Startups are defining and designing the innovative food ingredients of tomorrow, but often lack the scale and funds to bring their solutions to market. Around 90% of startups fail, according to Investopedia. Connecting with the right partners is therefore a fundamental part of any startup’s journey, and the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge is the ideal place to do so.
Startups active for five years or less can, free of charge, apply to as many of the categories that are relevant to them: most innovative food or drink ingredient; most innovative plant-based or alternative ingredient; most innovative processing technology; and most innovative service, technology, or digital solution supporting the food and beverage industry.
All finalists gain access to the Startup Lounge at Fi Europe 2022, held in-person in Paris, where they can meet and mingle with industry stakeholders and gain valuable exposure when pitching their solutions on stage at the Innovation Hub.
The award ceremony and startup pitches are also livestreamed to attendees watching from around the world via the Fi Europe 2022 online platform. These pitches are then available to watch on-demand on the Fi Global Insights website all year round, further increasing visibility.
The winning startups can also choose from one of three high-value prizes:
- A fully equipped exhibitor stand at Fi Europe for the following year, as well as a Premium Profile on the Ingredients Network directory, which attracts more than 45,000 unique ingredient buyers every month;
- A digital marketing package for Ingredients Network and Fi Global Insights to promote their online presence throughout 2023;
- Mentorship and support from one of our jury members. This could include one-to-one coaching sessions; the opportunity for potential pilot work; or access to corporate collaborations and accelerator programmes.
This year’s jury panel includes Shardul Dabir, innovation specialist from the Good Food Institute (GFI) India; Paula Álvarez, ecosystem developer from Eatable Adventures; and Marc-Antoine Olive, CEO and co-founder of Feast Creative Foods.
“The Startup Innovation Challenge is co-located with Fi Europe, the annual meeting place of R&D scientists, food technologists, product developers, and senior management,” said Angelique Cachia, director of content and digital at Fi Global. “In other words, people who are razor-focused on scouting out the most interesting ingredient solutions. The benefits to startups of such industry interactions are immeasurable.
“At Fi Global, we are proud to make such connections possible, fostering food industry innovations that are truly disruptive and that will contribute to creating a more sustainable future food system, providing safe and nutritious food for all.”
Past winners include Allozymes, Better Juice, Sophie’s Bionutrients, and NoPalm Ingredients.