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Food-X Selects Latest Accelerator Cohort Including 5 Women-Led Startups

April 12, 2019

Food startup accelerator Food-X has unveiled the next eight startups that will participate in Cohort 9. The startups are innovating across the entire supply chain from novel flavor ingredients to AI-powered, real-time consumer insight technologies.

The demographics behind this year’s application pool and selectees are a promising indication for the diversity of the agrifood tech industry. Chosen from a pool of nearly 500 applicants from around the world, 5 out of the 8 chosen companies are women-led or led by both men and women. Five of the eight teams selected to participate have international teams with representation from Croatia, India, Russia, and Spain.

Food-X seeks out early-stage companies and entrepreneurs who are hoping to address some of the biggest challenges facing our global food system: health and wellness, sustainability, food safety, traceability, supply chain efficiency, transparency, and more. The accelerator looks for startups within the traditional food value chain, such as production, processing, distribution, consumption, and disposal. It’s also focused on leveraging emerging technologies to transform the industry as well as developing nutraceuticals for the burgeoning food as medicine movement.

Launched in 2014 and located in NYC, Food-X has invested more than $6 million in nearly 80 startups over the last five years. Those startups have gone on to raise an additional $20 million. Food-X is backed by venture firm SOSV, which has other accelerators on its platform including IndieBio.

The three-month program offers both financial and human capital investment that spans startup capital, expert mentorship, and access to a global network of thought leaders, as well as a growing Food-X Alumni community. The program culminates with a capstone demo day giving startups the opportunity to present to angel investors, venture capital funds, and media.

“In an increasingly competitive food accelerator and incubator space, Food-X continues to be a dominant force in delivering value to startups,” said Peter Bodenheimer, Food-X program director, in a press release announcing the winners. “As the first-to-market accelerator, the unmatched access to our extensive network has proven to be instrumental in propelling companies to the next critical stage. Since Food-X started in 2014, our startups have raised more than $26 million. We look forward to guiding our exceptional Cohort 9 entrepreneurs on their food innovation journey.”

Here are the lucky eight startups comprising Cohort 9:

  • Kafina: Fueling, restoring and awakening consumers through the healing power of plants in the form of a single shot organic herbal energy elixir.
  • Mushrooms Cups: Infusing beverages, such as instant organic coffee, with functional wildcraft mushrooms to boost energy, stimulate cognitive function, and supercharge the immune system.
  • Paragon Flavors: Providing natural and authentic powdered flavors captured within a clean-label wholegrain carrier.
  • Mindwell: Designing what it describes as “shamelessly meaty” high-protein, plant-based snacks, including two lines of soy and mushroom based jerkies.
  • Simply Good Jars: Preparing and distributing fresh, convenient jarred salads, meals, and soups – all under 600 calories – in smart fridges with the mission of eliminating single-use plastics and hunger through a reusable jar program.
  • Sweetie Pie Organics: Offering clean, organic functional food for moms-to-be, new moms and their babies, such as morning sickness drops, lactation bars, ready-to-drink lactation smoothies, and more.
  • Vaartani: Enabling brands to stay on top in their food categories by providing AI-powered real-time meaningful insights derived from consumer conversations and reviews on individual products.
  • Voix: Providing the first AI-automated restaurant voice assistant, which helps restaurant owners save time and money by automating orders, managing reservations, and upselling specials.

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