FoodBytes! by Rabobank is bringing its global pitch competition and networking event connecting consumer food, food tech and agtech startups with corporate leaders and investors to London on the 6th and 7th of November 2019 following its 2018 debut.
The pitch competition will focus on food and agtech startups with a disruptive impact on the food industry and supply chain, including sustainable farming, packaging, traceability solutions, environmentally-friendly ingredients, food waste reduction and the latest sustainable CPG startups. The criteria for successful applicants is focused on product innovation, market opportunity, traction and commercial viability – with a focus on sustainability and social impact. The full criteria can be found here.
On a mission to find the most cutting-edge startups pioneering the future of food and agriculture, FoodBytes! London 2019 will see fifteen early-stage startups compete live on stage at Victoria House. Startups will benefit from intensive mentorship sessions from industry experts, whilst connecting with leading corporates, investors and fellow entrepreneurs to help scale their business. The program also includes the following resources:
- A full-day mentorship immersion led by industry experts on fundraising, branding, research trends, legal and go-to-market strategy
- One-on-one conversations with mentors and direct feedback on products, technologies and pitches
- Valuable networking opportunities with corporate leaders, investors, influencers and peers
- Ongoing support from Rabobank Food and Agriculture (F&A) experts
- Access to Rabobank research reports for a minimum of one year
- Access to the community of FoodBytes! alumni
This marks FoodBytes! 17th event since launching in 2015. Over 2,000 startups have applied from more than 90 countries and over 4,700 people have attended FoodBytes! in North America, Europe, and Australia. Now, 265 companies are members of the FoodBytes! ! alumni community, including Mimica, Biokind and Rootwave, who won the top prizes at FoodBytes! London 2018 and Toast Ale who recently took home the People’s Choice Award at FoodBytes! San Francisco 2019.
Toast Ale’s Experience
For Rob Wilson, chief toaster at startup Toast Ale, the experience was far more than just a pitch competition and demo day.
“It was presenting our story in a nice, concise, and compelling way, but also getting really tangible help and support to scale our business,” Wilson told AFN. “I was so proud that we won People’s Choice and that everyone at the event was drinking our beer because there were a lot of successful business people, investors, and c-suite folks who are hyper-connected in that room. That’s not something you get to experience every day as a relatively small startup.
The London-based startup fights food waste by brewing craft beer from unsold bread that local bakeries would have otherwise thrown away. It claims to save one slice of bread per beer and donates its profits to charities reducing food waste.
“Part of the prize was getting support from a strategic consultancy business who has helped us think about our global expansion model. We are doing sustainable beer in the UK and New York and the US expansion is more complicated because alcohol is more intensely regulated compared to the UK,” Wilson explains. “The consultant helped us navigate key questions: do we invest in our brand building? Do we look at licensing? Do we look at nuanced partnership models? There’s a huge demand in California but how do we avoid shipping beer across the country?”
Food, foodtech, and agtech startups are invited to apply until Sunday, August 4, at 11:59 GMT.
FoodBytes! London 2019 is officially supported by Compass Group UK & Ireland, Saputo Dairy UK (formerly Dairy Crest) and Coca Cola European Partners, as well as supporting sponsors Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), DLL and Watson Farley & Williams LLP.