Boreal Light winner of first ever FoodNexus Startup Challenge Grand Finale!

On Wednesday 13 December, at the first ever grand finale of the European FoodNexus Startup Challenge, the startup Boreal Light won the first prize by the jury…

…and thereby, could leave the venue with 50.000 € and a 3D printed chocolate-rocket. The promising German startup company has simplified the most mature and known desalinisation technology, reverse osmosis, and made drinking and irrigation water affordable in off-grid places in the world. With this concept and techonolgy, Senior Business Developer Hamed Behesti convinced the jury Boreal Lights were to win.

More than 300 persons from all across Europe came to Wageningen, the Netherlands, to experience the 15 pitches by the startups, of which 14 were the finalists from national pre-selection rounds and one was selected from the wild-card section.

The criteria used by the jury to evaluate the startups included the sustainable development of the food sector, and the entrepreneurs were questioned directly about their solutions to this.

Urban Crop Solutions, a Belgian startup providing modular systems for growing plants in layers in urban areas was the audience’s preferred startup, which – apart from the honour – received a mini-copy of the chocolate rocket.

In the morning of the event, which took place in a special building of Wageningen University & Research, all of the startups who had applied for the Startup Challenge in the first place, had the chance to meet corporates and other interested during the FoodNexus Startup Café.

Judging by the type of conversations taking place both in the startup café and during the breaks of the finals event, the day proved a good meeting opportunity for people in the sector, not least between corporates and startups.

The organizers from StartLife and FoodNexus consider the events a success to be continued in 2018 and next steps include organising new, interested countries and ensuring the necessary sponsorships across Europe.


Thomas van den Boezem, Startlife:
Heidi Høy Dyrholm, FoodNexus: