FoodSeed 2024: the new call for disruptive startups to reshape the Italian Agrifood System

Milan, 20th February 2024FoodSeed, the Italian Foodtech acceleration program of the CDP Venture Capital SGR National Network, is launching its second edition – with the support of promoting partners and co-investors such as Fondazione Cariverona, UniCredit, and Eatable Adventures, one of the leading Foodtech accelerators on a global scale, as co-investor and operator. Additionally, corporate partners including Amadori, Cattolica, Business Unit of Generali Italia, Veronafiere, and scientific partners such as CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform and the Università degli Studi di Verona are also collaborating in this initiative.

After the success achieved in the firstbatch, which concluded in November with the selection of seven promising start-ups, all originating from Italy, FoodSeed reaffirms its pivotal role as a driver of innovation within the agri-food supply chain. Once again, up to ten Italian start-ups with cutting-edge solutions, capable of revitalizing the national industry – already a symbol of excellence worldwide –  will be selected and accelerated for this edition. These innovative ideas will infuse new energy into traditional companies within the sector and address the increasing demands of the agri-food supply chain, which, despite significant growth in Foodtech investments, still lags behind in terms of innovation.

According to the first Report on the State of Foodtech in Italy, released by Eatable Adventures and promoted by the Verona Agrifood Innovation Hub, the sector attracted €167 million in innovation and new technologies in 2023,  reflecting a 9.8% increase compared to 2022.

FoodSeed’s new Call4Startup aims to strengthen and consolidate the collaboration between emerging startups and corporations, with a focus on sustainability, technology, and ethical practices for supply chain development. This initiative cultivates an ecosystem where industry, startups, and investors converge, promoting the emergence of new synergies through Open Innovation. Maintaining competitiveness is paramount, and adopting an ‘open approach’ allows traditional companies to access cutting-edge skills and technologies essential for industry advancement and progress.

In March, FoodSeed will launch a roadshow across Italy to engage with Italian entrepreneurs and introduce them to the program and its mentors. The roadshow will commence in Verona and then continue to prominent cities throughout Italy, including Milan, Rome, and Bari.

As a scientific partner, CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform is also involved, serving as a global innovation hub dedicated to agri-food and climate-tech. It acts as a bridge between science and entrepreneurship, facilitating the rapid development and adoption of innovations.

A4IP will support Eatable Adventures in the selection and technical validation of early-stage start-ups.

In an increasingly competitive global market, innovation can emerge as a real strength of the Italian food supply chain. FoodSeed aims to create the right conditions for new ideas to be conceived and realized: collaboration among institutions, organizations, companies, and research centers paves the way for the development of startups capable of innovating the sector. The first edition of the program demonstrates that through open innovation and the cross-fertilisation of knowledge and skills, it is possible to create added value for the whole system, both in socio-economic and environmental terms. This new call is an invaluable opportunity for all companies in the area interested in playing a leading role in a key sector for our country”, commented Filippo Manfredi, General Manager of Fondazione Cariverona.

Francesco Iannella, UniCredit North East Regional Manager, states: “We continue our commitment for the benefit of Italy’s agrifood sector, the feather of Made in Italy’s cap and joy of Made in Italy around the world. The challenges for the sector, first and foremost those related to climate change, are many and complex, and we are confident that the innovative drive promoted by start-ups can provide companies in our territories with new ideas and solutions”.

“The first edition of FoodSeed ended with a notable success: we selected and accelerated seven promising Made in Italy startups – Agreen Biosolutions, AgreeNet, Foreverland, Hypesound, Regrowth, Soonapse and Trusty – which provided concrete solutions to the sector’s challenges, attracting strong interest from prominent entities right from the start”, comments Alberto Barbari, Regional VP Italy of Eatable Adventures. “We are pleased to embark on the search, once again, for new promising startups that will contribute to the entrepreneurial and technological growth and development of our country. Our aim is to foster innovative business models that encourage synergistic collaboration between established companies and emerging startups, paving the way for a new era of Italian AgrifoodTech. Grounded in principles of Open Innovation, sustainability, and ethics, this endeavor is poised to advance the sector and contribute to its development.”

Startups interested in participating can submit their innovative proposals by completing an application on