Winning start-ups rethink herbicides, animal feed, and food labels

Meet the stars of FoodBytes! London

Who is solving the global challenges facing food production? Start-up companies RootWave, Mimica and Biokind had the winning pitches at FoodBytes! London for their alternatives to herbicides, sell-by-date labels and animal feed.

Last week in London, twenty start-ups pitched their food and ag-tech concepts to industry leaders and investors.

Jan van Nieuwenhuizen was eager to hear their pitches and talk to the young companies. As a Managing Board Member, he explained why Rabobank believes in building relationships with start-ups at events like FoodBytes!

“Rabobank is searching for the next leaders in food and agtech. We are finding bright minds and innovative ideas all over the world. This time our search lead us to London.

“The next generation is looking at farming from a new perspective”

- Jan van Nieuwenhuizen, Rabobank

“We are not just looking for big city ideas. It’s true that I didn’t see any tractors or many farmers in central London. But I did meet companies who can and want to help farmers.

"Many of the pitching start-ups are children and grandchildren of farmers. The next generation is able to look at farming from another, or maybe less conservative perspective. These companies are using today’s technology to build stronger, more sustainable and more profitable farms. That’s three reasons right there to chase down ideas at events like FoodBytes!”

At the end of the day, three companies with fresh views on farming, food and packaging emerged victorious. Watch their winning FoodBytes! pitches here.

Judges’ Choice Award

RootWave’s winning pitch at FoodBytes! London

Judges chose RootWave based on product innovation, market traction, team experience and focus on sustainability.

Andrew Diprose, RootWave CEO: “RootWave uses electricity to kill weeds to offer a scalable and sustainable alternative to chemical herbicides. The organic technology uses electricity to treat weeds deep into the root, including tough invasive species in agriculture and harmful weeds that may be dangerous to animals.”

Read our full interview with RootWave here.

People’s Choice Award

Mimica’s winning pitch at FoodBytes! London

The London audience and Facebook live viewers voted for Mimica to win the People’s Choice Award. Mimica aims to become the globally recognized mark of freshness for the industry, consumers and communities.

Solveiga Pakštaité, Mimica Founder and Director: “Mimica is a label that tells you exactly when food spoils, which helps prevent food waste and improves food safety. The label is smooth to the touch when food is still safe, and when you feel bumps, that’s when the food has spoiled. The bumps are inclusive for people with cognitive impairments.”

Highly Commended Award

Biokind’s winning pitch at FoodBytes! London

Judges highly commended Biokind, a producer of sustainable protein feed for aquaculture, livestock and pets.

Rui Yan Lee, Biokind Co-founder: “Biokind wants to help the aquaculture industry grow more sustainably. We take zero-value, non-edible crop waste to produce protein feed for aquaculture. We process crop waste to extract the nutrients. We then cultivate friendly bacteria, which is processed and dried to produce protein feed.”

20 start-ups from London FoodBytes!

The twenty start-ups that pitched in London have a strong focus on precision agriculture, packaging reinvention, food waste innovation and supply chain transparency.

3.5-minute pitches:

Connectera, Trapview, ViroVet, RootWave, Mimica, Easilys, SwissDeCode, TIPA, Yooji, Creative Nature

1.5-minute pitches:

BeeHero, Earth Rover, EggXYt, InnovoPro, Provenance, OddBox, SafetyNet Technologies, Biokind, Garcon Wines, Sea Chips

FoodBytes! is a Rabobank initiative connecting agrifood start-ups with industry leaders and investors. Up next: the pitch competition and networking event heads to New York City on October 18. Get tickets and discover the next 20 start-ups who will pitch their ideas and innovations. Details here.