Disruptive food and agribusiness start-ups wanted

Marc Oostdijk, Rabobank, says Rabobank founded FoodBytes! with the goal of joining innovative start-up ventures with the capital and guidance needed to bring those to market. It's all part of the bank's 'Banking for Food' strategy, he says.

Innovative New Zealand food and agribusiness start-ups and fledgling ventures are invited to showcase themselves to potential investors at an international event to be held in November.

The FoodBytes! event will be staged as part of the international Farm2Fork Summit, focusing on future innovation in food and agriculture, to be held in Sydney, Australia, on Thursday, November 3.

Originally launched in the US  in 2015, FoodBytes! is designed to find the most innovative and ground-breaking concepts in food and agriculture and pair that creativity with the capital needed to bring them to market.

This will be the first FoodBytes! event held outside the United States and will be open to applicants internationally, with applications being sought from New Zealand.

Rabobank head of sustainable business development Marc Oostdijk says FoodBytes! is keen to spotlight New Zealand companies or individuals in with innovative concepts which could be brought to market in the food and agricultural industries.

He is confident there will be New Zealand food and agribusiness start-ups that are ideal candidates for inclusion in FoodBytes!

“FoodBytes! is designed to showcase the entrepreneurs that are building the next generation of food and agribusiness companies, who are innovating and disrupting the food chain with ground-breaking ideas in food, agribusiness and technology. We are focused on uncovering innovation, and technology whether it be anywhere from local kitchens to university laboratories.”

Successful applicants will be invited to attend Rabobank’s Farm2Fork Summit in Sydney to demonstrate their concepts to potential investors, key industry influencers, media and agribusiness professionals.

A judging panel will assess each concept based on a set of criteria, with a select number being invited to deliver a short pitch presentation on the main summit stage.

“This will provide the opportunity for investors looking to finance the next breakthrough idea to meet new and innovative companies which are ‘disrupting’ across the food chain  – in everything from food-related software and applications to distribution, manufacturing and production,” Oostdijk says.

A FoodBytes Sydney Judges Choice and a People’s Choice award will be announced following the presentations.

Applications to participate in FoodBytes can be made by ‘applying to demo’ at www.foodbytes.com, closing on Monday, 10 October 2016.

Previous US winners have included a start-up company which uses fresh vegetables to naturally sweeten its products – including ketchup, barbecue and hot sauce – drastically reducing the use of added sugar.

The Farm2Fork summit, a one-day event, will be held at Sydney’s Cockatoo Island on 3 November 2016. It follows on from the inaugural F20 Summit held in the lead-up to G20 in Australia in 2014.



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