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Now, more than ever, the world needs entrepreneurs to build the future.

At the Founder Institute, we know times are tough, but we also know that economic downturns are a great time to start a business. This isn't just conjecture - the Founder Institute was started in April of 2009 (during the "Great Recession"), and world-leading companies like Microsoft, Tesla, and Apple also took advantage of cost savings during a recession to launch and get their initial traction.

That's why we are excited to announce today that applications are now open for the Food Ecosystems Virtual 2021 program.

If you could use a structured process and a lifetime of support from Finland's top investors and entrepreneurs to build something meaningful, then apply to the Food Ecosystems Virtual 2021 Founder Institute today.

Program Update: This accelerator will be run online with local and international mentors, with the potential for some optional in-person networking. Learn more on our Virtual Program FAQ page.

We will be hosting several free startup online events in Food Ecosystems Virtual 2021 over the coming weeks, where you can learn from top entrepreneurs from the comfort of your home:

  • WEBINAR: Founder Institute Online Information Session:
  • Founder Showcase: Pre-Seed Startup Pitch & Networking Event, with Brant Cooper (Online) on 8:00pm, Dec 01, 2021 (Europe/Helsinki):
  • FI Alumni Panel: Meet Founders that Graduated FI and Ask Questions on 8:00pm, Dec 15, 2021 (Europe/Helsinki):
  • AMA + FI Info Session with Co-Founder & CEO Jonathan Greechan on 8:00pm, Dec 30, 2021 (Europe/Helsinki):
  • Learn How to Create an Admired Company Brand with Fabian Geyrhalter on 8:00pm, Feb 02, 2022 (Europe/Helsinki):

Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 200+ cities worldwide, the Founder Institute provides high-potential entrepreneurs and teams with the devoted support network and structured growth process needed to get to traction and funding. Participants in the 4-month core program also get access to a lifetime of support through the Founder Institute's industry-leading post-programs.

The Food Ecosystems Virtual 2021 program is led by some of the region's top startup leaders, including Daniel Boehi (Founding Partner, .), Ingeborg Gasser-Kriss (Food Innovation Professional , Independent Board Member), Janne Saarikko (Food Ecosystems Builder, Founder Institute Global Food Ecosystems Accelerator), Raanan Shenhav (CEO, RS-CPD), Tasha Tolmacheva (Mentors, Community & Curriculum, Founder Institute ).

In addition, some of Finland's top investors, entrepreneurs, and CEOs will be participating in the program, providing them with expert feedback and evaluation. The list of startup mentors for the Food Ecosystems Virtual 2021 Founder Institute includes:

  • Aape Pohjavirta: Founder, Leader, Funzi
  • Adeo Ressi: Founder/CEO
  • Ali Omar: Co-Founder & Board Member, Med Group Oy | Growth-Entrepreneur, Med Group Oy
  • Aline De Santa Izabel: Founder, YOGUT ME
  • Amir Zaidman
  • Andrew Ive: Founder / Managing General Partner, Big Idea Ventures
  • Ane Nordahl Carlsen: Chief Investment officer , Grafo AS
  • Antti Akonniemi: Founder, CEO, Kisko Labs Oy
  • Antti Salminen: Senior Specialist, Business Finland
  • Ayşegül Özkavukcu: Business Development Manager, Migros Ticaret A.Ş.
  • Berg Moe: Chairman, EntraHouse Holding AS
  • Bjørn Ekelund: Chairman, Senior Consultant, Human Factors AS
  • Bram Pareyt
  • Bruno Pešec: Independent Expert, Pešec Global
  • Carlo Rivis: CEO & Founder, Innovation Discovery
  • Chander Shekher Joshi: Innovation Consultant , TCS
  • Charlotte Aschim: CEO and Co-Founder, TotalCtrl
  • Christine Gould: Founder & CEO, Thought For Food
  • Christof Tremp: Founder and CEO, REBELS 0.0%
  • Christoph Sollich: Freelancer, The Pitch Doctor
  • Claudia Parms: Head of Marketing & Communications, Alberts
  • Damien Mongrand: Operation & Scale-up Lead,
  • Daniel Arevalo: CPO, Ruvikas
  • Daniel Michael Böhi: Founder, FoodPrint
  • Darko Mandich: CEO, MeliBio
  • Dimitris Polychronopoulos: Oslo Chapter Director, FI Mentor
  • Dmitri Sarle: CEO,
  • Eeppi Nieminen: Business Development Manager, Taiste
  • Eero Laaksonen: CEO, Valohai
  • Ella Rauen Prestes: Founder and CEO, Fitbakes
  • Erick Arnberg: Strategy and Operations Lead - Northern Europe, Games & Apps, Google
  • Estefania Simon Sasyk: Regional Development project lead, Basque Culinary Center
  • Fabian Geyrhalter: Founder and Principal, Finien
  • Fernanda Vanoni Matta: Business Development & Innovation , Tradal Brazil / Pura Vida
  • Fernando Goldman: Director of Expansion, Bairro Shop
  • Finn Erling Røgenæs: Director & Owner, Implement Consulting Group
  • George Guerra: Founder,
  • Gonzalo Pérez Taiman, Arpegio
  • Gregory Lu: CEO & Co-founder, Natufia Labs
  • Guc Ozenci: Venture Partner | Co-Founder | Mentor | Angel, @ Founder Institute |Peoplise | SlashPay | ShopUpStories | Prisync
  • Guillermo Guzmán: GP, Indio VC
  • Gunter Pauli: Founder / Director, ZERI
  • Hannu Kossila: Founder, Senior Marketing Researcher, Mware
  • Hans Joerg Ill: Chief Procurement Officer, Bühler Group
  • Hans Kristian Westrum: Founder and CGO, Soil Steam International AS
  • Harsh Shah
  • Heidi Huse Myrmo: CEO/Founder, Allva AS
  • Henri Laine: Project Manager, CircularHoodFood Vantaa
  • Ifat Peled Dinstag: CPA, IPD - Finance Strategy
  • Imran Afzal: Research and Development, PepsiCo
  • Ingeborg Gasser Kriss: Board Member, Advisor , Diverse
  • Itziar Tueros
  • Jan Lindblad: Founder, All For Eco (non-profit)
  • Jan Erik Nyrövaara: Jan Erik Nyrövaara (Saint Petersburg FI)
  • Janne Saarikko: Ecosystem Evangelist / Food Ecosystems Specialist / Head of Think Tank, Founder Institute Food Ecosystems Accelerator
  • Janne Aaltonen: CEO, Moosedog
  • Jason Bayne: Managing Partner, Surf Consult AS
  • Joachim Schelde: Investment Associate, Scale Capital
  • Joaquim Macedo De Sousa: Executive Director, Smart Rural HIESE
  • Jose Jimenez: Business Development Manager, Seedrs
  • Juha Mattsson: Managing Director
  • Juho Mäyränpää: Sales Director, Member of the steering board, Coach, Sofia Digital Ltd
  • Juliet Bray
  • Jussi Markula: Entrepreneur, Prominda
  • Justine Reichman: Founder, NextGenChef
  • Kamal Hassan: Founding Partner, Loyal VC
  • Katharina Breme: Head Innovation & Technology and Quality, Migros Industries Segment 2 / Groupe ELSA-Mifroma
  • Khalid Abbas: Founder, Trainer, Technologist, Kzetta Technologies AB
  • Laura Camurri
  • Lauri Kapp: CoFounder , Natufia Labs
  • Lauri Reuter: Founder & Partner, Nordic FoodTech VC
  • Leo Groenewegen: CEO and Co-Founder , CellulaREvolution
  • Luca Morandi
  • Mar Eroles Navarro: Founder, Mandarina Capital
  • Mar Serra: Regional Applications and Manufacturing manager Beverages, Nestle
  • Marcel Vargaeštok: CEO, Chefparade
  • Marie Brueser: Entrepreneurship Leader, Thought For Food
  • Marisol Giacomelli: Global Category Leader, Nestle
  • Mark Leinemann: Founder & President, - the 1st AgriFood/-Tech Startup Association in DACHLI
  • Marko Suksi: CEO, Founder , Poppamies
  • Martin Sohr: Strategy Director, Nestle
  • Matti Copeland: Executive Director
  • Matti Santala: CEO, A21
  • Max Leveau
  • Max Geerling: Operations Manager - UK, iugis
  • Memi Genosar
  • Michael Hiles: CEO
  • Mika Marjalaakso: CEO, Oak Ventures Ltd.
  • Mike Bradshaw: Head Coach, Sampo Accelerator
  • Mike Lingle: Entrepreneur / Mentor, Rocket Pro Forma
  • Mikko Honkakorpi: Partner, Digital Nature Oy
  • Mikko Koskinen: Co-founder, Kyrö Distillery
  • Mikko Ikola: Co-founder, Ambronite
  • Mikko Nikkilä
  • Nancy Brito: Partner - Investor, Semeia Ventures
  • Natalie Pilling: CEO, EL Passion
  • Nathan Evans: Co-Founder, fulfin (isarlend GmbH)
  • Nicolas Breitburd: Head of Investment Strategy, Angel Hub
  • Nicolay Jernberg: Founder // CEO // , Komité
  • Olaf Gruess
  • Oswaldo Da Costa E Silva
  • Pantea Lotfian: Dr. , Camrosh
  • Paolo Mazzatorta: R&D, Nestle
  • Paolo Borella: EIT Food Accelerator Helsinki Program Coordination , VTT
  • Pekka Viilto: Co-Founder, Rundit
  • Petri Lehmuskoski: Co-Founder, Gorilla Ventures Oy
  • Pia Erkinheimo: Partner, Director, Fingertip Ltd
  • Pilar Fernandez Hermida: Founder i-Expand (We help Health Tech companies go global), i-expand
  • Piotr Pluta: CEO, Human Factors AS
  • Piotr Grabowski: Co-founder,
  • Pouria Kay: Founder, Grib
  • Ramkumar Nair: Founder & CEO, Mycorena AB
  • Rana Ozseker: Change & Impact Management Professional / Startup Mentor, RNA Change Management
  • Reetta Kivela
  • Reidar Wasenius: Managing Director, Finnish Business Angels Network - FiBAN
  • Renata Pereira: Oil & Gas Executive, Angel Investor, Mentor, Founder Institute
  • Ricardo Monagas: Co-founder at Uppersky / CTO at, Uppersky /
  • Richard Brion: CEO, Revolution Agriculture
  • Rie Aleksandra Walle: Founder & Manager, Bedre Bedrift AS
  • Risto Rautakorpi: Co-dounder, Gorilla Ventures Oy
  • Russell Cole: Partner, AGXactly
  • Rusty Schwartz: CEO, KitchenTown
  • Ryan Bethencourt: CEO, Wild Earth
  • Saga Forss: Board Member, Co-owner, Soppakeittiö (Soup&More Oy)
  • Sam Waterfall: Co-Founder & Marketing Director, PROBLIFE - Pioneering Probiotic Solutions
  • Sampsa Fabritius: CEO & Founder, Kieku Labs
  • Seamus Holohan: CEO, The Helsinki Distilling Company
  • Shashank Shukla: Founder, Aiisvari
  • Shira Rosen: owner, Shira rosen
  • Stefan Petersson: Partner, Investor & Company Builder, Xplorico
  • Suzanne Fanning
  • Tania Villares Balsa: Investment Director, Cambridge Enterprise
  • Tasha Tolmacheva: Co-Founder, Haze Shift
  • Thuong Tan: Founder & CEO, Noodelist
  • Tim Kirchner: Business Director, The Nest by Webhelp
  • Tomi Kaukinen: Founder, Licence to Fail
  • Tomi Räsänen: Founder, CEO, Shaping Diamonds
  • Torsti Tenhunen: Spinnaker Ventures, Angel Investor, Member Board Of Directors at Finnish Business Angels Network (FiBAN), FiBAN
  • Trevor Smith: Operations Director - now retired, LUMIOFIT
  • Tugce Ergun: Partner & Chief of Innovation, SAF Nutrition
  • Udi Klier: CEO, Nicevend
  • Vesa Lindroos: Independent Consultant, Self employed
  • Waleed Abd El Rahman: CEO, Mumm
  • Wesley Cullen: CEO, Spotery
  • William Laratta: Global R&D and Open Innovation Leader, Barry Callebaut
  • Windi Muziasari

  • And many more to be announced.

Since 2009, the Founder Institute has helped over  5,000 Alumni raise over $1.5 billion funding, get into seed-accelerators, generate traction, recruit a team, build a product, transition from employee to entrepreneur, and more (see the FI 10 Year Impact Report here).

Join us in Finland and help build the future. 

Apply to the Food Ecosystems Virtual 2021 Founder Institute today, or learn more at  


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