Editor’s note: We’re excited to welcome Rabobank FoodBytes! back to New York this November 2–3 for Food Loves Tech! They’ll be joining our Incubator Alley to extend and promote their pitch competition and networking platform for some of “the world’s most cutting-edge food and agriculture innovators.”
They’re also coming to town on October 18 for their third annual FoodBytes! NYC pitch competition—here’s an excerpt from the event’s press release:
FoodBytes! by Rabobank, the next-generation food and agriculture pitch-competition-meets-networking platform, has unveiled the 20 startups selected to take the stage at FoodBytes! NYC. The competition returns to New York City for the third time on Thursday, October 18.
Through FoodBytes!, Rabobank scours the globe looking for the world’s most cutting-edge food and agriculture innovators. The platform offers an opportunity for selected entrepreneurs to showcase their new products and technologies in front of investors, executives and media, as well as receive the mentorship, connections, insights and continuous community needed to grow their respective businesses.
The startups were measured against unique criteria, including sustainability, scalability, innovation and team experience. Based on this criteria, the 10 highest-ranked startups will have 3.5 minutes to pitch, while the next 10 startups will have 1.5 minutes to pitch.
Animal health and reducing antibiotic use are dominant themes among the pitch companies, including an A.I. milk quality analysis tool and microalgae-based oral vaccines for the aquaculture industry. Restaurant efficiency is another major trend, with a food assembly robot and a back-of-house tool that reduces food waste by 50 percent. Additionally, novel plant-based CPG startups will take the stage with tomato-based “sushi” and cereal made from upcycled juice pulp.
“I continue to be amazed by the level of creativity and innovation put forward by our FoodBytes! pitch companies,” says Nick Fereday, executive director, senior analyst of food and consumer trends at Rabobank, and FoodBytes! NYC judge. “With each passing year it’s an honor to see how FoodBytes! brings together such inspirational talent all working toward a similar goal—to really disrupt the food and agriculture industry.”
The companies giving 3.5-minute pitches are:
- Ingest.ai (Food Tech–New York, NY): Software that integrates all of a restaurant’s fractured third-party systems. Ingest.ai automates previously manual finance and operations functions, food ordering and staffing to help restaurants eliminate waste on all fronts.
- Afresh Technologies (Food Tech–San Francisco, CA): A fresh-first supply chain software company that uses cutting-edge technology to massively reduce food waste, increase freshness and multiply the profitability of perishable foods.
- Dexai Robotics (Food Tech–Boston, MA): Automating activities in commercial kitchens and the food industry using flexible robot arms. “Alfred” automates food assembly by using utensils to scoop and pick ingredients, exceeding human capabilities in speed and precision.
- Winnow (Food Tech–London, UK): Developer of digital tools to help chefs run more profitable, sustainable kitchens by cutting food waste in half.
- SomaDetect (Ag Tech–Buffalo, NY): Deep learning and AI dairy company that provides real-time, automated analysis of milk quality without any addition of chemicals or consumables.
- Pheronym (Ag Tech–Gainesville, FL): Agricultural biotechnology company that uses pheromones from nematodes (microscopic worms) to control agricultural pests and provide safe and eco-friendly pest control for farmers.
- MicroSynbiotiX (Ag Tech–Cork, Ireland): An algal synthetic biology company developing a new drug delivery system to help prevent costly disease outbreaks in the aquaculture industry.
- Ocean Hugger Foods (CPG–New York, NY): Creates delicious, plant-based alternatives to popular seafood proteins, aiming to reduce stress on the world’s oceans by giving consumers a sustainable alternative that mimics the taste, appearance and texture of fish.
- BrainJuice (CPG–Austin, TX): A liquid supplement shot packed with the highest-quality brain nutrients that supports focus, clarity, memory and good mood.
- Sweetie Pie Organics (CPG–Raleigh, NC): Organic functional food products that make pregnancy and motherhood easier.
The companies giving 1.5-minute pitches are:
- Wasteless (Food Tech–New York, NY): Dynamic pricing system that allows supermarkets to price and sell products based on expiration dates, thus reducing food waste and optimizing shelf management.
- Agragen (Food Tech–Cincinnati, OH): Maker of plant-derived “fish oil” made from Camelina that will be used in human nutrition and in aquaculture, replacing marine-derived fish oil.
- Spinn (Food Tech–San Francisco, CA): Quality on-demand coffee roasted and brewed at home via their proprietary app technology.
- water.io (Food Tech–Nes Ziona, Israel): Technology that turns any package into a smart one that generates data.
- dropnostix GmbH (Ag Tech–Potsdam, Germany): Maker of rumen sensor health monitoring system for dairy farmers, helping them reduce the annual losses caused by diseases of dairy cows.
- RIND Snacks (CPG–New York, NY): Sustainable and better-for-you snacks focused on the “power of the peel.” Preserving the peels on USA-grown, non-GMO dried fruit maximizes nutrition while minimizing waste.
- Rise Brewing Co. (CPG–New York, NY): Brews nitro cold-brew coffee kegs and cans for offices, bars, restaurants and cafés. Its coffee is organic, non-GMO, fair-trade, single-origin, non-dairy, kosher and zero calories.
- Pulp Pantry (CPG–Los Angeles, CA): Transforms neglected low-cost, high-value resources like juice pulp into nutritious foods that make it easy for everyone to eat fruits and vegetables.
- OneForNeptune (CPG–San Diego, CA): Sustainable seafood jerky made from undervalued and underutilized white fish that is traceable to clean, small-scale U.S. West Coast fisheries.
- Finer Flavors (CPG–Geneva, Switzerland): Fresh vegetable nut butters in convenient pouches.
FoodBytes! NYC will present three awards, with the 3.5-minute pitch companies in the running to win the Judges’ Choice Award (selected by the judges) and the People’s Choice Award, voted on by the audience. The 1.5-minute pitch companies are in the running to win the Highly Commended Award (selected by the judges).
Each award offers unique development opportunities to stimulate the growth of their businesses, including expert counsel from the FoodBytes! family of sponsors and mentors, and the chance to pitch leading C-suite executives at Rabobank’s Annual Food & Agriculture Summit in New York City on Thursday, November 29.
Photo credit: FacebookFoodBytes! by Rabobank