EWA programme in Lithuania. June-November 2024. Don't miss your chance!

The programme is for women who have a business idea or have started a startup at least three years ago that can have a positive impact on the food system, improve people’s quality of life, or contribute to a more sustainable and efficient use of our planet’s resources.

During the project, you will learn how to effectively use your ideas, learn the basics of community building and resource management, and gain the knowledge you need to start or develop a sustainable business.

Registration is closed

Mentors

Jelena Ramanauskienė

Head of Administration at “Kauno grūdai”

“If you can’t change the situation, change your attitude!” – this motto has been her guiding star throughout a dynamic career in procurement and administration, spanning over decades. At Kauno Grūdai, she ensures smooth and efficient operations, enabling the entire organization to function optimally. She excels in planning and coordinating procedures, streamlining processes, and engaging her team in strategic forecasting, planning, and implementation. Her role also involves rigorous process control, staff performance assessments, and budget management, all while adhering to group policies and regulations. Before this, Jelena spent over 8 years as the Head of Procurement, where she developed and executed comprehensive procurement strategies. She led initiatives for continuous improvement and cost reduction, managed supplier relationships, and ensured the highest ethical standards in all negotiations. For startups, she offers a wealth of experience in creating efficient processes, strategic planning, team management, and procurement excellence. Her extensive background equips to mentor startups in developing robust operational strategies, improving efficiency, and driving sustainable growth.


Eglė Vaičiūkynaitė

Assoc. Prof. of Practice at the KTU School of Economics and Business, Co-founder and CEO of Neuromarketing & AI Lab in California (US) and Vilnius (Lithuania)

Has over 10 years of experience in international (EU, US) and national research & study projects related to information and communication technologies, customer emotions and customer behaviour. Currently, she is working on several EU projects related to generative AI (GenAI) solutions/tools for business. Her research interests cover brand/social media influencer communication & customer engagement on social media platforms and GenAI in education and business. She has been a (neuro)marketing consultant for businesses for over 8 years. Her industry research and consulting experience includes international and national brands from various industries, such as beauty, chemical and biotechnological, food and drink, hospitality, pharmacy, public relations, and communication.


Dr. Aistė Balčiūnaitienė

Senior Researcher at Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, CEO of “Biofita”

Has a BSc in Industrial Engineering, MSc in Polymer Engineering, and PhD in Materials Engineering. Main research areas: nanotechnology, green synthesis and research of metal nanoparticles, biopolymer composites, antimicrobial bio- and nanocomposites, design and research of natural functional 3D biopolymer structures. Author of one worldwide, 2 European, 3 Lithuanian patents. Participating in the 2022 Lithuanian edition of EWA, together with her team, she developed a prototype idea – a 100% biodegradable substrate for hydroponic crops. Upon noticing her potential, EIT Food invited Aistė to present her experience at the Women in Agrifood Summit 2022 in Spain.


Jolanta Kuzminienė

Director of „Varėnos pienelis“

A graduate in Biology and Economics from Vilnius State University (now Vilnius University), with 28 years of experience in the agrifood sector. For 6 years worked in the catering industry, from menu development and management to the whole restaurant operation and supervision. For 22 years – with short shelf-life food products (dairy, meat, fish): from product development to marketing. Competences: market analysis, customer needs identification and product development/adaptation to their needs; product costing and selling price setting; packaging selection, transport customisation, etc.; staff training, team building, motivational measures, setting goals and plans, monitoring their implementation; equipment selection, production process preparation, and work organisation; negotiations with private clients and large retail chains (Lithuanian and foreign); participation in exhibitions.


Inga Juozapavičienė

Lector at Vilnius University Business School

Brings extensive experience as an entrepreneurship lecturer, business mentor, and leader with a strong background in helping organizations start and scale, building professional networks, and providing strategic guidance.


Gintarė Alčiauskienė

CEO of “Sibena” (“Vikonda Group”)

Head of the retail chain Minimarket. With more than 10 years of experience in retail management, service delivery, and HR, she takes a holistic approach to any challenge or change. She has initiated and participated in a number of value-creating, efficiency improvement projects. Their success has been driven by the ability to dig deep and understand operations, standardise and optimise processes, and make decisions that respond to business needs. Gintarė believes in achieving the best results through a positive working climate, open communication, and continuous encouragement to improve. Improving leadership skills, implementing changes and communication, using Lean methods, setting the right indicators, developing and implementing a business strategy are topics in which she can guide startups.


Ignas Šlapkauskas

EIC Program Manager at Lithuanian Innovation Centre

Has 33 years of experience in business development, scaleup, and sales. Inventor and innovator holding 3 European patents. Innovation management expert. Expert member of the EC H2020 and Horizon Europe configuration committees: Strategic Configuration and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Access to Risk Capital. Successive EC, Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe project winner and executor as well as program evaluator.


Justas Stanys

Business Development and Innovations Manager at “Kauno grūdai”

His academic credentials include a Master’s Degree in Supply Chain Management from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, where Justas gained in-depth knowledge in facility logistics management, distribution networks, strategic sourcing, global logistics, and operations research, also I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Economics from Kaunas University of Technology. Over a decade of experience at Kauno Grūdai, he held key roles such as Business Development and Innovations Manager, Supply Chain Manager, Project manager. His responsibilities included streamlining the “Idea-to-profit” process, connecting suppliers, production sites, and customers efficiently, and managing organizational shifts to enhance supply chain processes. Earlier roles in finance management and analysis complement his expertise, providing a solid foundation in financial planning, treasury management, and strategic analysis. This comprehensive blend of education and hands-on experience equips him with the strategic insight and operational acumen to effectively mentor startups in optimizing their supply chain, business development, and financial management strategies.


Algirdas Augustinas

COO of Vikeda

As a seasoned commercial director with over a decade of diverse experience, he brings to a company a strategic and results-driven approach. Over the past 7 years, Algirdas honed his expertise in commercial strategy, market expansion, and revenue growth. Background in key account management has equipped Algirdas with strong relationship building and negotiation skills, while his 5 years in procurement within the retail sector have provided a deeper understanding of supply chain dynamics and cost optimization. Diverse background allows him to navigate business towards revenue growth and profitability with an open-minded approach.


Elmantas Pocevičius

CEO of Švenčionių Vaistažolės & Acorus Calamus, Head of R&D Department at Vision DEM4 Laboratory, lector at Vilnius University

Received a degree as a qualified medical doctor from Kaunas University of Medicine, a Master’s degree in business and economics from Kaunas University of Technology, and a Master’s degree in international management and business administration from the University of Roskilde in Denmark. He has almost 30 years of experience in pharmaceutical sales, management of internal company structures, development of corporate development strategies, personnel selection management, and communication with wholesale distribution companies and food retail chains. 20 of these years have been spent in retail and wholesale pharmaceutical companies as a senior manager responsible for sales, marketing, and corporate development. Main professional interests: innovation in the food sector and food supplements, natural medicine, medicinal/herbal plants, rational use and composition of food supplements, and healthy lifestyle. He has 16 years of experience in one of Lithuania’s largest herbal, medicinal teas, food supplements, and other pharmaceutical companies, Acorus Calamus.

EWA News

Nothing found.

Why participate in EWA?

Knowledge

For six months, you will work individually with mentors assigned to you, take part in face-to-face and virtual workshops and training sessions. You will also have the chance to actively benefit from international networking within the EIT Food community.

Growth opportunities

During the final event, you will present your idea and progress to business angels and potential investors. The best performers will be invited to further participate in various EIT Food projects.

Raising visibility

Participants will receive media attention. Their stories will be published as well as social media posts showcasing the young entrepreneurs.

Financial prize

The winner will be awarded €10,000, the second place winner will receive €5,000 and the third place – a money prize of €3,000. An experienced jury will select the best participants based on the idea of the presented startup and the progress made during the programme period.

This is your opportunity!

The EWA programme of EIT Food, the leading food innovation platform in the European Union, is taking place in Lithuania for the third time! The aim is to encourage women’s engagement in entrepreneurship and unlock their potential to be innovators of future-changing solutions. To take part in the programme, you need to:

  • Identify with the female gender
  • Have an idea/business in the agrifood sector
  • Be located in a RIS region – in Lithuania, there are 10 regions
  • In the case of running a business, it should operate on the market for no longer than 3 years and during this time it should not have received funding exceeding €60,000 from private or public funds
  • Fully commit to participate in EWA programme and to attend its events

Want to be a mentor?

We invite you to join us as experienced professionals who want to contribute to the success of increasing the engagement of women entrepreneurs in the agrifood sector. Mentors joining the programme will have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in an international project and exchange experiences with other mentors from twelve European countries.
  • Actively benefit from the EIT Food community by participating in events, workshops, and accessing a wide network of connections.
  • Get to know some of the most talented agrifood innovators in Lithuania.
  • To be presented as one of the faces of the EWA project in Lithuania.

If you are interested in being a mentor, please contact edita@agrifood.lt by 7 June.

EWA programme course

April 26. Remote programme launch event (webinar).
Until May 31. Registration for the programme.
May 25-June 7. Application evaluation process. 10 participants will be selected.
June 14. Online workshop.
June 25. Acquaintance event for project participants and mentors in Vilnius.
July-November. Communication with mentors, specific training and events.
August 21. Masterclass in Birštonas.
November 26. Final pitching event and prize fund award.
December. Pan-European Summit of women entrepreneurs in agrifood.

Fill in the online registration form, tell us your startup idea and be one of the ten EWA Lithuania participants selected for 2024!

About the program and organizers

EWA is a programme supported by EIT Food (the world’s largest and most dynamic food innovation platform) and aims at promoting women’s engagement in entrepreneurship and unlocking their potential as innovators of future-changing solutions. The project is running in 12 European countries this year.

EIT Food is the world’s largest and most dynamic food innovation community. We accelerate innovation to build a future-fit food system that produces healthy and sustainable food for all. It is the most prestigious organisation of its kind in the EU, with a network of hubs across the continent. To find out more about EIT Food, visit their website.

AgriFood Lithuania DIH is a one-stop shop for digital innovation, bringing together key stakeholders from science, business, and the public sector to promote the digitalisation of the agrifood sector and the implementation of cutting-edge innovation. From March 2021, AgriFood Lithuania DIH is the EIT Food Hub in Lithuania.

Previous Events

The programme is for women who have a business idea or have started a startup at least three years ago that can have a positive impact on the food system, improve people’s quality of life, or contribute to a more sustainable and efficient use of our planet’s resources.

2023 EWA Bootcamp Lithuania Event

Event page

2022 EWA event page

Event page

2021 EWA event page

Event page

EWA News

Another EWA edition: top female innovators will compete in 2024

Women’s role is crucial for agrifood innovation and sustainable development, but there are still too few opportunities for them to show leadership in…

EWA 2024: participants should be motivated by more than just the prize money

EWA, a free programme that promotes women’s entrepreneurship and the potential to develop innovative solutions for the future of agrifood, is…