FoodBytes! by Rabobank is a next-gen pitch competition-meets-networking event that brings together the game-changing startups, investors and industry leaders pioneering the future of food and agriculture.
Date: October 18, 2018
849 6th Ave
New York, NY 10001
Hotel Eventi – attendees will receive a discounted rate of $389, exclusive of applicable taxes. To book your reservations, call the reservations department at 1.866.993.8396 and specify that you are booking under Rabobank group, alternatively use the group code J00 when booking online.
“FoodBytes! combines the best of entrepreneurial startups, the larger players that have know how to scale brands and the people that have the know-how to connect those dots.”Evan Delahanty
"It’s all about impact. These companies can and will make an impact on our food system."Katie Forrest
2 - 3 PM | Opening Reception
Mix and mingle with food and ag innovators and enjoy food and drinks while meeting the demo companies at their display tables.
3:00 - 3:15 PM | Opening Remarks
Manuel Gonzalez, Global Head of F&A Startup Innovation and FoodBytes! Founder.
3:15 - 3:30 PM | 1.5-Minute Pitches
Hear pitches from 10 game-changing food and ag startups from around the world.
3:30 - 5:00 PM | 3.5-Minute Pitches + Q&A
Our 10 pitch company finalists from around the world give 3.5-minute pitches, followed by 5 minutes of Q&A with the audience of investors, media, thought leaders and entrepreneurs.
5:00 - 5:15 PM | Voting & Deliberation
Attendees cast their vote via the FoodBytes! Mobile App for the favorite pitch company, selecting the People’s Choice Award winner. Our judges deliberate to select the Judges’ Choice Award winner from the pitch finalists and the Highly Commended Award winner from the 1.5-Minute pitches.
5:20 PM | Awards Ceremony
Our judges present the three awards.
5:30 - 7:30 PM | Closing Reception
Mix and mingle some more and enjoy food and drinks while meeting the demo companies at their display tables.
Specializing in food investment, product innovation, retail buying and more, and captained by Rabobank’s Global Head of F&A Innovation Manuel Gonzalez, our esteemed panel brings diverse expertise to the FoodBytes! table.
Executive Director, Senior Analyst – Food & Consumer Trends, Rabobank
Prior to joining Rabobank, he was a Senior Economist and Vice President of Sales, Research & Marketing, at LMC International, an independent economic and business consultancy for the agribusiness sector. Prior to LMC, Nick worked as a Senior Research Economist for The Natural Resources Institute in the U.K. Additionally he has worked as a freelance economic journalist, a Senior Economist with the Government of Papua New Guinea, as well as a lecturer/tutor in Applied Economics. Nick holds a M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics from Reading University in the U.K.
Senior Director of Sustainability, Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN
Tina May leads the innovation team for Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN. In this role she is tasked with creating innovative sustainability solutions to help farmers and co-op member-owners nationwide, harnessing the nexus of policy and business.
Previously, Tina worked for more than a decade in government, including leadership roles with the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Tina has also worked as a Silicon Valley executive, and co-founded the first-ever DC based lobbying firm to incorporate as a Public Benefit Corporation.
Our 20 pitch companies will take part in an invite-only mentor sessions with industry experts. Our mentor sessions originated at FoodBytes! SF 2016 and are part of our continual quest to provide increasing value to our pitch companies and stakeholders. Get to know our incredible lineup of mentors below.
Having served in a comprehensive advisory role to food and beverage startups for nearly 20 years and helping one of those startups achieve global brand status with annual revenue in excess of $1 billion, Bob knows what it takes to help startups scale and succeed in the market. He’s deeply passionate about helping entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life from inception to globalization through the development and implementation of a comprehensive and rational go-to-market strategy that aligns with the brand and available resources. Bob’s helped entrepreneurs: evaluate and implement their go-to-market strategy; develop and test great-tasting and consumer-preferred products; facilitate angel, venture and private equity financing; connect with contract manufacturers and distribution partners; and win with consumers. Prior to joining WILD Flavors (acquired by ADM in 2014), Bob served as co-founder, officer and board member for F&C International (acquired by WILD Flavors in 1994). He’s also served as an economist, sales leader, president and CEO in a variety of industries.
Shareholder, Polsinelli PC
Chuck has sophisticated experience working with entrepreneurs, nascent companies, and venture funds in the food, beverage, and natural products space, and he leads the firm’s Food and Beverage industry group. Chuck has worked with more than fifty consumer products and related brands and advises such companies at all stages of growth, from startups to ready-to-exit, helping them successfully raise capital, complete acquisitions and divestitures, and comply with regulatory requirements. He also advises numerous venture funds with respect to their investments in consumer products companies. The philosophy of Chuck’s group is that clients are long-term partners and not viewed transactionally.
Principal, The Intertwine Group
Elliot Begoun is the Principal of The Intertwine Group, a practice focused on helping emerging food and beverage brands grow and become sustainable and investable. He works with clients to design and execute customized route-to-market and go-to-market strategies that build velocity, gain distribution, and win share of stomach. Catch him at FoodBytes in his role as a mentor and find his articles in publications such as the Huffington Post, SmartBrief, and FoodDive.
Head of Acquisition Finance & Sponsor Coverage , Rabobank
In June of 2013, Anne Greven was appointed the Head of Acquisition Finance in North America. Previously, Anne had been co-head of Capital Markets & Head of Investment Banking for Rabo Securities in New York. Anne joined Rabobank in March 2003 as part of the Syndication team where she structured and sold senior debt for the North American client base. In addition, upon joining the bank she was instrumental in establishing the Investment Banking business for Rabo Securities USA. Prior to joining Rabobank, Anne was a Vice President in Morgan Stanley’s Senior Funding Group for five years. In that role, she was responsible for the structuring and syndications of bank debt product throughout the United States. Previously, she had spent six years at TD Securities and worked in various credit areas of the bank, with her last four years on the Capital Markets Desk, Structuring and Syndications. She graduated from Montana State University in 1987 with her BS in Finance and in 1992 received her MBA from Columbia University.
Founder, Fresh Ideas Group
FIG founder Sylvia R. Tawse has conducted national campaigns for dozens of brands. Her “healthier-living-for-all” commitment is evident in her nonprofit work, from Chef Ann Cooper’s LunchBox.org and Salad Bar Project, to years of work for the Boulder County Farmers Market. Sylvia was an instrumental force in the “Keep Organic Organic” public awareness campaign for the Organic Trade Association, which resulted in the highest number of letters received by the USDA, all 280,000+ of them. Sylvia has firsthand knowledge of the food industry, from the ground up. She and her husband own Pastures of Plenty Farm, a 32-acre organic farm in Longmont, Colorado.
Equity Private Placements, Rabobank
Since joining Rabobank in 2012, Roderik has advised many different companies in the Food & Agri space. Roderik started out in the Corporate Finance Advisory group where he advised various large cap companies on their capital structure. Being a former entrepreneur himself (He founded a small start-up in 2014), Roderik shifted his focus to advising venture stage companies in 2017.
Roderik currently focuses on helping start-ups and scale-ups with raising capital, using Rabobank’s extensive network of financial and strategic investors. Roderik has a passion for endurance sports, so when Roderik is not talking to investors or innovative companies, he is probably swimming, cycling or running somewhere around New York City.
Senior Analyst, Rabobank
Paula joined Rabobank in 2008 as an Analyst in Argentina’s office, where she was responsible for coordinating the economic analysis of the Argentine agricultural and food sector with an emphasis in grains and oilseeds, animal protein, and dairy. Paula moved to New York in 2015 to join the US consumer foods sector team where her main areas of research include branded foods and consumer trends, foodservice industry and food retail. Prior joining, Paula worked at the World Bank in Washington DC, where she participated in agricultural development projects in Latin America and Africa and was a co-author of the World Bank’s flagship publication, World Development Report 2008 “Agriculture for Development”. Sponsored by ICICI Bank, Paula has also worked on microfinance projects for farmers in India. Paula holds a degree in Economics from the Universidad de San Andrés in Argentina and a Masters in International Development from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Co-Founder & CEO, Ovenly
Erin is the Co-Founder & CEO of Ovenly. Under her helm, she has pioneered the company's financial, real estate and growth plans and transformed it into New York’s premier bakery chainlet since launching it in 2010.
Erin is known for her strong business voice, her visionary thinking, and her commitment to “radical responsibility” and empathetic leadership. She has been named as one of New York’s most “bada*s” women in food by Zagat and has written about business for various publications including Cherry Bombe, Vice, Lucky Peach, and more. Her cookbook, Ovenly: Sweet & Salty Treats from New York’s Most Creative Bakery, was named as one of the best books of the year by National Public Radio. She has appeared in print, TV, radio, and video for her work including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Inc magazine, Bon Appetit, Good Morning America, and more. Erin speaks locally and nationally about her work and is creator, host, and executive producer of Vox Media’s newest podcast: Start to Sale, which launches in Fall 2018.
Proudly Brought to You By
Rabobank Group is a global financial services leader providing wholesale and retail banking, leasing, and real estate services in more than 40 countries worldwide. Rabobank is one of the world’s largest banks with over $750 billion in assets. In the Americas, Rabobank is a premier bank to the food, agribusiness and beverage industry, 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 of our Banking for Food strategy.
ADM has been feeding food businesses for nearly 115 years with plant-based proteins, whole-food ingredients and product development expertise. We match your idea to the right ingredients—helping food developers and entrepreneurs get to market faster great-tasting, nutritious foods that consumers love.
ADM is an industry-leading specialty ingredients provider offering an ever-expanding catalog of flavorful, colorful, functional, nutritious and whole-food ingredients through its WILD Flavors and Specialty Ingredients (WFSI) business unit. Whether developers and entrepreneurs are looking for a single ingredient, custom ingredient blend or a complete product solution, we can help them get to market faster with great-tasting, nutritious foods consumers purchase time and time again.
Land O Lakes
Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN™, the newest business unit under Land O'Lakes Inc, works to support a healthier planet with improvements in air, soil and water quality; strong rural and farm economies with more money in the pockets of farmers; and more connected relationships between consumers and those who work hard to feed them.
Polsinelli is an Am Law 100 firm with more than 800 attorneys in 20 offices. Ranked #24 for Client Service Excellence and #10 for best client relationships among 650 U.S. law firms, Polsinelli was also named among the top 20 best-known firms in the nation. The firm’s attorneys provide value through practical legal counsel infused with business insight, and focus on food and beverage, food- and ag-tech, health care, financial services, real estate, intellectual property, mid-market corporate, labor and employment, and business litigation.
The Hain Celestial Group
The Hain Celestial Group , Inc. is a leading organic, natural and better-for-you products company. As a company, Hain Celestial is focused on growing their business by delivering new and sustainable concepts to consumers and are supporting innovation and entrepreneurs in food and agriculture. Cultivate Ventures, was formed to strategically invest and incubate lifestyle brands, concepts, products and technology, which focus on health and wellness. As an official FoodBytes! sponsor, Hain Celestial and Cultivate Ventures directly align to create and inspire A Healthier Way of Life™.
Printpack is a leading manufacturer of flexible and specialty rigid packaging that combines unique insights on consumer preference with advanced technological capabilities in order convert packaging concepts into reality. Printpack has over 60 years of experience helping brands improve retail visibility, heighten brand awareness and capture market share. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, Printpack is a privately held company. Printpack employs over 3,200 associates worldwide and operates 19 manufacturing facilities in the United States, Mexico and China. To learn more, please call (404) 460-7000 or visit printpack.com.
Founded in 1938 in Québec, Agropur dairy cooperative is joining the FoodBytes! family in 2018, bringing 80 years of dairy sector leadership and expertise. Agropur which is amongst the top 20 dairy leader players in the world, never stops innovating and sees innovation as a guiding principle within the organization.
Innovation with purpose and partnership is at the forefront of everything we do at Compass Group. Serving 9.4 million meals a day in corporations, schools, arenas, hospitals, senior communities, and museums, we are committed to making it easy for our customers and clients to have great food experiences that promote well-being and are socially and environmentally responsible. Collectively, we create massive positive impact on our local and global communities by incorporating technology to excite and engage our guests, inspiring better choices for both people and planet, and advocating for sustainable sourcing and animal welfare. In recognition of the measurable and innovative social impact of its strategy, Compass Group was named to Fortune Magazine’s prestigious list of 50 Companies Changing the World.
Boulder Food Group
Boulder Food Group seeks partnerships with early stage food and beverage consumer product companies. BFG works alongside exceptional entrepreneurs to ensure the business is able to deliver sustainable growth and outperform its competitors.
The Intertwine Group
The Intertwine Group helps emerging food and beverage brands grow. We design and execute customized route-to-market and go-to-market strategies that build velocity, gain distribution, and win share of stomach. Our approach creates growing brands that are sustainable and investable.
Creative Alignments is a disruptor in the recruiting services space. We have developed a unique Time-Based Recruiting® model that creates a flexible talent partnership with our clients to find them the very best talent, while saving money. As opposed to traditional percentage-of-salary recruiting firms that may push candidates for fee-based windfalls, Creative Alignments aligns with companies to tap quality employees who can fuel their growth. Using our innovative pay-by-the-hour process, our senior team recruits across all functions in the food & consumer products, tech, professional services & manufacturing industries.
foodspace+co helps food and food tech businesses grow and thrive. From startups, to early stage ventures, companies focused on consumer packaged goods, to new food truck concepts, we help business owners go from idea to product delivery. Our +community is made up of like-minded entrepreneurs plus a team of seasoned mentors with business, culinary, hospitality, marketing, operations, finance, startup, foodservice expertise and beyond. We are dedicated to the food space and are focused on helping food businesses be successful.
Crowdfunding for food and beverage entrepreneurs.
Recognized by Fast Company as one of the world’s ten most innovative companies in food, Food-X is the #1 Food Innovation Accelerator in the world. We help food entrepreneurs bring their products and services to market at super speed. Food-X partners with early stage companies from across the food supply chain, from ag tech to consumer packaged goods.
Echo Capital Group is a Los Angeles-based venture capital fund focused on disruptive, early-stage consumer packaged goods companies. ECHO combines decades of operational expertise with the dynamic insights of a young team, providing growth capital and strategic collaboration to elevate innovative companies in the consumer product space to a new level.
The Chobani Incubator is a program for companies taking on broken food systems to bring better food to more people. In addition to equity-free investment, we give growing food and beverage startups access to Chobani’s network and expertise in order to scale up their operations and achieve significant growth. Learn more at chobaniincubator.com.
First conceived in 2013 in Silicon Valley, The Mixing Bowl stimulates the adoption of IT innovation in the food and agriculture industries through business-focused dialogue between existing industry players, start-ups, investors, and other food innovators.
It aims to foster strong bonds between the IT innovation ecosystem and the Food & Ag sectors, as well as develop strong ties between Food & Ag innovation hubs within California, across the US, and expand throughout the globe.
Union Kitchen is a food business accelerator based in Washington, DC. We build national food and beverage brands that grow locally and scale regionally. We use our expertise, networks, and strong local ecosystem to build businesses' success.
Food+Tech Connect gives innovators the tech and business insights, connections and skills they need to transform the food industry through its website, newsletters, events, consulting and business courses. Join the community @foodtechconnect.
The Food Loft
The Food Loft is a coworking space for food startups at the intersection of tech, media, and entrepreneurship. Through mentorship, networking, and investment, we offer strategic resources to help food startups grow their companies.
FTW Ventures is an investment & advisory group for early-stage Food & Ag Tech startups. FTW engages with the best founding teams with a mission to create radical improvements in our Food System.
Step Two Advisors
Step Two Advisors is a firm focused on helping CPG early stage startups in F&B. We are different because we have been in founders’ shoes before and can come in as shadow executives to help our clients navigate the first years of their growth better. With expertise in Finance, Business Planning, Operations, Sales and Distribution, we cover all aspects of a COO/CFO role but for a fraction of the cost. We also work on standalone projects tailored to your needs In addition, Step Two Advisors offers due diligence work for both CPG corporations and venture capital firms.
Are you ready for the next step?
Smart Kitchen Summit
The Smart Kitchen Summit is the leading event and community focused on the future of food, cooking and the kitchen. Now entering its fourth year, SKS brings together the world’s innovators across the home appliance, culinary, grocery, smart home/IoT and technology industries to explore and create the future together.
TrySome has made product testing affordable for everyone. We work with CPG brands that want a more efficient way to test the market, get consumer feedback, create a buzz or demonstrate engagement to retail buyers.
We help brands get survey feedback and create personas of those who try their products in a quick and easy fashion. We make anybody a market research expert!
AgFunderNews is an industry news site at the intersection of food & agriculture, technology and investment.
The site publishes daily, original news on the food and agriculture technology (“agrifood tech”) industry, including the latest funding news and analysis of trends in the sector. A hub of information for the growing startup and investment community in agrifood tech, the site also features guest commentaries and Q&As with industry experts.
AgFunderNews is affiliated with AgFunder, an online Venture Capital Platform investing in leading agrifood technology companies.