Four months ago, we were excited to be chosen as one of ten impactful food tech startups to join EITFAN Nordic Hub. Koepala is the only startup among 10 provides food packaging solutions to co-create a more sustainable food chain.
The program culminated in a Demoday on Tuesday, Oct 6th where we presented our business and innovative packaging solutions to a network of investors, partners, media and judges.
What is EITFAN?
The EIT is the shorten form for European Institute of Innovation & Technology and FAN is Food Accelerator Network. Nordic Hub led by VTT together with Valio and Helsinki University, first time joined as one of six accelerators in EITFAN, which aims to promote sustainability of the food chain. Ten teams from Helsinki Hub include Koepala were selected from a total of 81 applicants. In addition to Helsinki, 5 other hubs are located in Munich, Haifa, Lausanne, Cambridge and Bilbao.
Why has Koepala entered?
EITFAN aims to promote the sustainable food system and wants to help startups on the transition to become impactful innovators. Koepala saw this as a great chance to:
- Expand our network in food tech industry: we joined an ecosystem of European food innovations with like-minded entrepreneurs, business leaders, and industry-leading customers. Together with the local hub events, Koepala also had a chance to pitch to corporate partners such as Nestlé, Amcor, Döhler and participated in cross-hub event like EITFANCircular Food System Demoday.
- Build skills with world-class experts:we had access to 150 coaches from all over the world. We got two mentors who supported us throughout the program and also various workshops and coaching sessions given by other experts.
- Increase company’s visibility to investor and media: on Demoday, our pitch was followed by up to 100 audiences both at the venue and through streaming channel. Koepala was featured on many partners’ media channels in the program.
What have we learned?
We find EITFAN mission aligns with Koepala vision: building a sustainable food system. We want to contribute to that with our innovative food packaging solution by reducing carbon footprint throughout the whole value chain. Even we did not win the final prize – we have gained intensive collaboration and co-innovation framework that will definitely assist us in future journey as a packaging innovation company. The program also gave us many great business and industry tips and advice that we can implement directly on our case.
“The key is that the program has helped us strengthen our vision and our focus on bringing Koepala’s packaging solution to the target market: industrial food production”, said Koepala’s CEO Janne Asikainen.
Even though the EITFAN was organised the first time in Finland and Nordic, all the teams have already co-created a food tech startups eco-system and EITFAN alumni network. With our boldness, courage and passion, together we want to shape the future of food!