The first accelerator dedicated to the bioeconomy

January 2024: the call4startup for the third edition has started

The third call for startups of Terra Next, the acceleration program for startups and innovative SMEs operating in the bioeconomy sector, started on January 16th.

The accelerator, designed over a 3-year timeframe, received 263 Italian and international applications in the first two editions and selected 15 startups in which it has already invested a total of 1.5 million euros, through acceleration tickets.

The third call searches for innovative companies operating in the sectors of Integrated Nutraceuticals, Circular & Bio-Materials and Regenerative Agriculture. Interested companies will have until March 8 to apply.

Many of the startups that participated in the program have already proven their worth on the market, attracting further investments. Like, for example, Relicta - an innovative startup that has developed water-soluble, biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging, obtained from processing waste from the fishing industry, which closed an investment round of 500 thousand euros by Scientifica Venture Capital, Terra Next and Vertis SGR, through the Venture 3 Technology Transfer fund. Or ExoLab Italia – a company that has developed a system to use plant nanovesicles from fruit and organic medicinal plants for food supplementation, cosmetics and drug-delivery, which saw a co-investment from Terra Next and from Scientifica Venture Capital, a fund that invests in startups exclusively with a scientific theme, for a total of 300 thousand euros.

October 10, 2023: demoday of the second edition

The morning of the Demo Day, which was held in streaming and live at the Auditorium of the San Giovanni a Teduccio campus in Naples, was full of events: it saw alternating greetings and institutional interventions such as those of Guido Giordano, Partner - Fund Accelerators at CDP Venture Capital SGR - Fondo Nazionale Innovazione, Giuseppe Nargi, Regional Director of Campania, Calabria and Sicily of Intesa Sanpaolo and Andrea Beretta, Head of Startup&/Investment of Cariplo Factory and the startup pitches, which were able to show investors and the public the maturation, the progress made in the months of acceleration and future ambitions.

The 7 leading startups - Circular Fiber, Coffeefrom, FlavoLife, Isuschem, Kinsect, Lebiu and Real Bowl - have created eco-sustainable solutions to use waste from the food industries and beyond (coffee, artichoke, used oils and cork ), but also solutions that allow people to better cope with illnesses, or even, they have produced a line of fresh food for dogs. A series of very interesting solutions from the point of view of the reuse of production waste otherwise destined to become waste.

The day continued with networking meetings with companies and investors.

May 2023: the second edition of the program started with 7 new startups

The second edition of Terra Next began on May 25th, with the 7 startups selected by the evaluation commission made up of promoters, advisory board and corporate partners.

The startups benefited from a total initial investment of over 750 thousand euros and took part in a 3-month course based in Naples, at the San Giovanni a Teduccio Campus of the Federico II University, during which they had the opportunity to grow through mentorship, training, networking and frontal in-depth moments dedicated to the consolidation of the value proposition and the business model, the technical validation and prototyping of solutions, go-to-market support and fundraising. Furthermore, the best teams will have access to further investments of around 1 million euros, already allocated by the promoters.

The startups, selected among 137 Italian and international applications, have created eco-sustainable solutions to use waste from the food industry and beyond (coffee, artichoke, waste oil and cork), but also solutions that allow people to age better, or even, they have produced a line of fresh dog food. Here they are in detail:

Circular Fiber: the startup focuses on the production of flour and nutraceutical products based on artichoke waste. The production process and the product are covered by patent, and the flour produced has a significantly lower environmental impact than conventional flours.

Coffeefrom: a new bio-based material composed of renewable sources (PLA) comes to life from industrial coffee grounds, produced entirely in Italy, which constitutes a valid, durable and resistant alternative to disposable plastic.

FlavoLife: is a startup founded on the basis of over 8 years of translational medical research conducted by Professor Pitari of T. Jefferson University (Philadelphia, USA) and by the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry of the CNR of Catania on the medical potential of flavonoids, polyphenolic compounds contained in fruit and vegetables. FlavoLife's mission is to allow people to age better while preserving their health.

Isuschem: operates in the research sector and in the industrial synthesis of products derived from used oils and not derived from crops intended for edible oils. Thanks to patented technology, Isuschem converts the fatty acids of oils into innovative solvents, reducing the environmental impact of chemical products.

Kinsect: has developed an industrial process for the production of protein meals for animal feed by breeding insects on a large scale. Using proprietary technologies and patents, the startup aims to create a circular economy model that converts industrial and agricultural by-products into foods with low environmental impact.

Lebiu: focuses on the production of a range of eco-sustainable materials, with refined mechanical properties (lightness, flexibility, waterproofness, etc.) obtained from waste cork stoppers from Sardinia. By respecting the times of nature, it contributes to reducing CO² emissions by using waste from the cork industry and reintroducing it into the production cycle.

Real Bowl: has developed a line of fresh dog food, human grade and non-industrial where all the ingredients are explained. Each meal is preservative-free but can be kept out of the fridge for 45 days. Starting from a personalized profile of the dog, Real Bowl offers an ideal dietary regime.

January 2023: the call for the second edition has been launched

The call4startup for the 2023 edition of the program was launched on 19 January, which aims to select innovative companies in the Nutraceuticals, Circular & bio-materials and Regenerative Agriculture fields. The application phase will remain open until 26 February. Subsequently, the Terra Next evaluation commission - made up of promoters, advisory boards and corporate partners - will select up to 10 innovative startups and SMEs that will access the acceleration program, benefiting from an initial investment and a 3-month course based in Naples, at the San Giovanni a Teduccio Campus of the Federico II University.

The course will take place in the spring and, unlike the 2022 edition, has been conceived in a hybrid mode, with face-to-face operational and networking activities combined with remote learning, in order to guarantee startups and founders the necessary flexibility and support in their growth path.

The startups selected during the previous edition have followed a very interesting growth path, achieving important results.

Among them, we point out Relicta, the startup that has developed water-soluble and biodegradable plastic packaging obtained from processing waste from the fish industry, which has closed an investment round of 500 thousand euros by Scientifica Venture Capital, Terra Next and Vertis SGR, through the Venture 3 Technology Transfer fund.

October 2022: first Terra Next edition conclusion with the demoday.


The Terra next Demoday took place on 11 October in the prestigious setting of the Apple Academy, inside the university complex of San Giovanni a Teduccio in Naples. In front of a large audience in presence and streaming, the 8 startups made their pitches, presenting their innovative solution to investors and ecosystem companies.

The first edition had selected in June 8 innovative startups operating in the Nutraceuticals, Biobased Solutions and Regenerative Agriculture segments. During the Demoday, DND Biotech, Exo Lab Italia, FitNEes, Galatea Biotech, Iodo, Relicta, Sestre and Tomapaint, these are the names of the eight finalists, were able to demonstrate their maturity thanks to the acceleration received and illustrate their plans for the future.

June 2022: selected the eight startups for the first edition of the The Naples-based program 

The 8 innovative companies operating in the sectors of nutraceuticals, bio-based solutions and regenerative agriculture, starting from 20 June, have been participating in the first edition of Terra Next, the acceleration program for startups and innovative SMEs operating in the bioeconomy sector, that is taking place in the Naple's Campus S Giovanni Teduccio. During the Selection Day on May 27, the 10 finalist startups presented themselves to the arena of investors, promoters and partners. The call4startup was launched in February and in the space of a month and a half from the opening of the call it exceeded expectations, gathering over 120 candidate applications.  The technologies selected in the Selection Day range from bioremediation services to nanotechnological systems of delirery of plant active ingredients, from bioplastics to new bio-based materials for the most varied industrial fields.


An important alliance for a high growth sector 

Terra Next is part of the Rete Nazionale Acceleratori CDP, set up by CDP Venture Capital together with Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center and Cariplo Factory which manages the program. This synergy aims to grow a made in Italy sector already renowned for its excellences, which boasts a 2020 value of production of 317 billion euros in Italy. With an added value of 23.6 billion euros, in the South of Italy the Bioeconomy represents almost a quarter of the relative national figure and 6.7% of the total economy of the area, proving itself to be, therefore, a high intensity employment development sector.    

The aim of Terra Next is to accelerate business competences and create synergies with industrial players:  already signed up to the program are important Campania region and national companies such as Pastificio Garofalo, Nestlé, Novamont e Getra.  

3 years to grow 30 Italian startups 

With an initial budget of about 3.8 million euros allocated by the CDP Venture Capital Fondo Acceleratori as well as about 1.3 million allocated by Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center and its partners, Terra Next is designed on a 3-year timeline. Each year, a 12-week Naples-based acceleration track will be launched, during which the selected startups (up to 30 over the three years) will have the opportunity to grow via mentorship, training, networking and occasions for frontal in-depth analysis devoted to consolidation of the value proposition and of the business model, technical validation and solution prototyping, go-to-market support and fundraising.