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Founder Institute’s Global Center of Excellence for Food Ecosystem in Helsinki, Finland launches its third Food Ecosystem Program and first global virtual cohort to help Early-Stage Food Entrepreneurs Build Impactful Companies. The Search for Expert Mentors and Food Ecosystem Partners is Open. 

June 16 – Palo Alto, CA & Helsinki, Finland – The Founder Institute, the world’s premier pre-seed startup accelerator, is launching the first-ever global virtual  “Food Ecosystem Program" as part of the Finland Virtual Fall 2020 program. Helsinki is the global hub for the Founder Institute’s Food Ecosystem initiatives and expertise, and aims to inspire and support early-stage food ecosystem -focused entrepreneurs in the Helsinki Founder Institute by providing: 

  • Feedback and Mentorship from top mentors in different areas of the food ecosystem
  • Special expert mentor matching for specific advice
  • Connections with the industry on a global and local level
  • Introductions to business angels, VCs and Corporate VCs investing in the food ecosystem globally 
  • Special sub-tracks:
    • Food & retail
    • Products and Services in the food chain
    • Production and supply chain
    • HORECA (hotels, restaurants, catering)
    • Agriculture
  • A Local and Global Support Network of Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Advisors
  • Over €1.5MM in Partner Deals and Resources
  • Several Fellowships Awarded to the Top Applicants, allowing them to participate in the program for free

The goal of the Food Ecosystem Program is to help build more than 30 promising food and agri-tech startups in 2020, and help further establish Helsinki as a center for food innovation. Early-stage entrepreneurs interested in building a food or agri-tech startup anywhere in the world are encouraged to apply for free at The final deadline for applications will be on August 30th 2020, and the program will run from September 9th, 2020 - December 18th, 2020. 

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), TotalCtrl (Oslo), Resistomap (Helsinki), FuelMe (Helsinki) and more.   

Over the last few years I have seen more innovative food ecosystem initiatives 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. Severely damaged by the pandemic, our food ecosystem needs new solutions - and I’m confident big solutions that the world needs will come from entrepreneurs with the vision to build impactful food startups.

Janne Saarikko, Lead Director of the Food Ecosystem Program, adds,

Founder Institute has the biggest network of experts supporting startup growth. Now we are adding a strong and motivated roster of global experts from various disciplines of the food ecosystem globally. We are seeing the deepest commitment from our mentors and partners, and together with them we are doing our very best to find and help them become successful and change the world of food for the better.

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

The Helsinki Founder Institute was launched in 2012 and has graduated over 38 new startups since it began operations. The Food Ecosystems vertical program will run alongside the standard Helsinki Fall 2020 Founder Institute cohort, while providing dedicated resources and additional mentorship to the food and agri-tech startups participating in the program.

The Helsinki Winter 2020 program counts many of the region’s top Food Tech startup founders among its program mentors, and some of the industry experts that have signed up specifically to help food founders in the Food Tech Syndicate include:

  • Mikko Koskinen (Finland), Co-Founder at Kyrö Distillery
  • Fernando Golman (Brazil), Head of Supply at deBetti
  • Ramkumar Nair (Sweden), Founder & CEO at Mycorena AB
  • Lauri Reuter (Finland), Senior Specialist in Disruptive Technologies at VTT
  • Charlotte Aschim (Norway), CEO and Founder at TotalCtrl
  • Séamus Holohan (Finland), CEO and Founder at The Helsinki Distilling Company

Learn more about the Food Ecosystem Program at

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The Founder Institute 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.


Graduates of the Founder Institute are creating some of the world's fastest growing startups, having raised over $1.75BN in funding, and building products people love across over 200 cities worldwide. See the most recent news from our Grads at, or learn more about their stories at

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