FoodBytes! Pitch, Rabobank’s discovery and networking program that builds lasting connections between sustainable food and ag startups, corporates and investors, is going 100% VIRTUAL. The program has expanded from a 3 day in person gathering to a multi-week virtual engagement spanning from mid-October through early December.
We believe a diversity of products, people and ideas will drive the future of food and ag innovation, and our new virtual offering aims to champion global cross-collaboration. Welcoming 45 startups from around the world, versus our historic 15, FoodBytes! Pitch VIRTUAL will consist of private mentorship sessions, one-on-one connections and media opportunities for selected startups and partners, spanning two weeks. Selected by an industry-leading panel of judges, 15 of the 45 startups will then advance to the final stage of the program – a live-streamed public pitch competition – a virtual version of the FoodBytes! many of you know and love.
KEY PROGRAM DATES
OCT 5 | 45 STARTUPS ANNOUNCED
45 startups participating in this years FoodBytes! Pitch competition announced publicly.
OCT 19 - OCT 23 | MENTOR WEEK
45 companies will participate in our private mentor week – Four days of tailored content including; mentorship sessions, one-on-one investor/corporate connections and media/content opportunities. At the conclusion of the four days participants will be required to submit their 3 minute pitch video.
OCT 26 - OCT 29 | DELIBERATION WEEK
Over the course of the week, a select group of industry-leading judges will review all 45 startup pitch presentations. Using the FoodBytes! criteria, the industry leading F&A judges will select 15 startups to progress through to the finals. Final 15 startups will be announced on Friday October 30.
NOV 30 - DEC 2 | FINAL 15
The final 15 startups will work closely with industry mentors and investors before culminating in a livestream public pitch competition.
Check out the FoodBytes! Buzz
“If you're building a food-related startup, FoodBytes! is the perfect place to get the word out about your innovation. The people in the room understand what you want to accomplish, and the FoodBytes! team will do everything possible to make sure the experience is all about you, the entrepreneurs, and make sure you’re in the spotlight”.
“FoodBytes is a fantastic competition which goes so much further than pitching on the day. We gained a lasting network including other startups and food companies, and the Rabobank team have been excellent at supporting us since then. The atmosphere was vibrant, the prizes were incredibly useful and the endorsement as People’s Choice winner gave us a real boost as an early stage startup"
Specializing in food investment, food waste, consumer trends and more, our esteemed panel brings diverse expertise to the FoodBytes! table.
Investment Director, ADM Ventures
Darren Streiler is the Investment Director of ADM Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Archer Daniels Midland. At ADM, Darren makes strategic investments in Series A and B startups in the Food, Agriculture, and Animal Health and Nutrition industries. Prior to ADM, Darren was at Monsanto Growth Ventures. As well, he served as Business Development Lead for Monsanto’s Global Strategy group. Darren has over 20 years of investment and deal making experience at top-tier hedge funds, mutual funds and investment banks. He holds an MBA from University of California at Berkeley and a Finance degree from Boston College.
Gigi Lee Chang
Managing Director, BFY Capital
Gigi Lee Chang is a Managing Partner at BFY Capital, a privately-owned financing company focused on providing venture debt to “better for you” consumer brands in the food, beverage, beauty and wellness sectors to support growth activities with minimal dilution.
Prior to joining BFY, she was the Managing Director of FoodFutureCo, an accelerator helping mission driven entrepreneurs working across the food system. Gigi is the Founder of Plum Organics and was also the CEO of the national children’s environmental health non-profit Healthy Child Healthy World.
Named one of the top women leaders in the “future of food” by Forbes in 2017 and a top dealmaker and influencer in consumer food and beverage by CircleUp in Dec 2016, Gigi is a frequent speaker on social enterprise, sustainability, impact investing and entrepreneurship. Recent speaking engagements include Nutrition Capital Network, SXSW, FoodVision, FoodTank Summit, EscaBona, and FounderMade.
Gigi is an advisor, board member and mentor to numerous early stage companies. Her philanthropic board advisory affiliations include Venture for America and Good+ Foundation.
Founder, FoodShot Global
Victor has been at the forefront of innovation, investment and sustainability for over 20 years. As Co-Founder of S2G Ventures he was a principal force in developing the S2G mission, culture, strategy and team and the S2G investments into 3 food unicorns: Beyond Meat, sweetgreen, and Apeel Science.
He is Founder and Chairman of FoodShot Global, a 501c3 blended capital investment platform of equity, debt and grants with 25 of the leading funds, banks, foundations, universities, corporations and non-profits seeking to join him on his mission to transform the food system into one that is more healthy, sustainable and equitable.
Founder & CEO, Trace Genomics
Poornima cofounded Trace Genomics. Trace Genomics has developed the first analytics engine that learns as it maps the living soil – innovating at the intersect of soil science, genomics and machine learning to advance agriculture. The company has raised over $35 million in funding, and has operations in both Ames, Iowa and Silicon Valley. Trace Genomics has won several awards including being selected as a 2020 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum.
Poornima earned a Ph.D in Microbiology and Immunology from Stanford University with Nobel laureate Dr. Andrew Fire, and a B.S. in Molecular Biology from University of Texas at Austin where she was in the Dean’s Scholars Program. After completing her Ph.D, she did a postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, and collaborated with the Broad Institute and the Ministry of Health in Nicaragua. She is an author on 12 highly-referenced publications, where she pioneered the use of genomics technologies to address fundamental questions in microbial diseases. Poornima was awarded the Career Development Award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Sidney Raffel award for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies, and the Gabilan Stanford Graduate Fellowship.
Managing Director, Rabobank
Vivek Pai joined Rabobank in the Mergers & Aquisitions group in 2009. Vivek’s coverage responsibilities include Dairy, Beverages, Fruits & Vegetables, and Grains & Oilseeds in Canada. Vivek also coordinates the M&A coverage within the dairy sector globally. Prior to joining Rabobank, Vivek worked at Lehman Brothers based in the New York office. He received an MBA from The Johnson School at Cornell University, Master of Science degree from State University of New York at Buffalo and Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science from Manipal Institute of Technology in India.
FoodBytes! Program Manager