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Startup Innovation Challenge

Open for entries: Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge 2020

Submit your innovation for the 5th Edition of the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge and meet the industry experts who can help you take your idea to the next level of development. Exciting prizes to be won.


The Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge gives startups the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a jury of R&D experts, investors and major F&B industry company representatives. Now in its 5th year, the Startup Innovation Challenge 2020 will be hosted virtually as part of the Fi Europe CONNECT 2020 virtual event.

Select your category

Startups can select multiple categories but will only compete in one category, which will be selected by the shortlisting jury.

  1. Most Innovative Food or Beverage Ingredient. This category covers F&B ingredients or additives from an animal or plant source that improve sensory attributes such as taste, texture, smell, and/or appearance. E.g. flavours, flavour enhancers, colours, sweeteners, emulsifiers, stabilisers, (thickeners, binders, texturisers), acidulants, firming agents, anti-caking agents, leavening agents, humectants, dough strengtheners, fat substitutions, yeast nutrients, PH control agents, enzyme preparations, etc.
  2. Most Innovative Alternative Food or Beverage Ingredient. This category specifically covers F&B ingredients or additives from a novel non-animal/plant source. E.g. fungi, algae, insects, micro-organisms, lab grown/cell-cultured or another non-animal/plant food source.
  3. Most Innovative Healthy Food or Beverage Ingredient. This category covers F&B ingredients or additives from an animal/plant/alternative source that contribute to digestive, cognitive, immune or physical health, with a focus on natural and/or sustainable processes. E.g. functional lipids, dietary fibre, probiotics, botanicals, flavonoids.
  4. Most Innovative Process, Technology or Service Supporting F&B. This category covers innovations that improve food safety, efficacy, quality, traceability, transparency, ingredient sourcing, supply chain management, or upcycling.

Winners will be announced and showcased during a live session as part of the virtual Fi Europe CONNECT 2020 event.

Candidates have until Friday 2 October 2020 to apply.

How to apply

  1. Entry criteria – please download the full version of the 2020 Rules and Regulations before you submit your entry.
  • The startup should be no older than 5 years
  • The startup must have a clear business plan and a developed concept at the very least, prototypes or the final product are preferred
  • The product or service needs to be truly novel
  1. Application form: SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY HERE  before 2 October 2020


The winners will be offered a selection from the following prizes:

Fi Europe and Fi Global prizes:

  • A fully equipped stand at Fi Europe 2021.
  • A Fi Global Insights Digital Package to promote your online presence throughout the year.

Prizes provided by our partners:



  • Access to the Presans ‘Conciergerie’ innovation platform.


KitchenTown logo.png

Kitchentown Berlin:

  • Free Membership Product Development Remote (one month) + fast track ticket for the Kitchentown Accelerator Program
  • Free Membership Co-Working Flex Pro (one month) + fast track ticket for the Kitchentown Accelerator Program



lsbi | life science-based innovations  

  • One-day quick scan of the innovation
  • Including a 2-page report on regulatory, safety and health aspects



General Mills 

  • 1 R&D coach from General Mills for 6 months

Shortlisted startups will also receive a complimentary company profile throughout the two-week virtual Fi Europe CONNECT 2020 event. Such profiles will allow access to various virtual networking opportunities and matchmaking services for free.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to pre-record pitches that will be made available as on-demand sessions throughout the two-week virtual Fi Europe CONNECT 2020 event, for users to engage with.


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