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Startup Innovation Challenge

Entries open for Fi Europe 2023 Startup Innovation Challenge

Article-Entries open for Fi Europe 2023 Startup Innovation Challenge

Calling all ambitious and innovative ingredient startups: entries for the Fi Europe Startup Innovation Challenge are now open. Start preparing your application!

The Fi Europe Startup Innovation Challenge offers food ingredient startups a unique opportunity to develop their innovative projects through a specialised support programme. Winning startups can choose from a range of prizes curated by the organisers and expert judges.

Startups will pitch their product or service before a panel of expert judges behind closed doors and then on stage in front of the audience at Fi Europe, held in Frankfurt from 28 to 30 November 2023, giving all finalists unparalleled exposure and networking opportunities with key food industry stakeholders.

The judges are looking for entrepreneurs making ground-breaking ingredients or additives that improve the taste, texture, appearance, or nutritional value of food and beverages AND revolutionary technologies, services, or AI solutions that support the food and drink industry.

All relevant startups that have been active for five years or less are welcome to apply, and entries are open until 1 September 2023. To apply for free and find out more about the exciting prizes up for grabs, click here.

Four categories

Startups can apply to one or more of the following categories:

  • Most Innovative Food or Beverage Ingredient  
    This category covers ingredients or additives that improve taste, texture, appearance and/or nutritional value.  
  • Most Innovative Plant-based or Alternative Ingredient   
    This category covers innovations related to food and beverage ingredients or additives specifically from a plant-based or alternative, non-animal source.    
  • Most Innovative Processing Technology or Technology Platform  
    This category covers innovations related to food processing technologies or technology platforms that have the potential to positively impact the food and beverage industry.  
  • Most Innovative Service or AI Solution Supporting the Food and Beverage Industry  
    This category covers innovations that support improvements in ingredients sourcing and production, food safety and quality, traceability, transparency, smart packaging, and/or supply chain management. 

In addition, a special jury’s choice award will be awarded to one of the finalists: 

  • Most Innovative Sustainable Solution – Jury’s choice award  

This special prize will be awarded to the startup with the most sustainable innovation. All startup finalists across all categories can be considered for this award, with the winners being decided by the expert jury. The startup’s overall sustainability efforts will be considered. 

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A chance for all finalists to make invaluable industry connections

Taking part in the Fi Europe Europe Startup Innovation Challenge offers unique exposure to all finalists and an opportunity to make invaluable industry connections from the leading food industry experts at Europe’s leading ingredient trade show.

Participating startups stand to gain free access to Fi Europe 2023 in Frankfurt, giving them essential exposure to some of the biggest stakeholders in the global food and drink industry industry.

Startups can also benefit from free stage time to pitch their innovations to attendees of Fi Europe and a free dedicated meeting space at the Startup Lounge.

Helping startups achieve success

The Fi Europe Startup Innovation Challenge is organised by Informa Markets, and has been propelling food ingredient startups to success since 2016 - as previous participants in the Challenge testify.

“The Startup Innovation Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for any startup to leverage their networking and fund-raising efforts,” said Dr Abhiram Dukkipati, founder of Magellan Life Sciences, and winner of the 2018 prize for the most innovative healthy food or beverage ingredient. “We benefitted significantly from our participation in the entire process. Due to the exposure during and after the challenge, we have been approached by many stakeholders in the industry who are willing to work with us.”