In Generation Food various organisations join their network and expertise to stimulate innovation and give new entrepreneurs a boost.
Generation Food wants to activate new entrepreneurs and increase their chances of success (SDG 8: decent work and economic growth). With a focus on sustainability and nutrition, we do so with a view to the future (SDG 11: sustainable cities & SDG 12: responsible production and consumption).
Generation Food stems from Leuven's local food strategy and implements one of the 7 strategic objectives: stimulating innovation for sustainable agriculture and nutrition. With bottom-up (social) innovative projects we want to make the food system in and around Leuven more sustainable and fairer. The role of a new (young) generation of starting entrepreneurs will be crucial.
We offer a training programme consisting of hackathons, a master class and a test lab for starting entrepreneurs who are looking for inspiration, who want to develop their own ideas or who want to experiment with food for the future.
A trajectory through 3 events
Potential entrepreneurs go through different stages, from generating new fresh ideas to testing innovative concepts in practice. In addition, we also organise three forums in parallel, aimed at the wider public and strengthening the entrepreneurs. During these forums, the public interacts with entrepreneurs about sustainable innovation and new business models.
- Hackathon: During a two-day event the participants will work on concrete food challenges and innovative solutions. At the end of the hackathon they pitch these ideas to a jury.
- Masterclass: The selected ideas will be further developed. Together with experts, these future entrepreneurs will be helped with their sustainable business plan.
- Testlab: hands on. Entrepreneurs carry out a beta test of their concept, product or service. Pop-up, showcase, try-out,...
Promising initiatives can then be transferred to other existing incubators, pitch contests, business coaches, etc. The next steps are usually the search for start-up capital, legal support, coaching... There are many organizations with good services for this, Generation Food connects and refers to them. We also remain a point of contact after the Generation Food projects.
Generation Food is a test in Leuven that we - when validated - want to roll out in other cities within our Food Smart Cities network. The need for people to innovate and do business is a global challenge, and the role they play in producing and providing sustainable, fair and healthy food for all can not be underestimated.
Rikolto is fulfilling this strategic objective by setting up a food and agriculture pre-incubator in Leuven, called Generation Food. Different organisations have joined the collaboration: The Province of Flemish Brabant, Boerenbond (the Flemish farmers union), PROEF, the City of Leuven, University Leuven, EIT Food, KBC, UCLL and Rikolto. Together we try to look at today's challenges from a holistic perspective.