Pioneering global food & ag startups to face off at pitch competition-meets-networking event

NEW YORK (May 15, 2017) – Rabobank, a premier bank to the global food and agribusiness industry, unveiled 20 food, food tech and ag tech startups to pitch at FoodBytes! NYC on Thursday, June 15 at SECOND floor. This dynamic two-day event brings together cutting-edge global companies with executives, investors and industry leaders, providing them with the capital, mentorship and connections they need to grow their businesses.

FoodBytes! will showcase ground-breaking solutions to major food system challenges including food waste, supply chain transparency and clean ingredients. Selected finalists have 3.5 minutes to pitch a panel of expert judges and participate in an audience Q&A.

“Our FoodBytes! NYC pitch companies are at the forefront of sustainably-driven innovation to address the challenges we face as a global community,” said Manuel Gonzalez, Global Head of F&A Innovation, Rabobank. “From revolutionary ways to reduce food waste to disruptive technologies that provide transparency across supply chains, this year’s lineup is a true reflection of our industry’s pressing need for forward-thinking solutions.”

The 10 finalist companies pitching at FoodBytes! NYC are:

  • AgVoice – First company in the world to empower food and ag professionals to sustainably grow food everywhere by capturing actionable insights on-the-go, hands-free.
  • Gebni – The world’s first online food ordering platform to offer real time demand-adjusted pricing to boost restaurants’ online sales and save users money. The software uses machine learning and natural language processing to measure meal demand intensity in real time and update prices accordingly.
  • Flashfood Inc – A mobile platform connecting surplus food from grocers directly to its users at a massive discount.
  • Burlap & Barrel Spices – Rethinking the global spice trade by circumventing outdated networks of middlemen and working directly with farmers who grow unique, beautiful spice varietals not available in the US.
  • Impact Vision –Builds a more transparent and secure global food system, using hyperspectral technology. The company’s software platform provides insights about the quality and characteristics of different foods non-invasively and rapidly, using image recognition and predictive learning.
  • Nom Noms World Food – A multi-award winning nutritious world food brand created for tastebuds that love to travel. The premium collection of one & two course prepared meals are suitable for kids & grown-ups and made with no added sugar, preservatives or additives. Every meal purchased feeds a hungry child in India with the company’s one for you equals one for them promise in partnership with the Akshaya Patra Foundation.
  • Seal the Seasons – Partners with local family farms, freezing in-season produce at peak ripeness to provide healthy, local food year-round.
  • Wanderfuel –B2B approach to health food and wellness content for travelers. Wanderfuel offers curated, seasonally rotating boxes of organic products alongside content and experiences that support well-being. Rooted in holistic health principles, Wanderfuel provides specific benefits designed to counteract the negative effects of travel.
  • Real Oyster Cult – Delivers a curated farm-to-table oyster experience. Customers can handpick their favorites or try something new with the convenience of home delivery.
  • – Automated indoor gardening system for everyone to grow produce from seed to harvest with the touch of a button. Verdical garden towers hold 30 plants and come with a subscription to its smart seed pods, optimized for faster and healthier growth.

Rabobank has also selected 10 runner-up companies to give 60-second pitches, including:

  • Javazen – Combines the power of food-based technology with a novel delivery system to create a daily ritual of sustainable, enjoyable energy without the jitters or crash.
  • Natural Cuts – Uses a novel, natural processing technology developed at Cornell University to produce shelf-stable fresh cut vegetables without the use of chemicals, preservatives, or GMOs. The company’s first product, the Natural Cuts Potato, is targeted for sale to foodservice customers and requires no refrigeration or freezing, has a shelf life of more than 60 days at room temperature, and has 40% fewer calories compared to fresh and frozen alternatives when fried.
  • Mekhala Living – Produces organic and sustainable Asian foods from raw materials sourced from local farms, and provides fair employment to marginalized Burmese Shan women.
  • Wisran – Identifies operational logistics inefficiencies in real-time for growers to capture profits.
  • Proud Pour – Makes sustainably-grown and vegan wines and uses the sales to fix environmental problems. The company’s Sauvignon Blanc saves the ocean by restoring 100 oysters per bottle and its Pinot Noir saves the bees by planting 875 wildflowers per bottle.
  • JuiceInnov8 – Develops a sugar reduction technology for juice producers to create a better & healthier 100% juice with less naturally occurring sugar & lower calories.
  • Edamam LLC – Sells nutrition analysis and meal recommendation solutions to businesses in the food, health and wellness sectors. Notable clients include Nestle, Samsung, General Mills and Epicurious, and the company has over 8,000 subscribers to its APIs.
  • Love Grain – A consumer food company with a mission of connecting farmers to families through a line of nutritious and delicious gluten-free foods based on the ancient Ethiopian grain, teff.
  • Victory Hemp Foods – The only U.S. hemp processor with a consumer brand, the company provides nutritious, delicious, sustainable hemp grain in the form of organic oil, protein powder, flour and de-hulled seeds to health conscious consumers nationwide.
  • GoParrot– Artificial Intelligence chat platform that enables customers to place orders with restaurants over chat channels and then delivers those orders directly to their PoS. The platform “talks” with the restaurant customers where they are without having to staff someone to manage the communication.

Furthering its commitment to champion innovation within the food and ag space, Rabobank’s private equity division announced today the launch of its new Food & Ag Innovation Fund. As part of Rabobank’s Banking for Food vision, the fund provides high-potential, early stage food and ag companies with the venture capital investment needed to grow their business, along with access to Rabobank’s industry-leading research and network of food and ag experts.

Rabobank presents FoodBytes! NYC in collaboration with presenting partners Food + Tech Connect, the world’s largest community for food tech and innovation, and Fresh Ideas Group, a mission-driven communications agency. The program is supported by industry leaders including presenting sponsor Whole Foods Market, and official sponsors Holland & Hart, ADM, and The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. and its Cultivate Ventures platform.

Get tickets to FoodBytes! For more FoodBytes! NYC information, follow FoodBytes! on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and view curated content via the hashtag #FoodBytes.


About Rabobank

Rabobank Group is a global financial services leader providing wholesale, rural and retail banking, leasing, and real estate services in more than 40 countries worldwide. Founded over a century ago, Rabobank today is one of the world’s largest banks with over $750 billion in assets. In North America, Rabobank is the premier bank to the food, agribusiness and beverage industries, providing sector expertise, strategic counsel and tailored financial solutions to clients across the entire food value chain. We know that sustainability and innovation are critical in promoting a thriving food and ag industry that will feed growing global populations for years to come, which is a key focus our Banking for Food strategy. Additional information is available on our website.

Media Contact

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