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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.

Meet the 2020 jury

Now in its 5th year, the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge 2020 gives startups the opportunity to pitch their idea to a jury of R&D experts, investors and major F&B industry company representatives, as well as to the whole host of F&B industry players that make up Fi Europe, co-located with Hi Europe’s 1,175+ exhibitors and 21,000+ attendees during live pitching sessions.

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.

The winner of each category will be announced at the end of the pitch sessions. The trophies will be presented during the Fi Innovation Awards Ceremony on 2 December.

Candidates have until Friday 18 September 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 18 September 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 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  


  • A one-day quick scan including a two-page report on regulatory, safety and/or health aspects of the startup's innovation. This price is offered to the winner of each category. 

General Mills 


  • One mentor/coach from General Mills for 6 months 
  • 5 days of free R&D consultation supported by General Mills R&D resources globally 

Free access to Fi Europe 2020

Shortlisted startups will be invited to pitch their innovation live during their category session at the Fi Europe, co-located with Hi Europe event, taking place from 1 - 2December 2020 in Frankfurt, Germany.

All shortlisted shartups will also have free access to the Startup Lounge, situated at the heart of the Fi Europe, co-located with Hi Europe 2020 exhibition. This will give contestants the chance to network with and demonstrate their offering to all attendees.

TAGS: Startups
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