foodbytes! austin

Exclusive: 20 Startups Make the Cut for FoodBytes! Austin

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Twenty food and agriculture startups have been selected to pitch at FoodBytes! Austin, TX on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at Brazos Hall. The pitch competition will feature solutions to food challenges including livestock management, food bi-product up-cycling, and novel plant-based proteins.

Founded as part of global food and agribusiness bank Rabobank’s Banking for Food (B4F) effort to build a more sustainable food system, FoodBytes! provides a platform for entrepreneurs to share ideas and gain advice from industry mentors, as well as win cash prizes.

The FoodBytes! Austin pitch companies hail from Australia, India, New Zealand and the United States. The top 10 companies have 3.5 minutes to pitch a panel of expert judges and participate in an audience Q&A. Ten runner-up companies will give 60-second pitches to kick off the event on Sept. 26.

The ten companies giving 3.5-minute pitches are:

  • Beyond the Shoreline (New York, NY) – Creator of a new wave of seagreens-based snacks, like “Kelp Jerky”, that are packed with protein and are vegan and non-GMO and free from dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, refined sugar and gluten.
  • Coffee Flour (Bellevue, WA) – Uses the by-product of coffee milling operations – the pulp and skin of the previously discarded coffee cherry – and turns it into a nutritionally-dense flour. Coffee Flour serves the health and sustainability needs of the food & beverage industry, while also generating significant economic, environmental and nutritional impact in coffee-growing communities.
  • GrubTubs  (Austin, Texas) – Reconnecting cities to farms via its “Table-to-Farm” movement, GrubTubs collects and converts food scraps from restaurants into “grubs”, a more nutritious and cost-effective animal feed for local farmers.
  • Intello Labs (Karnataka, Bengaluru, India) – Uses Artificial Intelligence for quality evaluation of fruits, vegetables, grains and other crops and commodities. Users click an image of the crop, and using AI and Image recognition, they are able to measure quality parameters like crop infestation, nutrient deficiency, and commodity quality.
  • Know Brainer Foods (Lafayette, CO) – Makes portion-controlled, ketogenic products to fuel the mind and metabolism with essential fats, not sugar, so that eaters stay alert and satiated throughout the day.
  • Native State Foods (Los Angeles, CA) – First company to introduce Pinole, an ancient Aztec power food, to the U.S. through its Purely Pinole line of hot cereal and snack products.
  • Sugarlogix (Berkeley, CA) – Maker of functional sugars that enhance the immune system, promote gut health and reduce inflammation without compromising taste.
  • Vence Corp (Key Largo, FL) – Hardware and software solution that reduces fencing and labor expenses on livestock farms and reduces the costs associated with producing pasture-raised beef. Vence Corp offers an Invisible Fence meets Fitbit, for cows.
  • Vitox Drinking Vinegar  (Los Angeles, CA) – Fermented blend of raw cold-pressed juice and apple cider vinegar that delivers a shelf-stable and naturally probiotic health beverage.
  • XING Technologies P/L (Queensland, Australia) – Creates disruptive, rapid, point-of-care, highly cost-effective nanotechnology solutions for the agricultural and animal health industries. XING Technologies P/L screens for, diagnoses and monitors disease to improve biosecurity and deliver savings.

The ten companies giving 60-second pitches are:

  • Aspire Food Group  (Austin, Texas) – Developer of insect farming technology to produce high-quality protein from farm-raised crickets. Aspire also makes environmentally sustainable and nutritious products under consumer brand, Aketta.
  • D’vash Organics (Los Angeles, CA) – Maker of Date Nectar, an alternative sweetener and honey substitute made from organic California dates.
  • Frshly (Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India) – Automated retail marketplace and IoT ecosystem that connects multiple restaurant partners, host locations, and consumers.
  • Greensbury Market (New York City, NY) – Sells high-quality beef, pou, try and seafood online, delivered directly to customers. Everything Greensbury carries is certified organic, grass-fed, free from chemicals and humanely raised.
  • Peaceful Fruits (Peninsula, OH) – Makes rainforest-friendly fruit snacks that let consumers eat better and support renewable and sustainable agriculture and indigenous populations.
  • Regen Ltd (Wellington, New Zealand) – Provides irrigation recommendations for farmers via a mobile app that optimizes water use, while maximizing plant growth and minimizing nitrogen leaching.
  • Ripened Ventures  (Emeryville, CA) – Developing and commercializing fermented drinks. Ripened Ventures applies fermentation technologies to poorly diversified fruits and vegetables, using autochthonous non-GM microbes previously isolated and identified.
  • The Empanada Shop (Redondo Beach, CA) – Makes certified organic, authentic Mexican empanadas with non-GMO grass-fed meats, vegetables, and chiles. The Empanada Shop aims to create a new, clean Mexican food experience in the fast casual and frozen food markets.
  • Think.Eat.Live. Foods, LLC (Wildwood, MO) – Developer of a flour made from sunflower seeds that has four times more protein and fiber than other flours. Delivers nutritionally balanced baking mixes and other flour-based foods that provide one-third of daily protein requirements.
  • Your Superfoods (Los Angeles, CA) – Makes it easy for people to eat vitamins and minerals with its seven nutritionist-approved, 100 percent organic superfood protein mixes for more energy, better immunity and healthier skin.

This will be the first FoodBytes! competition in Austin. Agriculture and supply chain startups have faired particularly well in this year’s competition.

AgVoice, a voice-interaction service designed to help food and agriculture professionals capture valuable insights to optimize their use of resources won the judges choice aware at FoodBytes! New York in June. At the same event, Impact Vision, a software platform that uses hyper-spectral technology to provide insights about the quality and characteristics of different foods using image recognition and predictive learning won the people’s choice award.

Earlier this year at FoodBytes! San Francisco, Pure Cultures, a company creating probiotics for pet and livestock health, claimed the Highly Commended award. Also in San Francisco, Evaptainers, a startup developing electricity-free refrigeration for developing markets, snagged the People’s Choice Award, an accolade voted on by the audience.   

In an effort to support those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, FoodBytes! will donate 10 percent of ticket sales from FoodBytes! Austin to the American Red Cross.

Tickets to FoodBytes! Austin are on sale now at http://bit.ly/FBAustinTix .

(20% off with the code AGFUNDER: bit.ly/FBAustinTix)

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