KATANA Accelerator: €1.2 million investment fund calls for innovative ideas in agrifood

The EU-funded business accelerator KATANA will distribute in total 1.2 million euros to European entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMES. KATANA aims to support innovative ideas inthe development of application solutions in agribusiness. Applicationis open from 1 December to 28 February.

As of 1 December 2016, the EU-funded accelerator KATANA is searching for ambitious entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEswith a great vision for the future of agribusiness. Addressing agrifood, ICT and emerging industries (eco-industries, mobile services and personalized health), the best 100 applicants will receive 2,000 euros funding while the best 10 teams in terms of market attractiveness and performance will be granted 100,000 euros each. KATANA relies on an innovative selection and funding scheme based on peer to peer selection and crowdfunding.


“One great thing about KATANA is that it is not us who decides which teams get to be part of the programme. It’s the community itself”,explains Alexandra Rudl from bwcon GmbH, project coordinator and German representative of the project team. Using a specific algorithm, pitch videos will be evaluated and ranked according to their expertise, their understanding of the agrifood value chain and their vision for the sector. For Rudl, this is key to produce solutions that are not only nice to have but tailored to the market’s needs. “We expect highly innovative ideas to be brought to life thanks to KATANA. Based on previous experiences from projects like FRACTALS, we are sure that we will see a wide range of application solutions for ICT in agrifood.”

The purpose of KATANA is to identify those ideas with the greatest potential in agro and ICT sectors focusing on trends such as GPS, Internet of Things or Big Data. In addition to financial support the accelerator provides selected beneficiaries with business services worth 20,000 euros. “We believe that funding alone cannot guarantee the success of a venture. This is why our teams will be supported by dedicated KATANA coaches and have access to tailor-madecoaching materials such as webinars and online courses”, says Rudl. KATANA services also include 14 pan-European matchmaking events, a three days onsite Bootcamp as well as an international Investment Forum where participants get the chance to pitch their ideas in front of investors.

Building onentrepreneurship methods like Lean Startup, Design Thinking and Effectuation, KATANA will provide access to knowledge, technology, capital and markets with the overall aim of enabling competitiveness on a global scale by fostering cross-border and cross-sector cooperation.

For more information on KATANA visit the project website www.katanaproject.eu or find us on Facebook (@H2020_KaTaNa) and Twitter (@H2020_KATANA).