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Startup Innovation Challenge

Putting the spotlight on innovation with the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge

Article-Putting the spotlight on innovation with the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge

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The 5th edition of the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge showcased innovation in a whole new way during Fi Europe CONNECT 2020.

The Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge is a specialised support programme that has been hosted as part of Fi Europe since 2016. The Challenge acts as catalyst for rewarding startups with truly novel ideas and innovations, by providing them with a platform to highlight and showcase their ideas to key industry players across the globe.

We are delighted to share with you a bit more information on the winners of the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge 2020:

Category 1: Most Innovative Food or Beverage Ingredient


Michroma is a biotech platform producing natural ingredients in a sustainable, scalable, and cost-effective way. They are using Synbio to unleash the potential of filamentous fungi and develop proprietary strains capable of producing high-performance ingredients in bioreactors. Michroma’s first products are extremely pH and thermal stable food colourants, that are being prototyped with some of the top F&B and cosmetic companies in the world. They are also producing mycoprotein and have many more ingredients to come. They were accelerated by Indiebio (Batch 9) and form part of Mista. Michroma is based in Rosario, Argentina (R&D) and San Francisco, CA (Business).


Category 2: Most Innovative Processing Technology


Sufresca develops edible coatings for fruits and vegetables that prolong shelf life and help create a plastic-free world, where costly food loss and waste is a thing of the past. Sufresca, a young Agri-tech startup (est. Jan 2020), is developing a few types of innovative edible coatings, that are particularly applicable to those that are notoriously challenging to coat (i.e. pepper, tomato, cucumber), for postharvest extended shelf-life of fresh fruits & vegetables, as well as bulbs like garlic and onion. Sufresca is commercialising a technology that was developed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for the past 10 years.


Category 3: Most Innovative Technology or Service Supporting the F&B industry


Enyzmit's technological platform allows for dramatic improvement upon existing enzymes on multiple parameters, including thermal-stability, expression, specificity and activity, in extremely short time frames of, typically, less than a month. Enzymit is currently offering this capability as a service to different strategic industry partners. However, even more exciting, using their technology, they further design novel enzymes currently unattainable by their competitors. Presently, their company focus is on the development of enzymes capable of generating novel sweetener molecules which they plan to license to specific strategic industry partners.


Congratulations again to all the well-deserving winners and finalists who formed part of the 5th edition of our Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge – we’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on all of them. Entries for the 6th edition will open a bit later this year and we look forward to seeing what exciting innovations 2021 holds in store.

Watch the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge winner announcements here.

TAGS: Innovation