Food+City, a nonprofit that shares stories about the global food supply chain, is accepting applications for its fourth annual Food+City Challenge Prize. This competition seeks to connect early-stage business startups with investors and awards US$25,000 for innovations that tackle food supply chain challenges.
For the first time, the challenge will be held at South by Southwest (SXSW), the largest technology conference in the world. In the 12 weeks leading up to the conference, 15 finalists will work with personalized mentors with food industry expertise to build their concepts and hone their pitches. They will receive feedback from a panel of experts and have opportunities to network with industry professionals and investors from major corporations and investment firms. In addition to cash prizes, awards will include business startup products and services.
“The Challenge is intended to have an impact well beyond today’s awards—we are connecting teams to a powerful network geared towards continued growth,” says Dr. Robyn Metcalfe, Director at Food+City, “We look forward to seeing where all of the teams will be a year from now.”
Applications must include a process, product, service, or technology that focuses on the system of getting food from the farm to the table. Suggested benefits include reducing food waste, lowering carbon footprint, increasing food safety, lessening food fraud, extending shelf life, increasing traceability, improving efficiencies, minimizing expenses, and increasing food security.
Previous winners addressed food production, consumer products, and transportation. Ten Acre Organics, 2014 grand prize winner, is using aquaponics, greenhouses, and automation to create a model farm for fresh, healthy, and sustainable food production. The 2015 winner, True Made Foods, uses vegetables to naturally sweeten sauces and condiments, cutting the amount of sugar used in half compared to other commercial products. Last year, Evaptainers won with a food shipping container that uses evaporative cooling technology instead of electricity to address infrastructure limitations in developing markets.
Applications close November 18 and the final showcase will be on March 13, 2018 in Austin, Texas. To learn more and apply, click here.