UK: Food innovation accelerator established in Sheffield R&D hub

Sustainable Healthy Foods Accelerator is seeking investors and mentors to support start-ups 
Source: Oghma Partners T2 2021 M&A Review

Food innovation advisor Fruition Foods has launched the Sustainable Healthy Foods (SHF) Accelerator in the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park to help food start-ups improve the local food environment.

The project also aims to assist young businesses in tackling the industry’s many barriers to entry, including R&D costs, IP and regulatory challenges, nutritional targets and production. 

“We desperately need hubs that carefully target support towards companies innovating in health, food waste, carbon reduction, weight management, positive nutrition, plant proteins, meat replicas or dairy substitutes, helping to shape the food system of tomorrow,” Fruition Foods’ Anthony Warner said in a statement. 

Olympic Legacy Park is home to a number of other industry accelerators including the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering (NCEFE). It also provides access to Sheffield Hallam University’s Nutrition Science and Marketing programme and Sheffield College’s food service training courses. Sheffield University also has a research course covering food policy, food policy and food waste. 

Participating companies will receive £20,000 to £30,000 in Seed funding and gain access to facilities and equipment provided by neighbouring institutes. 

They will also have access to offices and lab spaces and specialist support in commercialisation, UIP development, applying for funding, food design and marketing from Fruition Foods. 

The programme is seeking investor and food organisation partners to help fund the accelerator and mentor participating start-ups. 

“Dynamic, successful manufacturing businesses will boost the local economy, creating jobs and opportunities at all levels,” Warner said. 

“The accelerator will also improve national and global food systems, with the potential to improve the diets of those beyond the city. These are much needed changes, and Sheffield will be at the heart of making them happen,”he added. 

Start-ups looking to participate in the accelerator are able to submit their pitch here

You can also hear more about the ethos behind the accelerator here: