FoodBytes! Pitch VIRTUAL 2020 Startup Applications have now closed.

 

 

If you’re an entrepreneur interested in learning more, here’s how you can become an active member of our ecosystem:

 

  1. Fill out our 2-minute general startup interest form to get on our radar for corporate collaboration through our Pilot program, as well as future global Pitch programs
  2. Make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter to stay in the loop on all things FoodBytes!
  3. Reach out to us directly foodbytes@rabobank.com to join a startup scouting session

The FoodBytes! Pitch VIRTUAL 2020 startup experience

Startup Application Criteria

  • Robust team:​Founding team possesses diverse and multi-disciplinary industry expertise, education backgrounds and ideas.
  • Cutting-edge Business:Clear value proposition and novel solution with validated business model and demonstrated potential to address major industry challenges.
  • 21st century business:​Focused on positively impacting people, profit and planet and feeding the world more sustainably.
  • Collaborative mindset:​ Demonstrated success or openness to working with strategic partners (industry leaders and investors).
  • Validation to growth stage:​Proven product market fit and path to commercialization – company is piloting its technology or in market with its product (beyond ideation) OR is ready to scale / expand to new markets. 

 

Startup Alumni Benefits

  • $10,000 cash prize for the 3 winning startups of FoodBytes! Pitch VIRTUAL
  • Ongoing mentorship from industry experts
  • Ongoing digital content and programming
  • Access to new customers & partners
  • Tailored investor connections
  • Industry insights / financial advisory from Rabobank network
  • Peer-to-peer camaraderie via alumni network

 

Startup Engagement Timeline

Virtual program logistics and specifics are still being finalized. This page will be updated with concrete information as it becomes available. 

  • Application Period: July 5- Aug 10
  • Selection Month: August 10 – September 13
  • Welcome Month: September 14 – October 19 (Startups notified of selection September 28 – minimal virtual time commitment)
  • Mentorship & Deliberation Weeks: Oct 19-29 (1-4 hour commitment per day)
  • Pitch Week: Nov 30-Dec 2 (15 finalist startups only)

 

FoodBytes! Contest Rules & Disclaimer

 

Got questions? Scroll down for our handy FAQ below.

Meet our 2020 FoodBytes! Pitch members

We’re proud to announce our industry leading partners who will fortify your startup experience by providing tailored mentorship, one-on-one connections and more during FoodBytes! programming.

Presenting Partner

ADM

ADM

2020 Members

Get to know a few of our rockstar alumni pitching on the FoodBytes! stage.

CPG 

Shaka Tea – Beverage Innovator

FoodTech

Winnow – Restaurant Food Waste Mitigator 

AgTech

Soma Detect – Dairy Farming Steward 

Pitching at FoodBytes! FAQ

1. There are a million pitch competitions, what makes FoodBytes! different?

What began as a pitch event in 2015 has evolved into a leading food and agriculture innovation ecosystem. Beyond most entrepreneurs’ perception of a pitch competition, FoodBytes! is a discovery and networking platform that builds lasting connections between the most promising startups, corporates and investors.

Beyond the public pitch afternoon, selected startups participate in intimate workshops, business growth bootcamps, investment speed dating and more. The lasting value of FoodBytes! extends beyond the virtual program, fostering connections and insights through the Rabobank network, our newsletter, social media and more.

2. What kind of companies should apply?

  1. Those working on a truly innovative product or technology with an application in food and agriculture
    • More specifically, those pioneering on-farm automation, animal health tech, shortened supply chains, food loss mitigation, accessible food e-com and functional ingredients.
  2. Those disrupting a large market with a focus on sustainability and / or social impact (people, profit and planet)
  3. Those at pre-seed to Series A stage (90% of successful applicants fall into this range)
  4. Those that are open to critical feedback, cross-collaboration and partnerships

3. Who are the alumni?

Hundreds of startups have pitched on the FoodBytes! stage. Watch some FoodBytes! alums’ pitch videos (above) and view the rest here.

4. Do you target specific types of startups in certain markets?

FoodBytes! is all about making relevant connections between corporates, startups and investors. As the platform has evolved, we’ve grown more targeted in that intent.

For FoodBytes! Pitch VIRTUAL 2020, we’re specifically targeting startups focused pioneering on-farm automation, animal health tech, shortened supply chains, food loss mitigation, accessible food e-com and functional ingredients however all truly innovative startups are always encouraged to apply. 

5. How does Rabobank evaluate and review applications?

We have a holistic review process that includes Rabobank food and agriculture experts and our FoodBytes! sponsors. High-ranking startups exhibit the following criteria:

  • Team Background: Exceptional domain and entrepreneurial experience
  • Business Model: Company has a strong view on its revenue model, competitors, how to scale, customer acquisition and cost base. Company knows its margins and how it can improve as it scales
  • Market Opportunity: High growth market opportunity and high barriers to entry
  • Product Innovation: Concept is a game-changing approach to solving a problem or gap in the market
  • Product Validation & Traction: Team is on track or building a successful business and is building something that consumers or the industry needs / wants. Company was able to raise external funds
  • Sustainability / Social Impact: Concept is focused on the triple bottom line: people, profit and planet

6. How many startups are selected to pitch at each edition of FoodBytes!?

We select 45 startups from hundreds of applications – 15 food tech startups, 15 agtech startups and 15 CPG startups (give or take depending on the applicant pool).

7. It's a competition, so what do startups win?

From the 45 selected startups, 15 innovators will advance to the final stage of the program, culminating in a livestreamed public pitch competition. 3 innovators will walk away winners, taking home the FoodTeach, AgTech and CPG Awards (selected by the judges). The winners also receive financing consultations with relevant VIP investors. All 45 startups get complimentary consulting services from our partners in multiple business development areas, as well as lasting connections within the Rabobank network.

8. That all sounds great, but how does FoodBytes! help startups?

Our alumni can say it better than we ever could, and we personally think this video encapsulates the long-lasting value of FoodBytes! perfectly. Selected entrepreneurs meet new customers, mentors, service providers and investors as a result of participating in FoodBytes! Collectively, they’ve gone on to raise a combined $425M since participating in FoodBytes!, with 53 deals in 2018 alone. Have a look (above) at the 2020 FoodBytes! Pitch members who are part of programming to fortify your startup experience by providing tailored mentorship, one-on-one connections and more.

9. What should I expect during FoodBytes!?

  • Application Period: July 5- Aug 10
  • Selection Month: August 10 – September 13
  • Welcome Month: September 14 – October 19 (Startups notified of selection September 28 – minimal virtual time commitment)
  • Mentorship & One-on-one Connection Weeks: Oct 19-29 (1-4 hour commitment per day)
  • Pitch Week: Nov 30-Dec 2 (15 finalist startups only)

Want to know more about the value of joining our FoodBytes! Alum community?

Download the FoodBytes! startup value proposition deck here and learn how our tight-knit community stay connected and supported.