Eight start-ups will be spending three months in New York City to learn about marketing, funding and scaling their business, thanks to the latest chapter of the Food-X accelerator program.
The members of cohort 8 were chosen from nearly 500 applications from businesses on six continents. More than 85 percent of the applicants are led or co-led by women.
“Successful startups start with restless founders, passionate for a new way to address old and new challenges. At Food-X, we’re striving to find the founders who have the potential to make a positive and significant impact, looking below the initial impression and only move forward if they cause that ‘Eureka moment’ feeling,” Managing Director Andrew Ive said in 2017, according to the company’s website.
While the start-up teams are in New York City, they’ll work with mentors who will test and validate the businesses’ prospects, then prepare them to scale in 3 months what other businesses often need a year or more to achieve.
The program is valued at $45,000, and participants receive $50,000 in seed capital. In exchange, the founders give up 7 percent to 10 percent equity in the company. Food-X is a program of the SOSV venture capital firm that supports 150 new start-ups per year, according to its website.
At the end of the program, the start-ups’ founders will pitch their businesses live to a worldwide audience of investors via a live audience and a streaming broadcast.
The companies involved in this year’s cohort are working on food-label transparency, “food as medicine” to fight chronic illnesses, creating nutraceuticals from cannabidiol (CBD) and more:
- Appa Life is taking on the challenges of athletes’ ability to manage long-term pain through the use of nutraceuticals that combine cutting-edge science with holistic perspectives.
- Chef Charger is a unique promotional platform for beer/food/sports brands to advertise at bars, cafes, and restaurants: elegant, connected smartphone chargers—think bamboo coasters or laser-cut, metallic candleholders—that patrons use for free. AI-driven, developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Halla’s intelligent ordering technology powers real-time recommendations and item-level insights for grocery stores, restaurants and online-ordering platforms.
- Kindly is a customized meal-delivery service for patients suffering from chronic illnesses such as cancer. Patients complete a questionnaire, experts build a profile and the company delivers ready-to-eat meals once a week.
- MISK, an iOS app available on iTunes, takes dining word-of-mouth online. It allows millennials to instantly know what restaurants, cafes and bars their friends recommend anywhere in the world.
- Naughty Noah’s Vietnamese is on a mission to bring healthy, sustainable and authentic Vietnamese meals to the world.
- Planetarians is an ingredient company revolutionizing the plant-protein landscape through upcycling defatted sunflower seeds.
- TestSharing offers trustworthy and independent product information beyond labels, giving consumers easy access to real lab tests and empowering them to know about harmful chemicals in their food.