innovation prizes and connect to the EIT Food Accelerator Programmes and Seed Funding.
  • Mobility grants: GFVP participants can apply for a mobility grant of up to 5000€ which will enable them to validate their early-stage business idea in a local market setting and experiment with prototypes and technologies in a feasibility study
  • Private online course on Food Systems and Business Growth

Participation is financially supported by EIT Food, representing a unique opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs in the food space. Veronica from University of La Sapienza (Italy) said about the programme: “Incredibly intense but interesting experience; the programme provides you with knowledge on entrepreneurship that hard you will discover somewhere else”. Catarina Chemetova, Portuguese PhD Student in the Global Food Venture Programme, stated: “The Global Food Venture Programme was an amazing experience from the beginning; coaching helped me through all the steps. The Programme improved my entrepreneurial mindset and my project had an organic evolution.”

EIT Label awarded to the programme

The EIT Food Global Food Venture Programme recently received the prestigious EIT Label, which is a certificate of quality by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology awarded only to excellent educational programmes at the Master and Doctoral level. “The EIT Label clearly signals to employers that the graduates from the programme are equipped to act as innovators and respond to societal challenges. They have the entrepreneurial and technical skills to imagine and drive innovations towards a world where everybody can access and enjoy sustainable, safe and healthy food, with trust and fairness from farm to fork”, Dr Maarten van der Kamp, Director of Education at EIT Food commented.

2020 cohort was the third of the EIT Food Global Food Venture Programme, which has already supported 111 PhD students from 22 European Countries.

Please visit the EIT FOOD GVFP website to learn more about the programme: https://www.eitfood.eu/projects/global-food-venture-programme-2020

Stay tuned for a 2021 edition!

This EIT Food activity has received funding from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, under Horizon2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.