What is the CAPSELLA Acceleration Programme?

The CAPSELLA Acceleration Programme facilitates the co-creation of disruptive and breakthrough solutions, business ideas and opportunities for supporting innovative, diversity-based, quality and health-centred food systems in Europe.  

We strengthen the ongoing transitions to agroecological, biodiversity based and organic practices and systems by opening up the innovation cycle and bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to co-create tomorrow’s products and services, in the sustainable agriculture sector that is continuously growing despite the harsh economic environment.

We propose a bottom up approach for the development of data driven solutions that will contribute to a greener and fair future with efficiency and transparency in the ecological, biodiversity based, organic agriculture sector.

The creation process will be fueled by the support of relevant communities. These will be encouraged to generate and make sense of data, fostering informed decision making and solutions that assist farmers in improving their production and competitiveness policy makers in implementing strategies for meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the UNFCCC Paris Agreement while opening up the discussion on open data in agriculture and decision making.

The CAPSELLA Acceleration Programme aims to promote innovation for diversity-based food systems in European agriculture, supporting the development of innovative solutions and applications that utilize agriculture-related big data, solutions that create new tools for farmers and propose new business models for land data governance. It is a programme designed to facilitate Open Innovation in the agrifood sector, to create new technologies, applications, platforms, and processes that will allow the upgrade of tools and methods that are implemented nowadays in the ecological, biodiversity based, organic agriculture sector. This actively contributes to the provision of improved services and experiences to the CAPSELLA stakeholders and communities, and to all Europeancitizens interested in sustainably produced, tasty and nutritious food (#AgriTech #Agri-food Technology).

Participants are invited to freely choose among cutting edge CAPSELLA challenges υsing among their creativity and inspiration and with the guidance of the CAPSELLA Acceleration Programme, mentoring and training they will be encouraged to develop their own disruptive ideas that will shape the future of ecological, diversity based agri-food value chains.

The ultimate goal of the CAPSELLA Accelerator Programme – «Creating innovative solutions for boosting the transition to ecological, diversity based, organic agriculture», is not only realized through a competition which will culminate on Friday 13.10.2017 and Saturday 14.10.2017. It includes a warmup event on 23.09.2017 to contribute to building stronger teams and deep understanding of CAPSELLA Acceleration Challenges, and continues after the competition by supporting the selected winners with a targeted growth program that includes training, mentoring and incubation to achieve the transformation of ideas into mature solutions.

The CAPSELLA Accelerator Programme is a complete innovation journey that will excite and reward those who will participate in it.


The Acceleration Phases

Phase 1 – Preparation   

Call For Participants:
Responding to an open call participants will be granted a ticket to the CAPSELLA Acceleration journey based on their talent and obsession to build a startup.
Warm Up Event:
A warm-up event will be organised to facilitate participants’ networking, team creation and information provision, to initiate the preparation for the Innovation Contest.

Phase 2 – The Innovation Contest (Capacity and Execution Contest):

Participants compete in teams, having complementary skills and backgrounds, to provide the most innovative solutions to the challenges of a CAPSELLA innovation contest.

Phase 3 – The Contest Follow-Up

A three month period of unconditional free training on a) how to foster entrepreneurship (idea generation, management, marketing, etc), b) agriculture and related sustainability threats and c) how to use the CAPSELLA platform will be offered to the winners of the innovation contest.
Phase 4 – Business Plan Competition:
Business Plan Competition among the graduates of the CAPSELLA Training Bootcamp will decide which of them will proceed to the next phase, incubation.
Phase 5 – Incubation:
The Winner of the BP Competition will receive a 3 months incubation and housing, cash prize and further business training, industry mentoring, services, and fundraising aid in the most prominent incubator in sunny Athens, Greece.

The CAPSELLA Accelerator Programme is a complete innovation journey that will excite and reward those who will participate in it.

More info on the phases available at th Acceleration Phases tab.


Organisers and Supporters

The CAPSELLA Acceleration Programme is coordinated by Corallia, a Unit of the Research Center Athena with the support of We Deliver Taste, Agroknow, Zephyr, Aston University, Rete Semi Rurali, Zuidelijke Land-en Tuinbouworganisatie Vereniging and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna.

The Programme is organised in the framework of CAPSELLA, the Greek Copernicus Academy and Copernicus Relay Network and the innovation actions designed by Corallia.

CAPSELLA (the Collective Awareness PlatformS for Environmentally-sound Land management based on data technoLogies and Agrobiodiversity) is a project co-funded by the European Union (Project No. 688813. ICT-10-2015 Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation) with the aim to address and provide open data ICT solutions to sort out key societal hot issues such as the proper use and management of agricultural land and agro-biodiversity to ensure the understanding of the importance of good quality food as the last segment of the agro biodiversity process. CAPSELLA supports the current effort at European level for building innovative, diversity-based and quality and health-centered food systems with tailored-made ICT solutions.

The Greek Copernicus Relay/Academy Network aims at informing citizens, the potential created through them, as indicatively the available financial and development frameworks for the creation of innovative applications.

etporganics_logo_final TP Organics is a supporter of the Acceleration Programme



e12fd673-33b7-4180-b0df-7ea0c9f2288dImportant Dates and Place


CAPSELLA Innovation Contest Preparation

Innovation Call [Phase 1]: 01.06.2017-31.07.2017
Participants invited to warm-up event [Phase 1]: 31.08.2017

CAPSELLA Innovation Contest

Warm-Up Event [Phase 2]: 23.09.2017
Contest Days [Phase 2]: 13.10.2017-14.10.2017

CAPSELLA Innovation Contest Awards

Bootcamp [Phase 3]: 01.12.2017-28.02.2018
Business Plan Submission [Phase 4]: 07.03.2018
Business Plan Presentations day [Phase 4]: 17.03.2018
Incubation [Phase 5]: 17.03.2018-30.06.2018

  • Phase 2, the warm-up event and the innovation contest itself will be located in the a2-innohub, Kifissias Ave. 44, Monumental Plaza-Building C, GR-15125 Maroussi, Athens, Greece.
  • Phase 3, the bootcamp will be offered online through the CAPSELLA training platform, available here.
  • Phase 4 will be held in the a2-innohub, Kifissias Ave. 44, Monumental Plaza-Building C, GR-15125 Maroussi and online.
  • The incubation of phase 5 will be offered in the most suitable incubator in Athens.




The CAPSELLA Acceleration Programme is dedicated to Ecological, Biodiversity based and Organic agriculture. For the innovation contest participants are free to choose from the CAPSELLA cutting edge challenges to compete.

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CAPSELLA Acceleration Programme is open to all people older than 18 years, with any level of education and from any scientific/professional field without any restrictions. It is addressed to students, PhDs. young scientists, agriculturists, developers, programmers,  designers, engineers, finance experts, communication experts, marketeers, business women/men, farmers, entrepreneurs,  entrepreurs-to-be etc. as well as new technology enthusiasts, those excited by the development of innovative tools, solutions, applications, processes and new business models and those willing to participate in the sustainable development of primary production. The CAPSELLA co-creation process is also open to all related European Innovation partnerships, NGOs, other CAPS projects and maker projects that are invited to become [part of the CAPSELLA community.

Participation in the CAPSELLA Acceleration Programme is free of charge.

Participation requests can be submitted only through the following link. Only participation requests submitted within the given submission period will be considered valid. No participation request will be accepted after the submission deadline. After the successful submission of a valid participation request you will receive a confirmation of receipt via email.

Applications to participate in the CAPSELLA Acceleration Programme are open to individuals. The selected individuals from phase one will then form teams from 2 to 5 people to participate in the innovation contest (phase 2), thus achieving complementarity, balance and the availability of all needed skills in each team in order to  respond to the the contest challenges more efficiently.

Why should I participate?

  • To make this world a better place offering new solutions to agriculture related challenges and sustainability threads.
  • To put your exceptional technical talent, strong scientific or business background to use.
  • To meet people active in the agri-food sector.
  • To create new products and solutions for the agri-food sector.
  • To materialize your desire launch and build your Start-Up in the agri-food sector.
  • To get guidance and support on the development of your proposed solution.
  • To take advantage of the unique prizes offered during the phases of the CAPSELLA Acceleration Programme.
  • To have fun and meet new people that share the same interests with you.

Do you want to take part in the CAPSELLA journey? – Register here (link to Eventbrite)

Do you want to become part of the CAPSELLA community and be part of the organization – Register here as a volunteer (link to Eventbrite)



Is the participation to CAPSELLA Acceleration Programme free of charge?
Yes it is free.

Where and until when should I apply to participate in CAPSELLA Acceleration Programme?
You can apply only online via the webpage. Deadline for applications is on the 1st of July at 23:59.

Will I have to be part of a team or can I compete individually?
Applications for participation in the CAPSELLA Acceleration Programme are only available for individual applicants. For the participation in the innovation contest being part of a 2-5 persons team is obligatory. Only team participations are eligible to participate in the innovation contests. Finally, once the participants have made it to phase 3, during the bootcamp, and in order to prepare themselves for the business plan presentation

Which is the deadline to form a team?
After successfully being selected as a participant in phase 2 you can start building your team. You can complete your team formation until one hour before the start of the CAPSELLA Innovation Contest. To meet your potential team members you can participate in the informative event for participants, the WarmUp Event at a2-innohub or use the Facebook Group of CAPSELLA Innovation Contest.

Of how many team members can each team participating in the Innovation Contest consist?
Each participating team can consist of 2 to 5 members.

Do I have to bring with me technological equipment during my participation in the Innovation Contest?
Participants should bring all the needed technical equipment for their participation computers/ laptops, chargers and power strips. No technological equipment is provided from the organisers during the CAPSELLA Innovation Contest. During the contest high speed connection will be provided in a2-innohub for the participants.

What will the organizers offer during the innovation contest (and what they will not offer)?
The organizers will offer:

  • Coffee, drinks, refreshments, food, snacks.
  • Electricity, high speed internet conntection.
  • Advice and support by accredited mentors.
  • Stationary for your notes and brainstorming sessions.
  • Equipment for your presentations.
  • Data and acccess to develop applications.

The organizers will not offer:

  • Technological equipment (computers/ laptops, chargers and power strips).
  • Sleeping bags.

During the innovation contest, when I will not be in the room will my equipment be safe?
The place will be guarded by a professional secuity service throughout the CAPSELLA Innovation Contest.

During the innovation contest can I stay at the event throughout its whole duration?
Yes you may stay overnight in the venue of the CAPSELLA Innovation Contest. Don’t forget to bring your sleeping bags!

Will food be provided during the innovation contest?
Yes, food will be offered for free to all participants throughout the duration of the CAPSELLA Innovation Contest in the contest venue.

Who will own the Intellectual Property I will develop during the CAPSELLA Acceleration Programme?
The intellectual property created from the individuals and teams during and as a result of their participation in the CAPSELLA Acceleration Programme belongs solely to its creators according to the current legislative framework. Participants also fully maintain any pre-existing copyright of their work and of the results of a this work, which were produced before their participation in the programme. With their participation in the programme, participants explicitly agree to provide the right to the organizers to use and display the results exclusively for implementation and promotion purposes, or in order to highlight the results of the programme. Any public reference to the participants’ outcomes/ creations (name, key features etc.) made by the Organisers, shall include a reference to the creators of the corresponding business idea/ application.

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