Are you an AgriFood scaleup and are you ready for a deepdive into the US AgriFood ecosystem? Then join this program!

This program helps you explore the US AgriFood ecosystem through various activities such as pitching in front of curated audiences, meeting high-level stakeholders of large food and agriculture companies, visits to companies across the food value chain (growers, retailers, food manufacturers, etc.) & tailored meetings.

The program includes 5 preparation sessions in The Netherlands and a 1 week program in Chicago, including a visit to the IFT or Cultivate in Ohio. 

Why Chicago?

Chicago is the heart of America’s food value chain, with a high density of food, beverage, and agricultural companies. They leverage the region’s vast transportation, distribution and logistics ecosystem to get their products to market. When it comes to food, the city has a deep talent pool, a vast landscape of corporate partners, and an accessible entrepreneurial ecosystem.

More than 70 incubators and accelerators, 24 corporate innovation centers, and more than 60 VCs call Chicago home. 

Mondelez, McDonalds, Kraft Heinz, ADM, Conagra, Kellanova, and MillerCoors are among the food and beverage giants that call Chicago home area, along with large footprints from companies like Mars, PepsiCo, and Beam Suntory. Agricultural companies such as Syngenta, with Gotham Greens, and MightyVine are also strongly represented in Chicago. 

This makes the city a natural landing spot for scaleups with a solution or market interest in the agrifood industry.

Are you interested?

Get ready to expand your network and learn how to successfully grow your business in the US AgriFood Industry – apply now to join Chicago AgriFood Scaleups Program! Choose one of two tracks:

Track A: IFT Annual Meeting and Expo 

Track B: Cultivate'24

Track A - IFT

The IFT First Annual Meeting and Expo addresses the needs of the global food system. Taking place July 14-17, this year’s edition will bring innovators from around the world to Chicago’s McCormick Place. More than 800 exhibitors (Cargill, IFF, Ingredion, and more) will join a trade show with more than 17,000 attendees.

Track B - Cultivate'24

Cultivate’24 is the premier event for the agriculture industry, bringing the global horticulture industry to Columbus, Ohio. Taking place on July 13-16 this year’s edition includes companies such as Syngenta, Netafim, Signify, and more. 

Is this program for you?

The Chicago AgriFood Scaleup Program is for tech scaleups incorporated in the Netherlands. Your scaleup must be working on sustainable agrifood solutions, have proven traction in the home market, and explore a potential product/market fit in the US.

The program is free of charge. Each participant is responsible for their own accommodation and travel costs to the US. We expect commitment throughout the preparation training in the Netherlands, as well as the full US business trip. 

Our goal is to help you validate your US market fit and prepare to do business in the US. Only 10 scaleups will be selected to participate. The program will start with 5 preparatory sessions (approx 1,5 hour per session) over the course of 5 weeks in the Netherlands, followed by a week in Chicago where you’ll attend either the IFT FIRST international trade show or Cultivate’24, meet with personalized matches, visit companies, and network with VCs.

Experience of the 2023 delegation


'' In less than one week, we got access to partners, customers and investors with established connections in Chicago.”

Carlos Cabrera, Greencovery founder


“Andreea and her team did an amazing job in introducing us to the local Chicago ecosystem. I think all of us have a much better understanding of what it could mean to move the company there and doing business in USA.”

- Corjan van den Berg, revyve founder


Draft program*

*The program below is an example of what the final program might look like. The program is still under development, it may be possible to change or add new program components, or to shift program components.

The preparation sessions will take place on the follow dates 

  • Thursday, 6th June (physical) - 13.00 / 17.30 -Kick-off session Chicago Agrifood Scaleup program @ FoodValley, Wageningen
  • Thursday 13th of June (online) - 16.00 / 17.30 Fundraising in the US
  • Thursday, 20th June (online) - 16.00 / 17.30 Meet Chicago & the Midwest
  • Thursday, 27th June (online) - 16.00 / 17.30 Legal & IP
  • Wednesday, 3rd July (online) - 16.00 / 17.30 The journey of a Dutch scaleup in the UP

The mission to Chicago/Ohio will take place from the 14th until the 19th of July. Please take this mission date into consideration in your planning. Since we require a minimum of one company representive present during this mission. 

Practical Information

Costs for participating

For this mission there are no mission participation costs. 

This excludes hotel, flight costs, transfer to and from the hotel, out-of-pocket costs and/or out of program activities.

Please be aware that it costs approx 7000 euro's per company to set up this program (based on 10 registrants). This includes most of the practical costs for this mission. E.g. tickets for the trade shows, logistics, networking speakers and meetings.


We’re excited to team up with citizenM hotels, a hotel brand that shares our values and is committed to support builders and creators.

At a later stage we will share a link and discount code. 

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel your participation after we have officially confirmed your participation, we will charge you for all the costs incurred by the organisers.

PLEASE NOTE that the organisers reserve the right to cancel this mission, and thus your participation, if not enough companies register and therefore a balanced budget cannot be realised.  

When you complete your registration you agree with these conditions.


If you have any questions, please contact Tiffany Meijer or Andreea Bota

Tiffany Meijer
Project Manager International Trade - Horti & Food
InnovationQuarter & RotterdamPartners
+31 6 34148004
Tiffany Meijer
Andreea Bota
Sr Economic Policy Officer
Consulate General of The Netherlands Chicago
Andreea Bota
Denise Kusse
Startup Mission Leader
Netherlands Enterprise Agency / ad interim for the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Chicago
Denise Kusse
Jeroen Beekman
Deputy Consul General
Consulate General of The Netherlands Chicago
Jeroen Beekman
Trevor Terry
Economic Policy Officer
Consulate General of The Netherlands Chicago
Trevor Terry

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