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Startup Innovation Challenge

Meet the finalists of the Fi Europe Startup Innovation Challenge 2023

Article-Meet the finalists of the Fi Europe Startup Innovation Challenge 2023

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The Fi Europe Startup Innovation Challenge is back and the finalists have been announced! Find out which game-changing companies were selected for their innovative ingredients and disruptive foodtech. Winners will be announced at Fi Europe in November.

Since 2016, the Fi Europe Startup Innovation Challenge has offered a unique platform to showcase B2B startups’ ingredient innovations and amplify their message to an audience of potential partners and investors.

The Challenge shines a spotlight on ambitious, innovative companies breaking new ground in the food and drink industry. All finalists – a total of 20 startups across four categories – will pitch before a panel of expert judges behind closed doors on 27 November, before the winners are announced on 28 November on stage in front of an audience at Fi Europe.

The finalists of the 2023 Fi Europe Startup Innovation Challenge are:

Most Innovative Food or Beverage Ingredient


Plant molecular farming startup PoLoPo has developed plant bio-factories for the high-scale, custom-made production of animal proteins in potatoes, starting with egg protein, ovalbumin.


Cell-based dairy alternative startup Wilk has developed ingredients that can substitute traditional cow-derived ingredients in the dairy industry with cell-based, animal-free alternatives. It says its approach allows for tailored nutritional solutions based on its proprietary research.


Mitomarin develops what it describes as “nutritional mitochondrial interventions”. Its star ingredient is a super-concentrated fermented wheat germ extract that compound that is fractionated and standardised. Despite being made from wheat, it is also gluten-free.


Gavan develops an exclusive protein extraction platform, which extracts proteins from plants in their natural state. These proteins are then combined to form a cohesive structure that binds vegetable oil and water, resulting in the creation of Fatrix—a groundbreaking, plant-based fat solution that transcends conventional boundaries.


EQUII turns flour from a mere carb source into a complete protein powerhouse with its nutrient-packed ingredient: high protein grain flour.

Most Innovative Plant-Based or Alternative Ingredient


Arkeon leverages archaea to produce protein ingredients: amino acids, peptides, and biomass/single-cell protein (SCP) through a proprietary patent-pending gas fermentation process.

WNWN Food Labs

WNWN creates a more ethical and sustainable alternatives to chocolate with plant-based, low-carbon ingredients, which are dairy-free, gluten-free, caffeine-free, and filled with antioxidants.


Senara produces a cell-based milk product using biotechnology to create a sustainable and cruelty-free alternative, eliminating the need for large-scale livestock farming.


Lypid makes sustainable, healthy, and tastier fat alternatives using a proprietary innovative technology to make liquid vegetable oil behave like animal fat.

Bosque Foods

Bosque Foods leverages the power of mycelium for a wide range of applications, including whole-cut meat and seafood alternatives that are environmentally friendly, healthy, and cost-competitive.

Meala Foodtech

Meala develops ingredients that can be used as binding and gelling agents with superior water retention, creating the opportunity to create new textures in plant-based products.

Most Innovative Processing Technology or Technology Platform

Planet A Foods

Planet A Foods uses proprietary technology to naturally ferment oats and sunflower seeds, recreating the flavours and fats in chocolate, and producing a more sustainable, cocoa-free alternative.


Nium has created the microGUT technology: an in vitro model that can test how ingredients, foods, nutrition products, and drugs impact the body’s metabolism and gut microbiome.


BravelyCultured has developed an efficient, sustainable, and scalable solution for precision fermentation, harnessing the vast potential of nature's marine microbiome, using seaweed as its feedstock.


Revobiom has created a technology that accelerates and directs the natural evolutionary processes of microbial consortia, helping food manufacturers formulate complete and stable ecosystems at scale.

Ivy Farm Technologies            

Ivy Farm Technologies uses novel technology to grow real mincemeat that is free from antibiotics, high in protein, and low in saturated fat.

Most Innovative Service or AI Solution Supporting the Food & Beverage Industry

MOA foodtech

MOA foodtech uses by-products from the agri-food sector and proprietary AI algorithms to discover and develop ingredients with superior nutritional value, taste, and sustainability.

Digital Bites

Digital Bites revolutionises the way food products are developed from idea conception to tested and validated launchable end-products, by using AI- and virtual reality-based consumer experiments.

mmmico eats

mmmico combines three powerful technologies that work synergistically to bring new natural ingredients to market faster and at a lower cost: fermentation, directed evolution, and bioinformatics-based AI.

Deep Detection           

Deep Detection has developed PhotonAi: a photon-counting, multi-energy X-ray camera designed for food inspection. It detects foreign bodies, defects, and flaws at a higher resolution and with lower transmitted energy than currently possible.