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15 food and agriculture startups selected for 2021 FoodBytes! Pitch virtual competition

foodbytes by rabobank 2021 15 pitch competition startups
The startups will showcase their innovations at FoodBytes! Pitch on Nov.10, 2021.

FoodBytes! by Rabobank has revealed the 15 food and agriculture startups who will move forward to present at this year’s FoodBytes! Pitch virtual competition on Nov. 10, 2021. The finalists were chosen amongst the cohort of 45 global startups previously selected as participants in FoodBytes! Pitch 2021, Rabobank’s multi-week food and agriculture innovation program that drives collaboration between startups, corporate leaders and investors to develop solutions to food system challenges.

The 15 companies advancing to the virtual pitch competition were selected based on their groundbreaking technologies and products. The finalists will be judged by a panel of industry leaders, including: 

  • Anne Greven, global head of startup innovation, Rabobank and FoodBytes! by Rabobank.
  • Mark Abrams, managing director, EPP, Rabobank.
  • Mary Shelman, founder, The Shelman Group.
  • Natasha Dhayagude, CEO, Chinova Bioworks, and a FoodBytes! Alumni.
  • Nick Fereday, senior consumer foods analyst, RaboResearch.

The livestreamed public pitch competition will culminate in naming three FoodBytes! Pitch 2021 winners, one for each sector.

“The finalists for this year’s FoodBytes! Pitch exemplify the new food economy,” said Anne Greven, Global Head of Startup Innovation, Rabobank and FoodBytes! by Rabobank. “These startups have created scalable solutions to some of the most pressing and complicated industry challenges, from meat packing automation and plant-based protein simplification, to commercial delivery of microbial inputs and whole-value-chain plastic reduction. Their innovations are a window to the 2030 global food system that will significantly increase the nutrition of food while reducing its climate impact from field to fork. Through their FoodBytes! exposure, we aim to connect these innovators with the right strategic partners and investors to prolifically scale their technologies and impact.” 

Every year, FoodBytes! strives to highlight a diverse mix of innovators from across the industry–60% of this year’s finalists are either BIPOC or woman-led, and represent companies from North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

The selected FoodBytes! Pitch innovators, by sector, are:

AgTech

These five selected companies are highlighting innovations across data collection and intelligence, inventory and livestock management, and technologies to reduce reliance on traditional agriculture inputs, such as chemicals and plastic film. The selected AgTech startups are:

  • 3Bar Biologics Inc., Columbus, Ohio, United States: 3Bar Biologics is dedicated to improving farm yield, profitability, and sustainability using beneficial microbial products. 3Bar’s proprietary biomanufacturing and delivery method unleashes the potential for microbe technologies not available for commercial production until now.
  • AgriDigital, Sydney, Australia: AgriDigital is powering trust in global agriculture supply chains by combining inventory, data and finance. It is building the technology and financing infrastructure for the digital grain supply chain.
  • BioLevel, Gloucester, England, United Kingdom: BioLevel has global ambitions to rebalance agriculture from chemistry to biology with robust, commercially proven, multi-strain, beneficial soil microbial products that do not require refrigeration and are fully scalable across all crop sectors, regulatory environments and application methods.
  • SBM-TranspiratiONal, Canberra, Australia: SBM-Transpirational has developed an environmentally friendly, sprayable biodegradable polymer membrane product that can help farmers produce more during harvest, on the same land area, while using less water, nutrients and agrochemicals.
  • Vytelle, Hermiston, Oregon, United States: Vytelle is a precision livestock company reshaping how cattle producers optimize their herds. Its solutions reduce uncertainty to help producers make the most important mating and reproduction decisions. 

Food Tech

These startups are focused on plastic packaging reduction, automation in food processing and procurement to address labor shortages, and pioneering new clean label ingredients. The five selected Food Tech companies are:

  • Cruz Foam, Santa Cruz, California, United States: Cruz Foam is a bio-material technology company that produces certified compostable, protective packaging foam and other eco-friendly solutions that offer a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based products using the current supply chain. Cruz Foam is a mission-driven company creating impact at scale by empowering industry leaders to be the catalyst for a cleaner environment.
  • Galley Solutions, Inc., San Diego, California, United States: Galley takes the guesswork and hassle out of food production, raw material sourcing, and inventory tracking so that foodservice operators can save on costs, reduce waste, and spend more time on the work they love.
  • Marble Technologies, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States: Marble Technologies is advancing food systems using AI, robotics, and process engineering to add resiliency to the agri-food supply chain. Starting with meat processing (specifically beef and pork) they are automating tasks to mitigate industry-wide labor shortages.  
  • Papkot, Strasbourg, France: Papkot is a science and material innovation company whose mission is to change the packaging industry by cost-effectively replacing its plastic packaging with paper packaging–which is bio-sourced, 100% recyclable and 100% biodegradable.
  • Paragon Pure, Princeton, New Jersey, United States: Paragon Pure is inspired by nature to create genuine ingredients for delivering natural flavors, colors and nutrients into wholesome foods.

Consumer packaged goods (CPG)

The five startups selected represent the latest product innovations in food waste-derived packaging, plant-based meat alternatives, diversifying the frozen aisle, as well as food allergy prevention in babies and toddlers. The selected CPGs are:

  • AYO Foods, Chicago, Illinois, United States: AYO, which translates to joy, exists to celebrate the flavors and ingredients of West Africa. The brand launched in July 2020 with frozen meals and hot sauces.
  • Fable Food, Sydney, Australia: Fable Food leverages the power of Shiitake mushrooms to create an all natural plant-based meat alternative with a mission to help end industrial animal agriculture.
  • Great Wrap, Melbourne, Australia: Great Wrap makes home compostable cling wrap from food waste. Working out of their solar powered factory in Australia, Great Wrap is working on the tech to put plastic out of business.
  • Lil Mixins, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States: Lil Mixins’ intuitive Daily Mix ensures that babies receive safe, properly sized servings of all the top food allergens. Recommended by over 4,000 pediatricians and allergists, Lil Mixins is stopping food allergies before they start.
  • Plantcraft, New York, New York, United States: Plantcraft is the world’s first clean-label, plant-based deli meat company that is offering plant-curious consumers delicious products to use in a wide range of dishes, from sandwiches to pepperoni pizza. Plantcraft’s products are all clean-label, vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free and free of all top eight allergens.

Source: Rabobank

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