NEW YORK — FoodBytes! by Rabobank has unveiled the 45 companies selected to participate in its Pitch 2021, an annual multi-week food and agriculture innovation program that aims tp drive collaboration between startups, corporate leaders and investors to develop solutions to food system challenges. Since originally launching in 2015, FoodBytes! Pitch has made tried to help startups looking to validate and grow their businesses, generate global industry exposure and access invaluable mentorship, as well as corporate and investor connections.
This year's FoodBytes! Pitch cohort features 45 startups in agriculture technologies and consumer products, featuring 15 companies in each of three sectors: agtech, food tech and consumer packaged goods (CPG). The selected companies were chosen from 370 applications from across the globe, based on their solutions in key areas that were identified as member innovation priorities, including sustainable supply chains, improved resource management and the next frontier of nutrition. All selected startups will participate in a week of in-depth mentoring and coaching and a final 15 startups will be chosen to present in the live-streamed public pitch competition Nov. 10, where three will be named winners in their respective sectors.
"The purpose of FoodBytes! is to help facilitate progress in the food and agriculture industries to feed the world's growing population while navigating the challenges imposed by climate change and the global pandemic," said Anne Greven, head of F&A innovation, Rabobank. "That's why, this year, we've focused on areas that are critical to future-proofing our members' businesses, and deepened our rigorous process for vetting and selecting entrepreneurs who participate in the FoodBytes! program — those with validated business models, a track record of commercial viability, collaborative mindsets and a robust and diverse team to drive meaningful change."
More than 50% of this year's participating startups are women and/or led or founded by people of color. The selected 45 hail from across the globe, based in 15 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, France, India, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Head here to read about all 45 companies.
As the pandemic continues, interest in investing in innovative solutions and groundbreaking products has not waned, the organization said. For example, FoodBytes! alumni within its network had raised more than $500 million in the first six months of 2021, already outpacing dollars raised for the entirety of the year prior.
"Participating in FoodBytes! has been one of the most helpful experiences on my entrepreneurial journey," said Bella Hughes, co-founder and president, Shaka Tea, FoodBytes! Pitch 2019 CPG winner. "The experience not only gave us great exposure, but connected us to many resources and other key players within the startup community."