The Dutch accelerator-VC firm seeks start-ups at pre- and seed-stage with agtech and foodtech solutions to apply for a place in the next cohort

Rockstart, the Dutch accelerator-VC with a global footprint, has opened applications for its AgriFood 2021 cohort. The firm is looking for pre- and seed-stage start-ups with a focus on agtech and foodtech (agrifoodtech). The application deadline is 22 April.

Selected start-ups will receive tailored mentorship as well as access to funding and community networking opportunities.

Rockstart manages an €18-plus million fund and portfolio companies are supported with co-investments up to Series B. “We empower early-stage start-ups going from early market validation to becoming market-leading companies, starting with our accelerator programme and continuing with our co-investments,” Rockstart said in a statement.

With AgriFood 2021, the fund is looking to make new investments in the coming months in promising start-ups in the agrifoodtech space. Rockstart is particularly interested in the following themes:

  • Regenerative and future-proof Production
  • Responsible and circular processes and distribution
  • Quantifiable food consumption

As well as 1:1 support, workshops and sessions with well-known entrepreneurs and experts, the selected start-ups will have the opportunity to pitch live to an audience of investors, partners and the greater Rockstart community, and network during investor events, including the Ecosystem Day and Demo Day.

Rockstart explained: “We ensure that you not only take a structured approach to scaling, but that you also learn to think from an investor’s perspective and then nail that pitch until you’ve got it down to a T – and deliver it to the right people.”

Participating start-ups also have the chance of closing funding rounds during the programme, like Rockstart AgriFood 2020 alumnus MoooFarm, which closed €500,000 just four months into the programme.

Danish foodtech company Zymoscope is another testament to Rockstart’s work. An alumnus of AgriFood 2020, Zymoscope announced today the close of a seed funding round totalling €960,000. The seed round was led by Danish angel investor Mads Heine and Vaekstfonden, The Danish Growth Fund, with Rockstart as co-investor.

Zymoscope entered the market with revolutionary data-driven fermentation management. Its proprietary technology enables microbrewers to gain insights into their brewing process and to reduce waste with sensor technologies.

The solution provides remote access to real-time fermentation data, allowing brewers to better control and optimise fermentation processes.

Petros Venetopoulos, co-founder and chief executive of Zymoscope, told NutritionInvestor that while the technology targets the fermentation process of microbrewers, it can potentially be applied to any fermentation-based process – including alternative proteins.

Mark Durno, managing partner at Rockstart AgriFood, said: “Zymoscope is helping to digitise the centuries old technique of fermentation, which once again is poised to ignite our food industry.

“With a passion for the fermentation craft combined with the right mix of skills, the Zymoscope team are set to make a big impact on a growing segment, which is why we are excited at the opportunity to invest.”

Headquartered in Amsterdam, Rockstart operates offices in Den Bosch and Nijmegen in the Netherlands. The firm has teams in Bogota, Colombia, and Copenhagen, in Denmark, which focuses on accelerating and investing in the agrifood space.

Date published: 24 February 2021