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The Founder Institute, the world’s premier pre-seed startup accelerator, and the S Group, Finland’s leading retailer, and Valio, Finland's leading dairy manufacturer, are collaborating to announce the first-ever “Food Tech Programme” in Helsinki.

The Food Tech Programme establishes Helsinki as the global hub for the Founder Institute’s Food Tech initiatives, and aims to inspire and support early-stage food-focused entrepreneurs in the Helsinki Founder Institute by providing:

  • Feedback and Mentorship from 20+ top Food Tech Experts in Helsinki and beyond, including leaders from S Group and Valio
  • A Local and Global Support Network of Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Advisors from the Founder Institute’s Global Network
  • Several "S Group Fellowships" Awarded to the Top Food-Tech Applicants, allowing them to participate in the program for free 
  • Over €1.5MM in Partner Deals and Resources


The goal of the Food Tech Programme is to help build more than 20 promising food and agri-tech startups in 2019, and help further establish Helsinki as a center for food innovation.

Early-stage entrepreneurs interested in building a food or agri-tech startup in Helsinki are encouraged to apply for free at FI.co/join/food. The Final Deadline for applications will be on December 16th 2018, and the program will run from January 9th, 2019 - April 11th, 2019. The Food Tech program will run alongside the standard Helsinki Winter 2018 Founder Institute cohort, while providing dedicated resources and additional mentorship to the food and agri-tech startups participating in the program.

If you are building a startup in food or agri-tech, apply to the Food Tech Programme today


Across Europe, the Founder Institute has helped launch over 500 companies that have collectively raised over €60MM, and global food-tech graduates of the program include Craft and Savor (New York City), Whizmeal (Singapore), Meete (Vietnam), Oddbox (London), Indigo Agriculture (Costa Rica), and more.

Over the last few years I have seen more innovative food-tech startups launch in Finland than any of the other 60+ countries where the Founder Institute operates,” says Adeo Ressi, Founder & CEO of the Founder Institute. “Discovering and optimizing better ways to care for and produce food is essential to the future of our world. I can’t think of a better place to launch our Food Tech program than Helsinki, and I’m confident that it will help entrepreneurs with big visions build meaningful food startups."

S Group is a network of companies operating in the retail and service sectors, with more than 1,600 outlets in Finland.

Creating an atmosphere of innovation and global growth is a key factor in ensuring that the best days of the Finnish agriculture and food sectors are still ahead of us, not behind us. As the largest retailer of domestic food products in Finland, we want to have an active role in helping Finnish food startups make their ideas into global success stories”, says Ilkka Alarotu, SVP of S Group Retail Business. “A future-driven cooperation between the food industry, agriculture and the retail sector is a win-win for all: most of all, for the Finnish consumers.

To celebrate this new program, the Helsinki Founder Institute will host several free food and agri-tech startup events over the next few weeks:


Learn more about the Food Tech Programme at FI.co/join/food


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About the Founder Institute

The Founder Institute (http://fi.co) is the world's premier pre-seed accelerator and startup launch program. For aspiring and idea-stage entrepreneurs up to the challenge, its comprehensive, step-by-step program provides the structure, mentor support and global network of entrepreneurs needed to start an enduring company. Leaders of the world’s fastest-growing startups have used the program to transition from employee to entrepreneur, test their startup ideas, build a team, get their first customers, raise funding and more. Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 150 cities and 60 countries, the Founder Institute’s mission is to “globalize Silicon Valley,” and empower talented and motivated entrepreneurs to build companies that will create one million new jobs. It was founded in 2009 by Adeo Ressi and Jonathan Greechan. It is operated out of Palo Alto, California.


About S Group

S Group (https://www.s-kanava.fi), the leading retailer in Finland, is a cooperative group of companies composed of 20 regional cooperatives, SOK Corporation and their subsidiaries.

S Group’s key business areas consist of supermarket trade, department stores and speciality stores, service station store and fuel sales, the travel industry and hospitality business, hardware trade and financial services. In 2017, S Group's retail sales amounted to approximately EUR 11 billion and it has almost 37,000 employees in Finland.

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