Food start-up competition attracts 120 firms

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Food start-ups are competing for a chance for business mentorship at Rabobank's F&A Next conference
Food start-ups are competing for a chance for business mentorship at Rabobank's F&A Next conference
More than 120 global food and agriculture start-up firms are competing for a place at the agribusiness bank Rabobank’s business mentorship scheme competition, Foodbytes. 

The competition will see up to 20 start-ups shortlisted from the applications to pitch their businesses to a panel of expert judges and an audience of global investors at Rabobank’s food and agriculture conference, F&A Next, at Wageningen University in the Netherlands next month.

Winning pitches will get the chance to join acceleration programmes from business start-up consultancies ShakeUpFactory and Startlife, as well as introductions to Rabobank’s global network of corporate and retail clients.

Rabobank large corporates food & agri md Jeroen Leffelaar said innovation in the growth and production of food was needed to meet the challenges of population growth and climate change.

‘Support and funding’

“F&A Next aims to help address these problems, by connecting food and agri start-ups with the support and funding they need to turn their visions into scalable operations that can make a real impact,” ​he said.

Foodbytes – meet the judges

  • The Kitchen – Foodtech Hub vice-president of business development Amir Zaidman
  • ShakeUpFactory founder Kevin Camphuis
  • Rabobank North America head of start-up innovation Manuel Gonzalez

“We are excited to welcome the next cohort of competitors at our Netherlands event and to learn more about the future role they will play in helping the world to meet its food supply challenges.”

The judges for this year’s competition include: Amir Zaidman, The Kitchen – Foodtech Hub vice-president of business development Amir Zaidman, ShakeUpFactory founder Kevin Camphuis and Rabobank North America head of start-up innovation Manuel Gonzalez.

Previous winners include FreshSurety, a US company that provides real-time freshness reporting technology from producers to the shelf and Dutch agricultural plant performance analysis provider Phenospex.

Previous winners

Investors and food businesses interested in attending the conference can register at the F&A Next website.

Meanwhile, PepsiCo is offering £256,085 (€300,000) in grants​ to food and drink entrepreneurs in a bid to grow eight breakthrough brands.

The programme, PepsiCo Nutrition Greenhouse, will provide a £21,349 (€25,000) grant to up to eight successful candidates as part of a six­-month incubator programme in order to achieve accelerated growth in the market place.

Previous winners

FreshSurety: ​A provider of low-cost, disposable sensors that measure and report temperature, moisture and metabolite data of food using a wireless communication system connected to the internet. ​The system provides real-time freshness reporting technology from producers to the shelf.

Phenospex: ​Developer of automated and integrated plant analysis technology.

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