• SWAN founders (L-R): Ivor Gaylard, Rod Campbell and Tim Hyde
    SWAN founders (L-R): Ivor Gaylard, Rod Campbell and Tim Hyde

Rabobank is calling on Australian food and agri start-ups to showcase their business in the annual international FoodBytes! Pitch competition.

FoodBytes! was launched in 2015 in the US and has since grown to attract entrepreneurs from around the world to drive collaboration among start-ups, corporate leaders, investors and farmers to address food system challenges. 

The multi-week program helps to develop and grow businesses through global industry exposure, mentorship sessions, networking, pitch refinement and industry awareness and recognition to present each business in an international virtual pitch competition.

Rabobank Australia head of innovation, knowledge & networks Nathalie Gibson said Australian startups had already featured impressively in previous FoodBytes!, including Western Australian precision irrigation and fertiliser platform SWAN Systems, which was named last year’s global agtech category winner, as well as Albury-based agricultural biotech company ProAgni being among the top 15 selected to present in 2020.

“FoodBytes! is seeking startups – ranging from ‘seed’ stage to those commercially engaged in the market – who are working on “truly innovative food and agri products or technology with a demonstrated market fit” in one of three sectors – ag tech, food tech and consumer food and beverage,” said Gibson.

“FoodBytes! is scouting globally for startups with developed business models, demonstrated commercial traction, a robust team and a cross-industry collaborative mindset which have the potential to drive meaningful and sustainable change throughout the food value chain.”

Applicants can pitch their business to one of the following categories:

  • Sustainable supply chains: blockchain/traceability, livestock management, animal feed efficiency, meat processing automation, byproduct upcycling, commodities processing, shelf-life extension, clean food processing
  • Improved resource management: carbon sequestration & reduction, precision irrigation, food loss mitigation, sustainable packaging, manufacturing robotics, on-farm automation, ag biotechnology, precision ag & AI, indoor farming
  • Next frontier of nutrition: functional ingredients (i.e. aging, mental clarity, performance, immunity), food biotechnology/fermentation, cellular agriculture, grain & sugar alternatives, meal prep/home cooking simplification, personalised nutrition, consumer wearables & data gathering. 

A group of 45 start-ups will be chosen to participate in the program, made up of 15 companies from each of the three categories.

For more information about the 2021 FoodBytes! Pitch competition, click here.

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