Tag Archives: Investor

Horticoop And StartLife Invest In Emerging Horticulture Technologies

Image partnership Horticoop and StartLife including logosThe Dutch investment cooperative Horticoop has partnered up with StartLife to step up its investments in startups and scale-ups with emerging technologies for the horticulture sector.  Together we want to give a significant push towards sustainability in horticulture.

With a rapidly growing world population and increasing concerns for the health of our planet, horticulture is already a proven method for achieving climate-resilient, high-yield production whilst simultaneously minimizing environmental impact. Horticoop believes this method will be taken to even greater heights by adopting many of today’s emerging technologies, including robotics, artificial intelligence and big data. Together with StartLife, the company wants to tap into the innovation capacity of startups that are working on applications of these new technologies in the horticulture business.

Masters of Greenhouses

Horticoop was founded in 1904 and has a rich history in the horticulture sector. In the past few years, the company has transformed from a traditional purchasing cooperative to a platform for investment, innovation and development. The company invests in, among others, Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) which entails crop production within a (partially) enclosed growing structure, such as a greenhouse, offering maximum protection from outdoor elements and providing optimal growing conditions.

"Concerns about global warming hence unpredictable weather patterns will amplify the need for CEA even more." ~ Wilco Schoonderbeek, Horticoop

Wilco Schoonderbeek, Horticoop’s Director Investments, points out that the Netherlands is a global leader in CEA. “It’s all about creating the perfect growing conditions for crops with the right amount of light, heat, water and nutrients. We currently have a portfolio of companies that provide solutions in these areas. Concerns about global warming and thus unpredictable weather patterns will amplify the need for CEA even more.”

“We believe startups that are working on emerging technologies can provide fitting solutions. With StartLife being the longest-running and leading agrifoodtech accelerator in Europe, they are in an excellent position to connect us with the international startup community“.

Emerging technologies

Photo of Jan Meiling (StartLife) and Wilco Schoonderbeek (Horticoop)Photo: Jan Meiling (Managing Director, StartLife) and Wilco Schoonderbeek (Director Investments, Horticoop)

Jan Meiling, Managing Director of StartLife, believes Horticoop’s long history in the horticulture sector makes them uniquely positioned as an investor.

“Horticoop knows and understands the real challenges,  requirements and pitfalls of the sector in order to successfully deploy its capital. In addition to potential investments, startups will greatly benefit from the knowledge and expertise of the growers who are members of Horticoop. Getting early feedback and insights from the professionals who are to adopt the new technology can amplify the startup’s product results and accelerate successful implementation,” Meiling said.

"Horticoop’s long history in the horticulture sector makes them uniquely positioned as an investor." ~ Jan Meiling, StartLife

Schoonderbeek is pleased to team up with StartLife and actively seek collaborations with startups and scale-ups. “Our partnership allows us to work simultaneously on a sound future as well as on contributing to the health and happiness of a growing population in a sustainable world.”

Horticoop is particularly interested in startups that provide solutions in the fields of light, climate, technique and substrates. Startups that are interested in connecting with Horticoop are invited to contact StartLife.

About Horticoop

For almost 120 years, the Horticoop cooperative has been working towards a healthy future for horticulture. We do this together with about 400 members who operate a professional greenhouse horticulture company and with the Horticoop companies that focus on light, climate, technique and substrates for the sector. As from 2021, Horticoop has been active as an investment cooperative.

p.s. Stay up to date with the latest news about and for agrifood startups, scale-ups and more via StartLife’s Linkedin or Twitter account or via the StartLife newsletter (8x a year).

StartLife and Box Enter Partnership To Accelerate Transformation To A Sustainable Food System

Partnership Box-StartLife

We proudly announce our strategic partnership with Blue Ocean Xlerator (BOX). As two startup builders from the Food Valley we aim to accelerate the growth of startups that are developing sustainable innovations for the food supply chain. We also want to increase the international profile of the Food Valley region and draw more domestic and foreign startups and scale-ups to it. 

StartLife and Box have known each other for a long time. There was informal contact, but no structural cooperation until now. “It was only a matter of time before we entered into a partnership,” says Jan Meiling, managing director of StartLife. “For years, both our organizations have been committed to helping startups make the transformation to a sustainable food and agriculture supply chain. We both do this in different ways. StartLife is a startup accelerator, while Box is a venture builder. This is why we complement each other so well.”

“We get involved in technological innovations when they are still only rough ideas,” explains BOX partner Raşit Görgülü. “If we think a new technology looks promising, we will form an entrepreneurial team to bring it further if necessary. With our own R&D companies, we can also actively contribute to advanced product development. Of course, we also invest capital; we examine what each startup needs and what we can contribute to it.”

Transformation to sustainable food system

Photo of Raşit Görgülü (Box) and Jan Meiling (StartLife) Signing Partnership Agreement
Raşit Görgülü (Partner, Box), Lin Zhu (Investor Relations Manager, StartLife) and Jan Meiling (MD, StartLife)

“We share an ambition to transform the food supply chain into a sustainable system,” continues Görgülü. “Think in terms of new products like plant-based proteins, sustainable dairy products and meat substitutes. We all now realize that this transformation is badly needed and that it must take place as soon as possible. This demands focused and collective efforts, and by joining forces and actively supporting impactful innovations, we can help to accelerate this transformation.”

"We share an ambition to transform the food supply chain into a sustainable system."

For this reason, BOX recently also became a partner in F&A Next, the internationally renowned conference organized by StartLife in collaboration with Wageningen University, Rabobank and Anterra Capital, among others. Earlier this month, 600 entrepreneurs, investors and major companies from 44 countries attended the seventh edition of F&A Next to share knowledge and explore new partnerships for a sustainable food supply chain

“We’re proud to have made this event possible together with StartLife,” says Görgülü. “It was a major happening and helped put the Food Valley region on the map. With so much energy and inspiration, it will certainly result in beautiful new initiatives.”

Call for startups

StartLife and Box strongly believe in the power of cooperation – with each other, with startup and with all the parties in the Food Valley ecosystem.

“Now that we have joined forces, we can streamline our collective support processes and help achieve great things,” says Meiling. “Any startup that would like to benefit from our support is warmly invited to connect with StartLife. It’s time for a sustainable food system, and there is no time to waste!”

About Blue Ocean Xlerator (BOX NV)

BOX is a venture builder that invests in high-tech start-ups that develop sustainable breakthrough technologies for the food, agriculture and life sciences sectors. BOX combines sound scientific and technological expertise with entrepreneurship and years of experience in building and selling businesses. The two in-house R&D companies of BOX, Top and TDI, both have a solid track record and reputation. BOX’s startup portfolio includes companies like Ojah, Bflike, Eatch, Dutch Structuring Technologies and Advanced Biotics.

p.s. Stay up to date with the latest news about and for agrifood startups, scale-ups and more via StartLife’s Linkedin or Twitter account and/or via the StartLife newsletter (8x a year).

Future Food Fund and StartLife: Elevating Game-changing Agrifood Startups


Future Food Fund, a Dutch seed capital fund with a focus on innovative agricultural and food technologies, announced today that they have joined forces with StartLife. The partners will utilize each other’s expertise and global network to provide innovative startups in the food and agricultural domains with the best possible growth support.

The human race is up against the biggest food challenge of all times: feeding a large and growing world population with a declining amount of resources. The entire food value chain needs to be radically changed in order to ensure a sufficient and healthy food supply whilst also safeguarding our planet. Bringing about change is never easy. And, by definition, systemic change is never achieved by just one organization. Organizations need to work together and utilize each other’s strengths. This is where the partnership of StartLife and Future Food Fund (FFF) comes in, says Peter Arensman, founding and managing partner of FFF:

“Providing potential game-changing startups a combination of capital, know-how and the ability to open doors that otherwise remain shut. Together we can help make that change.”

Supporting entrepreneurial ingenuity

Innovative startups have to overcome many challenges and hurdles to reach the point where they start making an impact. Only a few startups make it that far. “We need to ensure that the entrepreneurial ingenuity that is out there is given all the support needed to reach that threshold for change. This partnership is designed to do just that,” says Jan Meiling, Managing Director of StartLife.

“With FFF, StartLife not ‘only’ brings an investor partner on board, we also welcome a team of entrepreneurs with backgrounds in food & agriculture and technology who are dedicated to lifting early-stage startups to a higher level. What it comes down to is that StartLife helps early-stage agrifoodtech startups to get ready for the follow-up growth support by FFF.

Smart agrifood technologies

Both organizations focus primarily on technology-based startups in the agriculture and food domains. Arensman: “We are particularly interested in technologies related to smart and clean farming, bio-based economy, sustainable food production, circular intelligent logistics and alternative foods as we believe that these areas offer some of the best chances for large-scale impact.” Ambitious startups in these fields are invited to connect with StartLife. “Our doors are always open”, says Meiling.

About Future Food Fund

Future Food Fund is a seed capital fund that is founded and funded by 30 entrepreneurs. They have backgrounds primarily in the food & agriculture and technology domains and wish to actively contribute to the success of the fund, not only with money but also with their experience and network. Future Food Fund is aimed at Dutch companies that want to impact the food & agricultural sector with innovative technology and/or disruptive business models.


p.s. Stay up to date with the latest news about and for agrifood startups, scale-ups and more via StartLife’s Linkedin or Twitter account or via the StartLife newsletter (8x a year).