Five Australian companies are on the shortlist of 45 start-ups part of Rabobank’s global food and agri startup program FoodBytes! Virtual Pitch for 2020, which aims to help entrepreneurs scale their impact for a more sustainable food supply,
The start-ups were chosen from 340 applicants worldwide, all with solutions relating to sustainable production of food, such as upcycled products to fight waste, alternative proteins, and regenerative agriculture technologies to reduce water use and carbon emissions.
The FoodBytes! Pitch 2020 cohort is spread across three sectors, including consumer food and beverage (CPG), food tech and agtech.
Rabobank Australia head of innovation, knowledge & networks Nathalie Gibson said the five Australian start-ups shortlisted for this year’s program are a testament to the food and agri talent in this country.
“These companies are pioneering the future of food and agri and will showcase their ideas and Australia on the global stage,” she said.
“They demonstrate ground-breaking new approaches in agtech, foodtech and consumer food and beverages, in areas including animal health, regenerative agriculture, on-farm robotics, advanced nutrition, sustainable packaged and plant-based and up-cycled ingredients.”
The Australian companies include:
- Food tech business Carapac (NSW) – makers of a durable, home-compostable alternative to plastic packaging made from crustacean shells
- Field robotics company Agerris (NSW) – commercialising robotic agricultural equipment and AI solutions for on-farm operations and sustainability
- SWAN Systems (WA) – precision irrigation and fertiliser platform to help growers precisely schedule, monitor and report on smarter resource management (water and nutrient consumption) to improve economic and environmental outcomes
- ProAgni (NSW) – makers of antibiotic and ionophore-nutrition products for sheep and cattle that contribute to ethical and sustainable animal production and industry performance and
- I Am Grounded (Queensland) – business upcycling discarded coffee fruit into sustainable snack products
All 45 startups will be part of a two-week virtual mentorship programme, as well as one-on-one meetings with corporate leaders and investors, in addition to pitching their solutions to Rabobank and 17 FoodBytes! Pitch corporate and investor members.
Of this group, 15 finalists will be chosen to participate in FoodBytes!’ live-streamed pitch competition on 2 December for a chance to win $10K and consultative prizes in each of three categories.