Winners recognized for breakthrough solutions in regenerative agriculture, plant-based ingredients, and household product plastic reduction, during the platform’s virtual pitch competition
NEW YORK – November 10, 2021 – Rabobank has named 3Bar Biologics Inc., Paragon Pure, and Great Wrap, as the winners of this year’s FoodBytes! Pitch program. The three winners were recognized for their innovations in regenerative agriculture, plant-based ingredients, and household product plastic reduction, and were selected from a pool of fifteen finalists who had the chance to showcase their businesses in front of a panel of judges during today’s pitch competition.
Each winner was selected based on their validated business model, track record of commercial viability, collaborative mindset, and a robust and diverse team to drive meaningful change in their respective sectors – AgTech, Food Tech and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG). Each winner will receive invaluable industry exposure and consulting services from FoodBytes! Pitch member companies.
“These winners represent a triple bottom line food future,” said Anne Greven, Global Head of F&A Innovation, Rabobank and FoodBytes! by Rabobank, and this year’s lead judge. “These companies are answering the global demand to find solutions to the industry’s most pressing issues, like climate change, the evolution of nutrition, and waste management, while also answering the call of new consumer demands, like sustainability, traceability, and alternative ingredients.”
Today’s public livestreamed programming marked the culmination of this year’s FoodBytes! Pitch – Rabobank’s multi-week food and agriculture innovation program that drives collaboration between startups, corporate leaders and investors to develop solutions to food system challenges. The selected winners rose to the top after being initially selected amongst the 45 global companies that made up this year’s cohort of participating startups.
The FoodBytes! Pitch 2021 Winners
3Bar Biologics is dedicated to improving farm yield, profitability, and sustainability using beneficial microbial products. The Columbus-based company’s proprietary biomanufacturing and delivery method unleashes the potential for microbe technologies not available for commercial production until now – helping ag biological customers overcome traditional barriers to microbe productization, and rapidly and cost-effectively commercialize their microbes and accelerate time to market.
“We’re honored to be a part of a solid group of high-caliber alumni that have participated in FoodBytes!,” said Chris Koenig, Chief Business Development Officer, 3Bar Biologics. “This will open doors for partnership and investment opportunities that were otherwise not available to us.”
Food Tech Award: Paragon Pure, Princeton, New Jersey, United States
Started in 2019, Paragon Pure’s mission is to understand the science of nature to create genuine ingredients for delivering natural flavors, colors and nutrients into wholesome foods. The Princeton-based company has deep industry experience with flavor encapsulation, process engineering, physical chemistry, and navigating food ingredient regulatory spaces. They are developing a structured fat and flavor delivery system from upcycled ingredients to target the growing plant-based meat market.
“FoodBytes is much more than a competition,” said Chris Gregson, CEO, Paragon Pure. “It is a tremendous recognition of our mission to create more nutritious, sustainable, consumer-friendly ingredients that fit the needs of the modern food industry. We believe the next generation of plant-based foods will play a critical role as we look towards important challenges of climate change, deforestation and human health. We are grateful for the help from FoodBytes! to highlight novel ingredients.”
Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Award: Great Wrap, Melbourne, Australia
A compostable cling wrap derived from food waste, Great Wrap is revolutionizing the approach to everyday household products. Working out of their solar powered factory in Australia, Great Wrap is working on the tech to put plastics out of business.
Jordy Kay, Co-Founder & CEO, Great Wrap, cited the benefits of the FoodBytes! network of like-minded investors, customers, collaborators, mentors and peers, saying “we were so honored to be amongst a group of some of the industry’s smartest. This experience helped introduce us to great potential partners who we are looking forward to working with in the future.”
Industry Keynote Panels
In addition to startup presentations, attendees to this year’s FoodBytes! Pitch were able to listen in on two thought-provoking panel discussions with industry experts. During “The Sweeter Side of Sugar: From Proteins to Plant Waste,” attendees heard insights into $60B global market of sugar from Ali Wing, Co-Founder of Joywell, Eran Baniel, Chairman of DouxMatok, and Javier Sainz, Managing Director of SWTStevia, led by author and journalist Larissa Zimberoff. And Jamie Bacher, Co-Founder and CEO of Boost Biomes, Jenny Filbey, CEO of Mazen Animal Health, Ritu Thomas, Sr. Director of Growth & Strategy at Lamb Weston, and Tom Philpott, Food & Ag correspondent for Mother Jones, joined together for “Agriculture in the Face of Climate Change: Solutions for Rapidly Changing Landscape,” a deep-dive examination of the numerous climate challenges currently facing the agriculture industry.
“We’re doing everything we can to continue to evolve and we are committed to continuing to take on sustainable farming and agricultural practices,” said Ritu Thomas, Sr. Director of Growth & Strategy, Lamb Weston, during today’s panel. “Being a part of FoodBytes!, and meeting with all of these different companies, I’m so impressed with the level of innovation that exists. I’m heartened to see what people are doing and I’m leaving this conversation hopeful of everything that we can accomplish together.”
The FoodBytes! Network
While FoodBytes! Pitch shines a light on the competition’s participating innovative startups, the platform’s 40 corporate members represent some of the most influential global food and ag companies, investors and service providers in the industry. Members play a pivotal role throughout the entire process – from scoring initial applications and helping to select the finalists.
Membership enrollment and startup scouting for 2022 is already underway. If you’re a corporate or investor interested in learning how innovation can boost your bottom line, or a startup looking to get involved in the FoodBytes! community, please visit www.foodbytesworld.com or email FoodBytes@rabobank.com today to start a conversation.
About Rabobank F&A Innovation
Rabobank is a leading global food and agriculture bank providing sector expertise, strategic counsel and tailored financial solutions to clients across the entire food value chain. Rabobank’s F&A Innovation team supports the bank’s global mission of Growing a Better World Together – helping to turn today’s promising ideas into impactful solutions for a sustainable food supply. Through the FoodBytes! food and agriculture innovation platform, Rabobank has built one of the most valuable networks for corporates, investors and startups pioneering sustainable ways to feed the planet. FoodBytes! drives collaboration between startups, large food and ag companies and investors through two complementary programs: FoodBytes! Pitch and FoodBytes! Pilot. Our approach to industry change: discovering and supporting startup innovation; and helping large food and ag companies embed and drive innovation across their organizations. To learn more, visit foodbytesworld.com or follow FoodBytes! on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
For press information, or interview, please contact Katie Myers:
Katie.Myers@rabobank.com | 214-766-4566