NEW YORK — Forty-five food and agricultural startups were selected to participate in Rabobank’s FoodBytes! Pitch 2021 competition.
The annual innovation program drives collaboration between startups, corporate leaders and investors to develop solutions to food system challenges. This year’s cohort features companies spanning the consumer packaged goods, agriculture technology and food technology sectors. The selected companies were chosen based on their solutions in key areas such as sustainable supply chains, improved resource management and nutrition.
Following a period of mentoring and coaching, a final 15 startups will be chosen to present in a live-streamed public pitch competition on Nov. 10. Three finalists will be named winners in their respective sectors.
“The purpose of FoodBytes! is to help facilitate progress in the food and agriculture industries to feed the world’s growing population while navigating the challenges imposed by climate change and the global pandemic,” said Anne Greven, head of food and agribusiness innovation at Rabobank. “That’s why, this year, we’ve focused on areas that are critical to future-proofing our members’ businesses and deepened our rigorous process for vetting and selecting entrepreneurs who participate in the FoodBytes! program - those with validated business models, a track record of commercial viability, collaborative mindsets and a robust and diverse team to drive meaningful change.”
Reflecting the platform’s mission to showcase a diverse range of voices and perspectives across the industry, more than half of the participating startups are founded by or led by women and/or BIPOC. The companies hail from 15 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, France, India, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Selected FoodBytes! Pitch innovators in the consumer packaged goods sector include:
- Fable Food, Sunshine Coast, Australia, a maker of plant-based meat alternatives made with shiitake mushrooms.
- Down to Cook, El Cerrito, Calif., a maker of plant-based ground meat alternatives.
- Hooray Foods, San Fransisco, a startup creating a meat-free bacon alternative.
- Plantcraft, New York, a plant-based innovator developing a clean label deli range.
- Nubocha, Los Angeles, a maker of low calorie, dairy-free gelato.
- Upright Oats, Branford, Conn., an instant oat milk brand.
- Ulu Hye, Freshwater, Australia, a creator of nut milk bases.
- Your Food Collective, Tighes Hill, Australia, a fresh, locally sourced grocery delivery platform.
- AYO Foods, Chicago, a maker of savory, spicy dishes inspired by West African cuisine.
- Ginjan Bros, New York, a maker of traditional African foods and beverages.
- Pricklee, Boston and New York, a brand of canned beverages featuring prickly pear.
- Seconds, New York, a cracker brand using upcycled ingredients.
- Ārepa, Auckland, New Zealand, a brain-food-technology company offering functional foods and beverages.
- Lil Mixins, Philadelphia, a maker of powders designed to introduce eggs and nuts to infants.
- Great Wrap, Melbourne, Australia, a maker of compostable cling wrap.
Finalists in the agriculture technology sector include supply chain optimization startups AgriDigital and AgUnity; biopesticides and livestock management startups Syocin Biotech, Nanomik Technologies, SwineTech, BioLevel, Vytelle and 3Bar Biologics Inc.; regenerative and precision agriculture startups Lucent BioSciences, ThinkBio and Greeneye Technology; novel farming startups Aqua Development and IGS Ltd.; robotics and automation startup QualySense AG; and packaging innovation startup SBM-Transpirational.
Finalists in the food technology sector include food safety and traceability startups Marble Technologies, Agnext Technologies, Galley Solutions Inc., ProfilePrint and Xnext; alternative protein technology startups Done Properly, California Cultured and Biftek INC; nutrition and technology startups Biolumen, The Live Green Co. and Paragon Pure; and packaging innovation startups Cruz Foam, SoFresh Inc., Papkot and Kiinns.