Global accelerator-VC Rockstart teams up with Dutch machine manufacturer Lely, calling start-ups to apply for the second ‘Feed the Future Challenge’
dairy cows being milked

Amsterdam-based global venture capital firm and accelerator Rockstart is inviting applications from anywhere in the world for the second ‘Feed the Future Challenge’, which it is organising in partnership the Dutch agricultural machinery manufacturer Lely.

The event is designed to identify and prepare start-ups to work with Lely to look for ways to disrupt or revolutionise the dairy industry with technological solutions. Rockstart and Lely collaborated on the first edition of the challenge in 2019.

Start-ups have until 15 May to apply, and the chosen companies will run a pilot with Lely, which invests in innovations that contribute to sustainability and greater transparency and that prioritise improving the lives of farmers and animals in the food production process. The Feed the Future Challenge concentrates on four areas in global dairy farming: farm animal welfare, enhancements of machinery, sustainable and efficient production, and transparency in the information chain.

Lely’s chief technology officer Martijn Boelens said: “Lely has a strong focus on the future of dairy farming and we are always looking for new ways of creating a more profitable, enjoyable and sustainable future. The Feed the Future event is an important initiative to find the next generation of passionate, bright entrepreneurs who can apply their innovations to our sector. We are looking forward to working and innovating together with start-ups.”

Kim Geesink, corporate engagement director at Rockstart added: “At Rockstart our job is to identify, accelerate and invest in the next start-ups that will revolutionise their industry, therefore working with Lely on Feed the Future 2021 for the second time is very fitting. This year we have the benefit of putting our learnings into practice, and can run an even better programme resulting in higher-quality partnerships between the start-ups and Lely.”

Rockstart is currently also seeking to invest in promising start-ups in the agrifoodtech space as part of its AgriFood 2021 cohort. The application deadline is 22 April.

Date published: 3 March 2021

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