There is innovation all around the world in AI, software, medicine and more. But many users and investors often forget about industries everyone interacts with every single day. FoodBytes wants to change that.
Rabobank has announced that they are bringing their food and agriculture pitch competition to Canada for the first time. On May 15-16, 2018, FoodBytes will allow entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas and receive capital, mentorship and connections they can use to scale their company. Pitch applications are open now and will run until March 11.
FoodBytes is looking for startups that demonstrate traction, scalability and innovation and are focused on sustainability and social impact.
“It’s bringing this ecosystem and network together of people that want to listen, help and engage with food and agricultural entrepreneurs,” says Miguel Gonzalez, head of startup innovation at Rabobank. “It is a pitching and networking event, but also a discovery platform to bring the ecosystem together and make a better food future.”
FoodBytes launched in 2015 and has attracted over 1,100 startup applications from 30 plus countries. Canadian companies like PieShell, One Hop Kitchen and FlashFood are alums from the competition.
Ten companies in the food and agriculture space will have the opportunity to pitch for 60 seconds and ten will pitch for 3.5 minutes. After presenting, they will be in the running for three awards: People’s Choice, Judges’ Choice, and Highly Commended. The day before the pitches, companies will be invited to as networking and mentorship event with investors, marketers, and experts in the space.
“Companies will meet people that will help them with the journey in general,” says Gonzalez. “Startups will find people who are experts in the food and agriculture area. It’s important because it’s different than working in other spaces. FoodBytes’ purpose is more than anything to find a network very quickly that might be really hard to find otherwise.”
Montreal is the first Canadian stop for FoodBytes, as it will also head to New York City and San Francisco.
“It was really a consensus that Montreal was a good place to start in Canada. The city is cross-cultural, and the east probably has the largest market concentration,” says Gonzalez. “We can track the Eastern U.S. as well. I think we’re going to get a unique view of Canadians’ own market, but they also have more than regional ambitions than that.”
FoodBytes was created as part of Rabobank’s Banking for Food vision, an initiative that looks to create sustainable options and feed a growing global population by 2050. Rabobank is one of the largest food and agribusiness banks in the world.