Today, FoodBytes! by Rabobank announced the startups that will take the stage at FoodBytes! Montreal, the next-generation food and agriculture pitch competition-meets-networking platform. The selected startups are pioneering food innovation, from data-driven apiary management and sustainable seafood technologies that reduce by-catch to sparkling superfood beverages and single origin pantry staples. FoodBytes! will make its Canadian debut on Wednesday, May 16 at New City Gas.
Through FoodBytes!, Rabobank scours the globe looking for the world's most cutting-edge food and agriculture innovators. The platform offers an opportunity for selected entrepreneurs to showcase their new products and technologies in front of investors, executives and media, as well as receive mentorship from food and agriculture industry leaders.
"Pitch companies are working to grow their businesses and create a positive impact on the world. FoodBytes! by Rabobank helps make that happen by creating a sense of community that you don't walk away from when the event is over," said Damir Wallener, co-founder and CEO of EIO Diagnostics and FoodBytes! alumni. "The value of this event for us was enhanced by the opportunity to access coaching from industry experts on topics like branding, funding, legal issues, distribution and marketing. It is a great learning event that attracts a very focused and engaged network of supporters and investors."
The highest ranked startups based on criteria including sustainability, traction and innovation will have 3.5 minutes to pitch. The second highest ranked startups will have 1.5-minutes to pitch.
The ten companies that will be giving 3.5-minute pitches are:
- Impactful Health Research (Montreal, QC) — Develops biomaterial-based solutions for the food and health industries.
- Motorleaf (Montreal, QC) — Proven artificial intelligence and machine learning for controlled environment agriculture; if you can monitor, control and predict - you can redefine crop automation for the world.
- Oatbox (Montreal, QC) — Oatbox is a breakfast subscription company founded in Montreal in 2014 that handcrafts and delivers nutritious and healthful breakfast products in a convenient monthly box to its subscribers across North America.
- Nectar (Montreal, QC) — Nectar offers a data-driven apiary management platform to assist beekeepers in keeping their honey bees healthy and productive to answer the rising need for pollination services, using sensors and AI.
- Partake Brewing (Calgary, AB) — Partake Brewing makes craft non-alcoholic beer that's "alcohol free and beer lover approved".
- Ukko Agro (Toronto, ON) — UKKO's ecosystem enables farmers to optimize pesticide usage to achieve better crop yield, while integrating with on-farm tools to track, analyse and quantify sustainability achieved.
- Pod Foods (San Francisco, Calif.) — Pod Foods is the first software-enabled food distributor designed to bring good food to retailers across the nation at a fraction of the current cost.
- Here (Carol Stream, Ill.) — Here brings people closer to food, through food, by making locally-sourced, locally-produced, and locally-distributed foods and beverages in the Midwest.
- IOK Labs (Moon Township, Pa.) — Developer of Klove, an AI+ML based solution that will change the way consumers cook at home with a vision to bring back home cooking for a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
- Smart Catch (Woodside, Calif.) — SmartCatch provides Sustainable Seafood Technologies to reduce by-catch waste, combat Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) Fishing and promote global sustainable seafood markets.
The ten companies that will be giving 1.5-minute pitches are:
- Evive Smoothie (Montreal, QC) — Empower people to prepare healthy and complete plant-based food with innovative and accessible products.
- Natur+L XTD (Sainte-Hyacinthe, QC) — XTD is a new "Game Changer" staple in the food business, providing longer shelf life to fresh products of almost any kind. XTD uses HPP (High Pressure Process) technology to help food processors lower their wastes at every level of the supply chain. In 2017-18, XTD will have helped removing the equivalent of 3000 cars from the road (GHG), having the same food made with less resources, and been eaten, not sent to the landfill.
- AmazStev Lifestyle Brands (Montreal, QC) — AmazStev LifeStyle Brands Inc. ("AmazStev") is a Montreal-based food ingredient company focused on the development, production and commercialization of AmazStev® UltraDulce™, a portfolio of novel, natural, calorie-free and bitter-free Stevia extract sweeteners that enable food and beverage manufacturers to develop clean- label, great-tasting, sugar-free products for health conscious consumers.
- Ocean Executive (Halifax, NS) — Ocean Executive is a sales and procurement software tool for the global B2B seafood industry. Ocean Executive's software solves supply-chain inefficiencies by streamlining the sales process for seafood professionals working within the aquaculture farm, wholesale, distribution, restaurant, retail and grocery chain sector.
- Feedback Inc. (Toronto, ON) — Feedback is a mobile platform that applies dynamic pricing to the restaurant industry in order to reduce food waste and create a win-win-win solution for vendors, diners and society.
- The Real Co (Wilmington, Del.) — The world's first single origin food company.
- StirItUp (New York, NY) — StirItUp is creating a stir in the food industry with an innovative uniquely-packaged authentic-tasting fresh hummus that has no preservatives, a 15 month shelf life, and no need for refrigeration.
- PowCow (Boston, Mass.) — One of the world's first Greek Style, high protein, low sugar frozen yogurt.
- Snacklins (Washington, DC) — Puffed Veggie Crisps at under 80 calories a bag.
- SAP! Beverages (Burlington, Vt.) — Makes sparkling superfood beverages out of maple tree sap and birch tree sap.
The pitch companies are in the running to win one of three awards, Judge's Choice, People's Choice or Highly Commended. Each award offers unique development opportunities to support their business growth, including innovation experiences and expert counsel from the FoodBytes! family of sponsors, as well as the opportunity to pitch leading food and agriculture C-suite executives at Rabobank's Annual Food & Agriculture Summit in New York City.
FoodBytes! by Rabobank is supported by Presenting Sponsor Agropur, Canada's leading dairy cooperative with its open innovation platform, Inno Challenge designed to reinvent dairy by accelerating promising startups. Official sponsors include ADM, a specialty ingredients provider to food and beverage companies looking to get to market quickly with products consumers love, and Polsinelli, an AM Law 100 firm focusing on food and beverage, food– and ag–tech, and health care.