Join Lely's Hackathon

Sign up to Lely’s 48 hour Hackathon, powered by Rockstart, on the 4th - 6th of November and work together with industry experts, startups, and mentors to come up together with a solution that could revolutionize the dairy industry.


July 6

Registrations Open

October 2

Registrations Closed

October 5

Selection Outcome

November 4-6


Event Features

Lely invites all entrepreneurial and technical minds to come together at Lely’s first Feed the Future Hackathon to solve today’s dairy farming and agricultural problems for tomorrow’s generation.


We've created a full two-day program of activities for all participants

Rockstart Mentors

Startup accelerator Rockstart will provide a mentor for each team

Diverse Perspectives

Team up with students, farmers, startups and industry professionals

All Stages

We welcome all ideas, even if they are not set up as a business yet

Expert Trainers

Learn from experienced trainers and specially designed workshops.


Meet people from the industry, plus our special guest speakers

Business Potential

Unlock the business potential of your idea and pitch your startup

Special Prize

A special prize will be awarded to the winner of the hackathon


We have chosen certain themes to guide the hackathon, all these themes are pressing issues that today's farmers are facing. Participants can submit a challenge within one of the themes that they feel is important to tackle.

Locally Produced Foods

After decades of globalizations of our food supply system, where mass production is at the centre, we have recently seen that this global complex supply chain is being disrupted by Covid19 - how can we then better involve local small farmers to ensure that we fulfil global demand?

Animal Welfare

The increasing awareness of consumers of the dairy industry has led the industry to be held more accountable for the way that they take care of the cows. Given that when the cows are treated properly and are happy they actually produce more milk, there is definitely a productivity and an ethical motivation to ensure proper animal welfare. Therefore how can we ensure that farmers can meet increasing standards of animal welfare and produce cost efficiently?

Fair Pricing

Recent developments on the dairy market create severe problems for milk producers. In many European countries farms are closing down due to the low level of milk prices paid by the processing industry and the retail sector. This leads to farmers looking to other revenue streams. How can we ensure that farmers are going to be making a living from their dairy farming?

No idea how to tackle these challenges?

No worries! Sign up if you're interested and passionate about solving them.


Last year Lely launched their Feed the Future Challenge where they scouted for the next generation of tech startups that were addressing the problems and needs of farming. Because of its success and the diversity of solutions Lely wants to see what other talent is out there by launching this hackathon.

About Lely

The farming innovators

Innovation is part of Lely's DNA since its foundation in 1948. The family business started as a ‘studio for invention’ and became a global pioneer and leading supplier of robotics and farm management data for the dairy farm. Lely invented the milking robot, which is recognized as the most important invention of the 20th century for dairy farmers. With its unique distribution network, Lely gives access to at least 70% of the professional dairy farmers around the globe providing them with all types of robots for feeding, milking and maintenance of stables.

Active Patents
Robots Worldwide
Countries Served

With a focus on solving farming problems and asking questions such as “What does the next generation of farmers need?”, Lely became the leader in robotics and farm management we know today. Their inventions substantially changed traditions in agriculture across the globe. When introducing a product to the market that represents a breakthrough for farming, Lely calls this a ‘Yellow Revolution’. This Yellow Revolution concept started in 2005. Since then, ten Yellow Revolutions have launched.

Lely has joined forces with numerous organisations worldwide to make life in the agricultural sector easier and work towards a sustainable, profitable and enjoyable future. Now they are looking for new talent and a pool of ideas to discover new solutions that will revolutionise, innovate and address the needs of farming today and in the future!


Feed the Future is about feeding the world with new technologies. It stands for feeding fresh ideas into tomorrow’s dairy farming industry, and providing with access to the sector. We want to feed the future of startups with potential investment and collaboration with Lely. The winning startup has the opportunity to co-innovate with Lely to turn their technology into tomorrow’s dairy farming solutions. This process of turning an idea into a real product is also referred to as Front-End Engineering Design (FEED). And we need new solutions to be able to feed the world in 2050.
Anyone who has an interest in solving these issues can register. It can be from students studying at TU Delft, to a student studying entrepreneurship at RSM. However you may also be a farmer, or already have a startup that’s looking for industry expertise. You can register as an individual or as a team – however if you are a team you may be paired with others.
Once you sign up – shortly after you will receive a confirmation email from Lely and Rockstart, and we will give you more details on the next steps to confirm your spot at the Hackathon. As we do have limited spots you will receive the selection outcome on the 5th of October.
This event is a 2.5 day event the first day is half a day – it is the kick off and will take place online, however the next two days are planned to take place in person, details about the location coming soon.
We are working with the locations and taking the advice of RIVM about the COVID-19 restrictions. We will of course stay up to date with the regulations and perhaps take the event fully online if needed.
There are no costs involved in participating. As the event will be in person, and in the Netherlands – we are mainly looking for people who already reside in the Netherlands.
The hackathon is 2.5 days long. The first part of the program starts from Wednesday afternoon and end Wednesday evening. The goal of that half day is to introduce everyone, and decide on teams. The second day – Thursday, is a full day starting around 09:00 to 22:00. During this day you will attend a workshop, work with your team and meet with your mentor. The last day on Friday you will have till 15:00 to submit your final pitch deck, and we commence the final pitches, where a winner will be chosen by a selected jury and announced. You will receive a detailed program with times once you sign up.