Foodbytes! Austin: Food for thought

The world population explosion is putting pressure on the future of food production. This affects all of us. We need to find a smart way to produce more food in the future using less land and less resources – with less ecological impact. We need innovation to do this.

New technologies driven by data will help improve yields from the same amount of land. Rabobank shows its commitment to this green revolution in different ways. One of them is Foodbytes!, a series of pitch competitions and network events where companies in the food, agri and tech space can meet up.

‘FoodBytes! by Rabobank’ was created in 2015 with a simple mission in mind: to find the most innovative concepts in food and agriculture, and pair them with the capital needed to bring them to market. The pitch competition is an opportunity for sharing knowledge and participating in networks. Foodbytes! events bring together innovative start-ups and investors and market leaders from the food and agri sector. Learning from each other they come up with solutions to tackle the global food issue. Like consumer packaged goods and food-tech.

Since FoodBytes! launched in 2015 over 1,400 companies have pitched at events around the world including New York, San Francisco and Sydney. In September 2017 Austin Texas hosted Foodbytes! and welcomed 20 start-up pitches selected from 200 applicants. The transformative winning pitches came from: Beyond The Shoreline, Sugarlogix and Aspire Food Group. All three winners were praised for their innovative and disruptive solutions and contributions to the food challenges we face.

Foodbytes! Jury-award: Beyond The Shoreline

FoodBytes! Austin judges selected the pitch company that best demonstrates scalability, innovation, traction and social impact. Beyond The Shoreline works directly with kelp farmers to manufacture a new wave of snacks, including ‘Kelp Jerky’. All products are packed with protein, non-GMO and free from dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, refined sugar and gluten.

Foodbyes! People’s Choice Award: Sugarlogix

Using the FoodBytes! app, the audience voted for crowd favourite Sugarlogix to land the People’s Choice Award. The Berkeley-based biotech start-up is the first company to create through fermentation of yeast functional prebiotics that are scientifically proven to be the closest to the benefits of breast milk of any other prebiotic on the market today.

Foodbytes! Highly Commended Award: Aspire Food Group

The judges selected the Highly Commended Award winner from the 60-second pitch companies. Austin-based Aspire Food Group developed the first automated cricket farming technology and manufactures environmentally-sustainable and nutritious products under consumer brand, Aketta.

For a summary of the fruitful and buzzing edition of Foodbytes! Austin check out the video below. And read about all the trends which came to light at the event in the Foodbytes! blog.

The next FoodBytes! event will be in San Francisco in early 2017, stay informed through the Foodbytes! platform.