IFT First

This popular showcase of global food and food tech startups attracted nearly 9000 visitors and featured more than 85 companies from 14 countries last year with innovations ranging from technological solutions that improve ingredient quality and safety to innovative consumers goods already on the market.

The Startup Pavilion brings together food startups and food-related startups in all stages of growth to McCormick Place in Chicago, the site of IFT’s annual event. This year’s event, which is expected to attract more than 17,000 ingredient providers, business leaders, product developers, food scientists and other members of the science of food community, is being held July 14-17, 2024.

“The Startup Pavilion is an exciting opportunity for innovative startups from across the globe to showcase their solutions to investors, key decision-makers, and industry stakeholders that they may not otherwise have access to,” said IFT CEO Christie Tarantino-Dean. “The Startup Pavilion encapsulates this year’s IFT FIRST theme of collaboration and innovation as we highlight game-changing products and applications with the potential to transform the food system.”

Also returning this year as part of the Startup Pavilion is The Pitch, a multi-stage rapid-pitch competition spanning three days where startups compete for prizes totaling $15,000. Each round of the competition is judged by a panel of professionals who represent the entire global food ecosystem, including those from venture capitalist firms and startup incubators, innovation leaders, academic researchers, research and design professionals, and government officials. Finalists from The Pitch will once again have the opportunity to attend an invitation-only founders and funders networking event that connects startups and social enterprises with potential investors and supporting partners.




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