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Image credit: GROW

Meet the 12 startups joining Singapore Food Bowl, GROW’s local food resilience accelerator

July 13, 2020

GROW, the Southeast Asian agrifood tech accelerator backed by AgFunder, today introduces the 12 startups from across Asia Pacific that will join Singapore Food Bowl – its unique program aimed at building a more resilient, sustainable, and decentralized agrifood ecosystem in the wake of Covid-19.

The pandemic has severely impacted global supply chains, shining a spotlight on the vulnerabilities in our existing systems of food production and distribution.

Supported by Enterprise Singapore and Dole Packaged Foods, Singapore Food Bowl is tied to the Singapore government’s ‘30 by 30’ initiative, which aims to have 30% of the country’s nutritional needs produced domestically by 2030 – up from less than 10% today.

Given Singapore’s lack of available land, this vision will only be achieved by enhancing traditional production methods with cutting-edge innovation in controlled environment agriculture, alternative protein production, and crop yield improvement.

Complementary solutions that help to reduce food waste and increase traceability across the supply chain will also be key to realising the country’s goal.

The 12 startups participating in Singapore Food Bowl reflect this, offering a range of exciting new technologies and solutions that can make our agriculture and food ecosystem stronger and more sustainable for the future:

  • Augmentus (Singapore) – A code-free robotics automation platform that allows non-technical operators to program autonomous robots for use in contexts such as urban farming.
  • CocoPallet (Philippines) – Manufacturing sustainable and cost-competitive shipping pallets from byproducts of coconut farming for use in the global logistics industry.
  • Crust Group (Singapore) – Tackling food waste by using leftover bread from hotels, restaurants, and cafes to brew into co-branded craft beers and other beverages.
  • DiMuto (Singapore) – Combines internet-of-things and blockchain tech to digitize food products at all stages of the supply chain, achieving end-to-end visibility for suppliers and customers.
  • Fortuna Cools (Philippines) – Focused on affordable cold chain solutions, this startup is producing a cheaper and biodegradable alternative to traditional iceboxes using coconut husks.
  • Invertigro (Australia) – Enables customers to rapidly integrate indoor farming capabilities into their existing business models with a modular system and specialized crop recipes.
  • ListenField (Thailand) – Combining crop and climate analytics with IoT integration, this app gives farmers actionable data for decision making at every stage of the growing process.
  • Lleaf (Australia) – Developing a polymer film that can be applied to greenhouse panels to increase crop yields up to 40%, helping underutilized rooftop spaces to become viable farms.
  • Mi Terro (China) – Turning spoiled milk into an odorless, temperature-regulating fabric that can be used in place of cotton for clothes, bedding, and biodegradable food packaging.
  • Organic Technology Holdings (Australia) – Repurposing organic waste and off-cuts to create high-value products like pet foods, aquafeed, flavor additives, and health supplements.
  • SingCell (Singapore) – A provider of biotech development and manufacturing services that helps cultured meat companies get to market faster.
  • Smoocht (Singapore) – Focusing on wholesome ingredients and local flavours, this ‘r’ice cream’ maker creates plant-based dessert options from a base of organic brown rice milk.

John Friedman, director at GROW and AgFunder Asia, believes the timing couldn’t be better for a specialized program like Singapore Food Bowl.

“It’s providing a platform not only to accelerate innovation in the local agrifood tech ecosystem, but also to raise awareness across broader society of the need for transformation and greater sustainability throughout our food system,” he says.

“After weeks of narrowing down the selection, we’re tremendously excited to finally be able to announce this cohort. We look forward to witnessing the impact these companies will have on not just the Singapore ecosystem, but that of the wider region as well.”

Pier Luigi Sigismondi, president of Dole Packaged Foods, says Singapore Food Bowl dovetails neatly with the company’s sustainability objectives.

“Earlier this month we launched the Dole Promise, to make nutritious foods accessible for 1 billion people and move towards zero fruit loss and zero fossil-based plastic packaging by 2025, as well as net zero carbon emissions by 2030. These ambitious targets can only be achieved with the support of external partners and advanced technologies,” he says.

“Our collaboration with GROW is an opportunity for us to experiment, learn, and support agrifood tech startups and innovations that are at the intersection of our promises and the transformation of our industry.”

Throughout the 12-week, digitally delivered program, the participating startups will receive high-level mentoring and deep commercial insight from GROW’s industry partners. Check back here on AFN over the next few weeks for more info on the startups and their progress.

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