Rabobank has named 3Bar Biologics Inc., Paragon Pure and Great Wrap, as the winners of this year’s FoodBytes! Pitch program. The three winners were recognized for their innovations in regenerative agriculture, plant-based ingredients and household product plastic reduction, and were selected from a pool of 15 finalists who had the chance to showcase their businesses in front of a panel of judges during the pitch competition.
Each winner was selected based on their validated business model, track record of commercial viability, collaborative mindset and a robust and diverse team to drive meaningful change in their respective sectors: AgTech, Food Tech and Consumer Packaged Goods.
“These winners represent a triple-bottom-line food future,” said Anne Greven, global head of F&A innovation, Rabobank and FoodBytes! by Rabobank, and this year's lead judge. “These companies are answering the global demand to find solutions to the industry’s most pressing issues, like climate change, the evolution of nutrition and waste management, while also answering the call of new consumer demands, like sustainability, traceability and alternative ingredients.”
The public livestreamed programming marked the culmination of this year’s FoodBytes! Pitch, 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 selected winners rose to the top after being initially selected among the 45 global companies that made up this year’s cohort of participating startups.
The FoodBytes! Pitch 2021 winners
AgTech Award: 3Bar Biologics Inc., Columbus, Ohio, United States
3Bar Biologics is dedicated to improving farm yield, profitability and sustainability using beneficial microbial products. The Columbus-based company’s proprietary biomanufacturing and delivery method unleashes the potential for microbe technologies unavailable for commercial production until now, helping customers overcome traditional barriers to microbe productization and rapidly and cost-effectively commercialize their microbes and accelerate time to market.
“We’re honored to be a part of a solid group of high-caliber alumni that have participated in FoodBytes!,” said Chris Koenig, chief business development officer, 3Bar Biologics. “This will open doors for partnership and investment opportunities that were otherwise not available to us.”
Food Tech Award: Paragon Pure, Princeton, New Jersey, United States
Started in 2019, Paragon Pure’s mission is to understand the science of nature to create genuine ingredients for delivering natural flavors, colors and nutrients into wholesome foods. The Princeton-based company has deep industry experience with flavor encapsulation, process engineering, physical chemistry and navigating food ingredient regulatory spaces. They are developing a structured fat and flavor delivery system from upcycled ingredients to target the growing plant-based meat market.
“FoodBytes is much more than a competition,” said Chris Gregson, CEO, Paragon Pure. “It is a tremendous recognition of our mission to create more nutritious, sustainable, consumer-friendly ingredients that fit the needs of the modern food industry. We believe the next generation of plant-based foods will play a critical role as we look toward important challenges of climate change, deforestation and human health. We are grateful for the help from FoodBytes! to highlight novel ingredients.”
Consumer Packaged Goods Award: Great Wrap, Melbourne, Australia
A compostable cling wrap derived from food waste, Great Wrap is revolutionizing the approach to everyday household products. Working out of a solar-powered factory in Australia, Great Wrap is working on the tech to put plastics out of business.
Jordy Kay, co-founder and CEO, Great Wrap, cited the benefits of the FoodBytes! network of like-minded investors, customers, collaborators, mentors and peers, saying “we were so honored to be amongst a group of some of the industry’s smartest. This experience helped introduce us to great potential partners who we are looking forward to working with in the future.”