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Viikki Food Design Factory

Germinator Programme


Food Systems Pitching Competition @ Y Science 2022

Viikki Food Design Factory’s Germinator programme is for innovators with Food System transforming solutions. 

Check here for more information on the Viikki Food Design Factory Germinator programme

The program participants have access to:

  • Coaching by dedicated food innovation professionals with expansive experience of the industry

  • Laboratory experimentation and testing facilities at the Viikki campus

  • The chance to pitch their idea during the Food Systems Pitching Competition at Y Science

The seven startup teams participating in the 2022-2023 season of the Germinator programme were selected through an entry pitching event on June 13, 2022.

The four finalists to pitch their Food System solution on stage at Y Science were selected among the seven teams. All teams will meet possible investors, network with potential partners and experts in the fields of their solution, and also get a Slush ticket. The winner of the pitching competition will be granted 5,000 euros to take their exciting idea further!

Finalists 2022


Oliver Rotko
Arctic Farming

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Gaëlle Thomas

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Jere Vento
Five Letter Foods

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Ossi Paloneva

Timeline of the Germinator programme and Food Systems Pitching Competition @ Y Science

  • May: Applications opened

  • June 1: Applications closed

  • June 13: Pitching for programme admission

  • August: Germinator programme and coaching starts

  • November 8: Selection of the four finalists

  • November 16: Final rehearsal of the pitching competition

  • November 17: Food Systems pitching competition during Y Science

  • December – March: Further concept development and prototyping

Jury for the selection of the 2022 finalists

  • Nina Tuomikangas, Project Manager Innovation, Lantmännen (sponsor-mentor representative)

  • Antti Isokangas, Leipurin (sponsor-mentor representative)

  • Heli Töykkälä, New Business Manager, Raisio (sponsor-mentor representative)

  • Harri Kallionen, Senior Vice President, Research and development, Valio (sponsor-mentor representative)

  • Juha Heinola, Ecosystem Lead, Business Finland

  • Jouni Lounasmaa, startup and ecosystem leader with over 15 years of experience with startups as a co-founder, board member, CFO, and coach.

  • Silvia Gaiani, Senior Researcher in Innovation and Entrepreneurship towards Sustainable Food Systems, Ruralia Institute, University of Helsinki

  • Maija Tenkanen, professor, Bioproduction chemistry, University of Helsinki

  • Marko Berg, Deputy Chief Investment Officer, University of Helsinki

  • Amanda Paananen, Business Development Officer, University of Helsinki

  • Reetta Kivelä, Professor of Practice, Viikki Food Design Factory, University of Helsinki & CIO, Nordic Umami Company

  • Laura Forsman, Manager, Viikki Food Design Factory

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