Automating operations in agriculture


At the turn of the century, food and agriculture innovation was stuck in the mud: farmers and suppliers were using the same technologies and processes they’d used for a century, and investors weren’t paying much attention to new ideas. That has changed. Big data and access to computing power have opened up a new world of ideas around the way we grow and transport food. Consumers are paying more attention to where their meals are from. And we will need to find a way to pull off a daunting triple challenge: how to produce more food with less land and less water, at a lower cost.


Today's agriculture business acknowledges the importance of innovation by utilising new technologies. However, most of the leading food production companies lack the digital and deep tech capabilities to develop and implement new advanced solutions. By collaborating with promising startup solutions, the companies we work with want to leapfrog the way of producing our healthy fruits and vegetables and future proof their operations.

Requested solutions:

Looking for innovative tech / software solutions that can contribute to:

  1. Production automatization and robotization: reduce labor dependencies with innovative techniques (operational excellence)

  1. Better monitoring, data and control: more controlled growing  and (new) data driven-value added services for customers
Slide deck 1st EventQ&A →Slide deck 2nd Event →

Selection criteria

  • Professional team of entrepreneurs
  • Early stage (≥ TRL 7), working prototype ready
  • Clear (insight into) business case for Western European market
  • Scalable inside and outside soft fruit / vegetable sector
  • Innovative for the soft fruit / vegetable sector
  • Europe-based but also open for non-EU applicants if value proposition to the Dutch market is clear

Co-creation Partners & Project

WorldStartup works for a group of leading food production companies in horticulture, propagation and production of soft-fruits. They formed together a coalition for optimizing and innovating their operations and creation of new value propositions for their customers.

Eligible solutions can be implemented starting with a pilot project and our co-creation partners can become your launching customer.  

Selection process

We imply an ongoing selection process with new batches formed every two month. The steps in the selection process are as follows:

  • Assessment of opportunity (based on criteria / theme)
  • Introduction to lead and first test (interview, company visit, presentation, validation with problem)
  • A letter of intent with potential (problem / solution fit and initial business case) within two months
  • Validation in practice at Next Level (proof of concept)
  • Co-creation project for application (prototype / demonstration)

What’s in it for you?

You can validate and / or co-create the development and implementation of your solution with leading food production companies that want to be at the forefront of using new technologies from startups.


For selected eligible projects there are funding instruments available to finance the project or for equity investment in the involved startup company. A well-rounded business plan is required.

Apply →Get Ticket →

WorldStartup, a global entrepreneurship platform and investment company, together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, and the other partners in the consortium is scouting for purpose-driven agri-food ventures that aim at softlanding their business in The Netherlands - the second largest food exporter in the world.

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Opportunity Lead
Sergey Gridin
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