Unilever R&D signs Partnership Agreement with StartLife Wageningen

Press release

Unilever R&D signs Partnership Agreement with StartLife Wageningen

Published on
April 13, 2018

Startups are not hindered by any status quo and have a radical focus to serve a customer need. Yet often startups need a corporate partner to scale their solutions quicker or to be successful at all. And especially early stage startups need guidance in developing their ideas into proof of concepts and minimum viable products. Unilever R&D is going to help these startups by offering its expertise and facilities to these startups.

StartLife is excited that Unilever R&D is now being part of the StartLife community. Moreover with the construction of the new Unilever Foods Innovation Centre on Wageningen Campus, Unilever R&D will be able to offer its knowledge, network and facilities to startups and thereby contributing to a strong foods innovation ecosystem in Wageningen. Together the organizations will support entrepreneurs and their teams as they build their innovative business ideas into global enterprises with a lasting impact.

The official contract signing ceremony on April 13 was performed by Isabelle Esser, Executive Vice President, Research & Development, Foods at Unilever R&D and Jan Meiling, Managing Director of StartLife. She states: "As part of the Agri-Food Innovation Ecosystem in Wageningen we are able to multiply the impact of our own resources and capabilities with those of the wide variety of external partners that are present here. The input and creativity of startups in the StartLife community will result in creating the innovative power that we need to remain frontrunners in sustainable foods."

Managing Director Jan Meiling comments on the partnership with: "This is brilliant news for the startup entrepreneurs in our portfolio, they now being able to liaise on a structural bases with a leading multinational food company, on ‘Starbucks distance’!"


StartLife is the leading Food & Agtech incubator in Europe, supporting startups with its programs, community and early stage funding schemes. StartLife has been co-founded by Wageningen University & Research.