Innovative Australian food and agri startups have the chance to showcase their businesses on the world stage through the international FoodBytes! Pitch program, which is currently open for applications.
FoodBytes! is global agribusiness bank Rabobank’s food and agriculture innovation platform – designed to drive collaboration between startups, corporate leaders, investors and farmers as part of a major international program to help address food system challenges.
Rabobank Australia Head of Innovation, Knowledge & Networks, Nathalie Gibson, said FoodBytes! was seeking startups – ranging from ‘seed’ stage to those commercially engaged in the market – working on “truly innovative food and agri products or technology with a demonstrated market fit” in one of three sectors – ag tech, food tech and consumer food and beverage.
All up, 45 startups will be chosen to participate – in each category. A shortlist of 15 will present at the FoodBytes! 2021 virtual global pitch competition in November, with a winner chosen in each category.
“FoodBytes! is scouting globally for startups with developed business models, demonstrated commercial traction, a robust team and a cross-industry collaborative mindset which have the potential to drive meaningful and sustainable change throughout the food value chain,” she said
Startup applicants are sought in the following areas:
- Sustainable supply chains: blockchain/traceability, livestock management, animal feed efficiency, meat processing automation, byproduct upcycling, commodities processing, shelf-life extension, clean food processing
- Improved resource management: carbon sequestration & reduction, precision irrigation, food loss mitigation, sustainable packaging, manufacturing robotics, on-farm automation, ag biotechnology, precision ag & AI, indoor farming
- Next frontier of nutrition: functional ingredients (i.e. aging, mental clarity, performance, immunity), food biotechnology/fermentation, cellular agriculture, grain & sugar alternatives, meal prep/home cooking simplification, personalised nutrition, consumer wearables & data gathering.
At last year’s FoodBytes!, Western Australian precision irrigation and fertiliser platform SWAN Systems was named global agtech category winner, while Albury-based agricultural biotech company ProAgni was among the top 15. Three other Australian startups featured in the top 45.
ProAgni co-founder and CEO Lachlan Campbell said the program had given the company “significant operational leverage”.
“ProAgni continues to receive inbound interest from investors and engaged corporate members,” he said.
“We’d never have these kinds of conversations in Australia alone – we couldn’t have expected more out of the FoodBytes! program.”
FoodBytes! applications close on May 16, with the finalists to be announced on September 8. The live-streamed public pitch competition will be held on November 10.
Each of the three category winners will receive prizes and consulting support to contribute to their business growth, while all 45 startups chosen for the program will have access to the FoodBytes! network of more than 350 global alumni entrepreneurs and receive ongoing connections and guidance to help drive their businesses forward.
To apply or for more information, visit foodbytesworld.com/apply.
Nathalie Gibson recently spoke to the Startup Daily show on ausbiz about entering the FoodBytes! program.
Click on the video below to hear what he had to say about it.
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