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The Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge Official Rules and Regulations 2022



The Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge aims to reward innovative projects within the food and beverages industry, by offering startups the opportunity to develop their activities through a specialised support program.

This contest is open to all startups with innovations targeting the F&B sector with a focus on any of the following:

  • Ground-breaking ingredients / additives that improve taste, texture, appearance, and/or nutritional value of food and beverages
  • Innovative technologies and/or services that support the F&B industry


The Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge is organised by Informa Markets BV, De Entrée 73, Alpha Toren, 1101 BH, Amsterdam (Organiser).


Any company or project leader involved in developing a new activity or innovative project within the F&B sector, can take part in the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge (Candidate).


The Organiser considers as a ‘new activity or innovative project’ the following:

  • the startup should be no older than 5 years;
  • the startup must have a clear business plan and a developed concept and, at the very least, prototypes or final products are preferred; and
  • the product or service needs to be truly novel and unique.

The Challenge is not open to entry by any employee of the Organiser, their families, agents or any third party directly associated with administration of the Challenge. 


Participation is free and no purchase is necessary.


Entries to the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge will be open from 1 June 2022 to 30 September 2022.

To be considered as a ‘Candidate’ to the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge, startups need to follow the Rules and Regulations of the contest, as outlined in this document. The following steps will apply:

Step 1: Online registration

All startups are required to submit information about themselves and their company’s innovative project via the online registration form. The requested information includes:

  • Contact information
  • Company information
  • Short description of the product or service for the submission that highlights the novel element of this product or service (max. 300 words)

Once registered, startups will gain access to this official Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge Rules and Regulations document. A signed copy thereof will need to be provided to the Organiser during the validation stage.

Step 2: Validation of the candidacy

At this stage, registered startups will be contacted by the Organisers. You will be required to submit the following information to be considered as Candidate:

  • Signed Rules and Regulations: A signed copy of this Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge Rules and Regulations 2022 document
  • Provide a Business Plan (BP). The BP must provide your potential market figures, description of your competitors, as well as your financial plan.
  • One-minute video. This pitch should provide a short description of your product or innovation which will be considered when selecting the shortlisted companies.
  • Additional information: Any technical and / or sales documents that you have developed, such as commercial documentation, advertising, investor presentations, etc.

Any information you share with the jury must be up to date and accurate, to the best of the entrant’s knowledge.

Each Candidate is considered once the application form and Business Plan are received. Only the complete files will be considered.

If your project is not accepted, you will not take part in the contest.

If your project is accepted, you become an official Candidate to the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge 2022.

The registration deadline for the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge 2022 is Friday, 30 September 2022.

Step 3: Jury & selection process

Once entries to the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge 2022 close, the jury will review all applications by official Candidates. A maximum of 20 startup finalists will be chosen. Only the selected finalists will be invited to pitch to the jury in November 2022 and stand a chance to be crowned as category winners. The list of categories is outlined in Section 9 below.

Selections will be based on the information submitted by Candidates during the application process. Therefore, make sure you include as much supporting information with your application as possible to showcase your innovation to the jury and assist with the selection process.

The jury is made up of a mix of the following food experts:

  • R&D experts from research institutes
  • F&B ingredient companies
  • F&B manufacturers
  • Banks / Venture Capitalists
  • Startup Incubators / accelerators / supporters

If one of the jury members has, themselves or as a collaborator, entered as a Candidate, they are no longer allowed to vote.

Step 4: Category winners

To identify the winner(s), finalists will be ranked by the jury based on the following:

  • The information and supporting evidence shared during the application process.
  • A presentation given by the finalist(s) to the jury in private. The presentation must last no more than 10 minutes and will be followed by a Q & A session (15 minutes). Startups will present their projects live during a virtual closed session to the jury, the date of which will be communicated with finalists once selections have been finalised.

At the end of all the category presentations, the jury will decide the winner(s). All jury discussions are confidential, and their decision is final.

All finalists will be invited to pre-record a presentation pitch which will be featured on the Fi Europe 2022 Online event platform. This presentation should be no longer than 20 minutes.

Additionally, all finalists will be invited to give a live pitch at the in-person Fi Europe 2022, co-located with Hi Europe, event to visitors and exhibitors of the show at the Innovation Hub. This pitch should last no more than 10 minutes (including Q&A).

Winners will be announced live during Fi Europe 2022, co-located with Hi Europe. 


A candidacy can be withdrawn by the Organisation Committee if the documents submitted by the Candidate are proven to be false or inaccurate.  The Organiser reserves the right to refuse entry or refuse to award a prize to anyone who breaches any of the rules of the competition, including any of the terms of these Official Rules and Regulations. In this case, the Organisation Committee can revoke any decision or award and may publicize the revocation or prize cancellation to the media.

A Candidate may cancel its candidacy at any time if the Candidate enters any financial distress (administration, bankruptcy or otherwise).

The Organiser accepts no responsibility for entries that are not successfully completed due to a technical fault, technical malfunction, computer hardware or software failure, satellite, network, or server failure of any kind.


Candidates will be informed of their selection as finalists, if successful, by email or other communication. The jury’s decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into in respect of the decision of the jury.  However, any unsuccessful entrant or Candidate may request reasonable feedback from the Organiser in respect of their entry. 

The finalists commit themselves to present their project live during a closed session to the jury on the mutually agreed date communicated to them following their successful selection.

The finalists also commit to present their project (depending on their category) live to attendees at the in-person Fi Europe 2022, co-located with Hi Europe, event hosted in Paris, France, running from 6 – 8 December 2022. Pitches can be streamed in or presented in-person to visitors and exhibitors of the show. This pitch should last no longer than 10 minutes (including Q&A, where applicable).


One winner will be announced for each category. Startups can select multiple categories but will only compete in one. Where startups apply for more than one category, the final category selection will be determined by the shortlisting jury.

Below are the 2022 categories and their descriptions: 

  1. Most Innovative Food or Beverage Ingredient 

This category covers ingredients or additives that improve taste, texture, appearance and/or nutritional value.

For example, 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, functional lipids, dietary fibre, probiotics, etc. 

  1. Most Innovative Plant-Based or Alternative Ingredient category 

This category covers innovations related to food and beverage ingredients or additives specifically from a plant-based or alternative, non-animal source. 

  1. Most Innovative Processing Technology  

This category covers innovations related to food processing technologies that have the potential to positively impact the F&B industry.

Examples include molecular farming, biomass fermentation, cellular agriculture, precision fermentation, etc.  

  1. Most Innovative Service, Technology or Digital Solution Supporting the F&B Industry 

This category covers innovations that support improvements in ingredients sourcing and production, formulation, food safety, traceability, transparency, smart packaging, upcycling, and/or supply chain management.  

  1. Most Innovative Sustainable Solution – Jury’s choice award 

This special prize will be awarded to the startup with the most sustainable innovation. All startup finalists across categories can be considered for this award, with the winners being decided by the expert jury. The startups’ overall sustainability efforts will be considered.  

Each winner can select one of the prizes on offer as listed on the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge websiteThe prize for each winner is non-exchangeable, non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.

The Organiser reserves the right to replace the prize with an alternative prize of equal or higher value if circumstances beyond the Organiser's control makes it necessary to do so.


Any company wishing to participate in the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge hereby declares that it:

  • accepts in full the terms and conditions laid down by these Rules and Regulations;
  • certifies that it is in compliance with all applicable tax, anti-corruption, social and environmental law. The company undertakes to provide, upon request, evidence of compliance with the regulations in force and marketing during the above period;
  • confirms that it has all necessary right, title and authority to submit the data, materials and information provided with its entry to the Challenge;
  • confirms that any data, materials or information provided with its entry is correct, accurate and up to date, to the best of its knowledge and belief; and
  • if selected, will be present to support its candidacy during the jury pitches, live pitches/presentation recordings, and the awards ceremony as required.


The applicant certifies owning (or having any necessary licences or consents in respect of) all the intellectual or industrial property rights (concerning patents, trademarks, designs, and copyright in particular) attached to the project(s) presented and their achievements. They also state that the holder or holders of rights, agree with the participation to the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge and accept these rules and regulations.

In any case, the Organiser cannot be held responsible for disputes related to the protection of any intellectual property. The Candidate indemnifies the Organiser against any costs, claims, expenses, or disputes in respect of the holder of any intellectual property rights whatsoever through the signing of this form.


By taking part in the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge, the companies and project leaders allow the Organisation Committee to use the photos, videos and any images of the presented products, the logo as well as all of the business information of the company, as well as the images taken during the event and award ceremony in connection with any promotional activity of the Fi Europe event, the Challenge and/or the Food Ingredients brand.

Information regarding the Candidate’s entry will only be available for viewing by the Organiser (including the jury). A non-disclosure form can be signed by the parties if sensitive information is to be shared by the Candidate, upon request.

Personal data supplied during the course of this promotion will only be processed as set out in the Organiser's Privacy Policy, and in accordance with these Rules and Regulations.


The Organiser’s decision will be final and binding regarding clarification related to any difficulties that may arise from the interpretation and / or application of these Rules and Regulations.

The Organiser reserves the right to make changes to the Rules and Regulations for any reason where necessary, even without notice. The Organiser of the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge also reserves the exclusive and unilateral right to cancel, postpone, terminate, or modify the Challenge without notice.


Insofar as is permitted by law, the Organiser, its agents or distributors will not in any circumstances be responsible or liable to compensate the winner or accept any liability for any loss, damage, personal injury or death occurring as a result of taking up the prize except where it is caused by the negligence of the Organiser, its agents or distributors or that of their employees. Participants’ statutory rights are not affected.

Should a dispute concerning the validity, interpretation or implementation of the Rules and Regulation arise, the parties shall try to amicably sort out the dispute. If the parties do not reach an amicable settlement, the dispute shall be referred to the exclusive jurisdiction of the appropriate courts in The Netherlands for resolution.

Interested in applying? 

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