Plant-based nutrition, future farming technology and circular supply chain solutions were amongst the dominant themes identified by the FoodBytes! by Rabobank judges following a ‘rigorous’ round of stakeholder scoring.
The 15 start-ups, who will pitch their concepts live on stage, were selected from more than 150 applications across 38 different countries and five continents. The finalists all demonstrated product innovation, market relevance, traction and commercial viability, with a focus on sustainability and social impact, FoodBytes! said.
The selected companies will deliver a three-minute pitch spotlighting their innovations. FoodBytes! London offers the start-ups exposure to potential investors as well as ‘intensive business mentorship’, led by a panel of industry experts.
“FoodBytes! builds lasting connections for the most promising food and agriculture startups who are critical in innovation and promoting a thriving sustainable food and agriculture eco-system, that will feed the increasing global population, expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050,” Nick Fereday, executive director of food and consumer trends at Rabobank and FoodBytes! London judge, noted.
FoodBytes! London will take place from 6-7 November at Victoria House in London. It is part of the global FoodBytes! series, which was first launched in San Francisco in 2015 as part of Rabobank’s Banking for Food strategy.
“Ever Since we launched in 2015, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that there has been no let up in the quality of the applicants seeking to make a profound impact and change on the food ecosystem,” Fereday added.
Who’s in the running?
FoodBytes! London will hear pitches from companies across three sectors: sustainable consumer packaged goods, ag-tech and food-tech.
Ticket to FoodBytes! London are available to purchase here.
Participating companies are in with a shot of winning one of three awards: Judge’s Choice, People’s Choice and Highly Commended.
Winners will have the opportunity to pitch and network at Rabobank’s European Advisory Board Meeting in France in April 2020. They will also receive eight hours of mentoring sessions with Rabobank specialists and business consultation services from FoodBytes! sponsors.
- Seaweed & Co. produce ‘naturally innovative’ seaweed ingredients and finished products for the food and nutrition markets.
- Borrago manufactures an alcohol-free botanical spirit.
- Plant Pops makes snacks from popped lotus flowers.
- Else Nutrition produces a 100% plant-based alternative to dairy-based baby nutrition
- Element Packaging – creates packaging solutions made from bamboo paper, plant starch and other sustainable polymers, which are fully compostable or biodegradable.
- Computomics – uses biological data to enable decisions that accelerate sustainable agricultural development, with a focus on biotech, breeding and indoor farming.
- N2 Applied adds nutrient value to manure and enabling farmers to replace mineral fertiliser with an environmentally-friendly fertiliser.
- Co2i / DryGro has developed a ‘new way’ to grow an animal feed protein ingredient called Lemna, which can be used as a supplement to soybean meal.
- LLeaf is an acronym for Luminescent Light Emitting Agriculture Films. It produces tech that increases yield by improving the light that reaches plants.
- Trellis allows the key players – growers, manufacturers, and retailers – to access insights from supply chain AI to predict crop production and yield, supply chain fluctuations and market trends.
- Stix Fresh has developed peelable stickers for fruit which help to keep them fresh. The company said this is an ‘all-natural’ way to extend the shelf life of fruit by up to 14 days.
- Fresh Check offers a ‘simpler, faster and low-cost’ method of hygeine testing with colour change spray to detect bacterial, chemical or organic contamination.
- Zero Waste Biotech developed the Aero-D machine which converts food waste into clean renewable energy.
- NOURISH3D produced a patented 3D printing technology which allows them to combine seven different active ingredients into personalised nutrition ‘stacks’.
- Redefine Meat produces animal-free meat with the same appearance, texture and flavour of animal meat, from natural and sustainable ingredients.
FoodBytes! London 2019 is officially supported by Compass Group UK & Ireland, Saputo Dairy UK (formerly Dairy Crest) and Coca Cola European Partners, as well as supporting sponsors Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), DLL and Watson Farley & Williams LLP.