Maximize your market opportunity!



The FoodStars journey
The FoodStars Accelerator is designed to accelerate your startup in a very short time to maximize your market opportunity. During our six-month program you are fast-tracked in bringing your product to market quickly and getting investment ready. We offer you all the proven support to take the important next steps in your business. Read here why you should apply for our program.


Getting Ready (4 weeks)


Following a thorough selection process, we invite the startups to our food accelerator program. We begin with a 4-weeks Bootcamp, which is a pressure cooker to prepare you for your lean market validation. During these twenty days, we work on all the key aspects to successfully validate your business model: lean market validation, customer development, business planning, team building, marketing and communications etc. You will be challenged to reexamine your business model. Next, to the training and guidance by your coach and acceleration experts, you will be busy networking! We introduce you to businesses and organizations that are relevant to your business and get you invited to networking events and seminars.


We help you get ready for your market validation, to find your launching customer(s), what investments you need, and how you are going to get them. Before the start of the Validation phase, you present your startup during the so-called Presentation Day. During the program we offer you a workspace at The New Farm, an international hub for smart urban food solutions.


Presentation Day


During the Presentation Day you pitch your business and validation plan to a diverse audience of FoodStars business partners, investors, potential customers, industry and research organizations. They provide you with valuable feedback on your validation plan and business leads.


Validation (2 months)


During this period, you are in your market, whether in the Netherlands or abroad, to validate all assumptions in your business plan and prepare your market entry. Next to your coach you can rely on the support of our local business development partners. They open their networks for you to validate your concept and market with the right business partners and launching customers.


Validation Summit


We finish the Validation phase with a Validation Summit. This is the formal close-out where you invite all your (potential) customers and investors, business angels, suppliers, partners etc. Everyone who is interested in buying, selling or enabling your product/service. We organize the day, but you are responsible for your own invitations. The summit offers you another ‘market reality check’, opportunity to sell your product/service, and to network.


By now our formal accelerator program has ended, but you have just started! You need to now focus all your time and energy on converting all your leads for potential customers, suppliers, business partners, and last but not least investors. We offer you standby acceleration support for another two months leading up to Closing Conference at the beginning of November, where we put your business in the full spotlight of the startup investment community.


Acceleration (2 months)


During these two months, you can focus on dealmaking with partners, customers, investors. We are there for you to provide additional support if you need it.


Closing Conference


The closing conference will provide you an excellent platform to present your product/service, meet new potential investors, peers, media, and many others. This is where we celebrate your success!

During the entire program, you are supported by a personal coach with whom you have regular meetings. In the validation period, you will be matched to a business developer who will support you in market entry and development. We also have experts that you can rely on for specific expertise like marketing, finances, and country knowledge next to an accelerator manager with whom you keep contact also after the program to support you in further development.


What can you expect?


By participating in our FoodStars Accelerator you receive:


  • Hands-on business development support
  • Validation in the local market
  • One-on-one coaching and expert advice
  • One-on-one business developer
  • Offline learning modules on market segmentation; team; financial modeling; lean validation approach; investment proposition; valuation; marketing/sales; impact measurement; branding; valuation; pitch training
  • Matchmaking between start-ups and investors, business partners and clients
  • Working space
  • Support to build operational, financial, managerial capacity
  • Opening new networks (distribution channels, client base, investors)
  • Access to online community of innovative start-up entrepreneurs and FoodStars partners
  • Capital injection



Become a FoodStar!
Who should apply to FoodStars?

We welcome both startups and spinoffs. Below are our five easy to understand screening criteria. Do you qualify? We encourage you to apply by clicking here!


  • You have an impact-driven mindset
    … to contribute to UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • You have a reliable team
    … of at least two, committed to making your startup a success
  • You have a compelling business case
    …addressing a pressing market need
  • You are at a stage
    …where you at least have a prototype or a Minimum Viable Product (Technology Readiness Level 5)
  • Your proposition is scalable 
    …to other sectors/applications, cities, countries or regions.


How does our selection process work?


We have three simple yet thorough selection rounds. We trust this gives us the best chance to connect and get to know you, while allowing you to judge for yourself if we are the right fit for you. Just by taking part in the selection process, you will gain valuable insights you can already act upon even before the start of the official partnership. Here is our step-by-step selection process:


Selection round 1


Step 1: Check your eligibility based on our screening criteria.


Step 2: If you tick all the criteria or expect to tick them in the next few weeks, take 5 minutes to apply via  F6S at the earliest possibility.


Selection round 2


Step 1: Following our initial feedback you complete a more elaborate information form and make a one-minute video about your product, technology or platform. Important selection criteria are impact, team, technology/innovation, business case and financial sustainability.


Step 2: Get invited to the next FoodStars Acquaintance Days.


Final selection round 3


Step 1: Bring your A game to FoodStars Acquaintance Days


Step 2: Help us run a smooth due diligence process


Step 3: Get psyched about the invitation to join FoodStars!


Arrange your visa, flight, and housing if necessary. Become ONE OF US!


What are the FoodStars Acquaintance days?

The startup teams that make it to the final round are invited to the FoodStars Acquaintance Days. These days are designed for you, the FoodStars team, our investors, and some other important stakeholders – all of whom you will work with later during the program –  to get to know each other better. The day is set up like a carousel; you talk to various people and get first-hand 360° feedback on several topics. You speak to:


  • Core team of FoodStars: Getting to know the team and the story
  • Industry leaders: The business opportunity and potential
  • Startup Coach: The fit with the program
  • Investment expert: Investor readiness and possibilities


Expect these conversations to be detailed. All participants in the conversations have reviewed the elaborate information form and one-minute video you made as part of selection round 2. Following the carousel and a short break, you talk with the FoodStars team who can answer all your questions about our program. By participating in these sessions, we hope you receive some valuable insights that you can work on even before the acceleration program begins.


Please check this out for some further advice on how to ace the selection process!

Receive our updates in your inbox