Beyond The Shoreline, Sugarlogix and Aspire Food Group triumph at leading food and ag pitch competition


AUSTIN (Sept. 28, 2017) – Rabobank announces its FoodBytes! Austin 2017 winners: Beyond The Shoreline, Sugarlogix and Aspire Food Group, all chosen for their new and disruptive solutions to pressing food challenges. Beyond The Shoreline received the Judges’ Choice Award for its vegan ‘Kelp Jerky’ and support of kelp farmers, Sugarlogix won the People’s Choice Award for its functional sugars that enhance the immune system and Aspire Food Group’s first-to-market technology for automated cricket farming earned the Highly Commended Award. Yesterday’s event, the 10th of its kind, marks the first time FoodBytes! has held its competition in Austin, a city known for its burgeoning food and tech startup community.

Founded as part of Rabobank’s Banking for Food (B4F) vision to build a more sustainable food system by 2050, FoodBytes! is a safe haven for entrepreneurs to receive the mentorship and connections they need to grow their businesses. Rabobank vetted and selected global startups to compete for its distinguished Judges’ Choice, People’s Choice and Highly Commended Awards.

“This is amazing, especially because of the other incredible entrepreneurs here,” said Courtney Boyd-Myers, co-founder and CMO, Beyond The Shoreline. “We’re early stage, so this win is a huge lift-up for our company.”

FB! Judges’ Choice Award: Beyond The Shoreline
FoodBytes! Austin judges selected the pitch company that best demonstrates scalability, innovation, traction and social impact. Beyond The Shoreline works directly with kelp farmers to manufacture a new wave of snacks, including ‘Kelp Jerky’. All products are packed with protein, non-GMO and free from dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, refined sugar and gluten.

FB! People’s Choice Award: Sugarlogix
Using the FoodBytes! app, the audience voted for crowd favorite Sugarlogix to land the People’s Choice Award. The Berkeley-based biotech startup is the first company to create through fermentation of yeast functional prebiotics that are scientifically proven to be the closest to the benefits of breast milk of any other prebiotic on the market today.

FB! Highly Commended Award: Aspire Food Group
The judges selected the Highly Commended Award winner from the 60-second pitch companies. Austin-based Aspire Food Group developed the first automated cricket farming technology and manufactures environmentally-sustainable and nutritious products under consumer brand, Aketta.

The winners are awarded a number of prizes to help them grow their businesses, including consulting services and innovation experiences and expert counsel from FoodBytes! partners, as well as the opportunity to pitch leading food and agriculture c-suite executives at Rabobank’s Annual F&A Summit in New York City.

“We’ve pitched at many of these, but what is really unique to FoodBytes! is being able to pitch a day ahead to the judges and rehearse before going live. The feedback at FoodBytes! was exceptional,” said Mohammed Ashour, CEO of Aspire Food Group.

The other 3.5-minute pitch companies included Coffee Flour, GrubTubs, Intello Labs, Know Brainer Foods, Native State Foods, Vence Corp, and XING Technologies. The additional 60-second pitches included D’vash Organics, Greensbury Market, Peaceful Fruits, Regen, Ripened Ventures, The Empanada Shop, Think.Eat.Live and Your Superfoods.  

FoodBytes! Austin was produced 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 PR and branding agency. FoodBytes! 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.

FoodBytes! 2018 events will be announced later this year. For more information, follow FoodBytes! on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or 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.

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