FoodBytes! by Rabobank Heads to San Francisco

Calling all Pioneering Startups in Food and Ag Tech


NEW YORK (Jan. 5, 2017) — Rabobank, a premier bank to the global food and agribusiness industry, is proud to announce that the FoodBytes! pitch competition-meets-networking event will return to San Francisco, where it first began. FoodBytes! San Francisco will be held on Thursday, March 16 at The Village, a state-of-the-art venue within a century old building in the heart of San Francisco. The event will bring together food and agriculture startups with executives, investors and industry influencers to explore the cutting-edge innovations pioneering the future of food and ag.

“San Francisco has long been thought of as the epicentre of invention, and where some of the most ground-breaking technological innovations have originated,” said Manuel Gonzalez, Rabobank North America Head of Startup Innovation. “The food and agriculture space is no exception. FoodBytes! has become a launch pad for entrepreneurs in the industry, and I’m excited to see what the creative minds pitching at our sixth event will bring to the table.”

First launched in San Francisco in 2015, FoodBytes! was created with a simple mission: to uncover the most ground-breaking global concepts in food and agriculture, and pair those ideas with the capital needed to bring them to market. This mission was derived from Rabobank’s Banking for Food strategy, which aims to address the global issues our rapidly changing world presents, including food waste, access, stability, and nutrition. Since FoodBytes! launched in February 2015, more than 750 companies from 19 countries have applied to pitch to over 1,000 event attendees.

Startups interested in pitching at FoodBytes! San Francisco can apply here by Friday, January 20 at 11:59 PM PT. The criteria for selection are scalability of idea or product, social impact and sustainability. FoodBytes! encourages food, food tech and agtech startups that have business models demonstrating high growth potential and that benefit people and planet to apply. Ten companies will be selected to give 5-minute pitches and ten runner-up companies will be selected to give 60-second pitches.

Holland & Hart, a full service law firm that helps regional, national and international clients of all sizes with integrated legal solutions, will continue its partnership with FoodBytes! as an official sponsor. Holland & Hart has been a part of the food and beverage industry for decades, helping clients through the entire lifecycle of a company’s growth. As a sponsor, Holland & Hart will provide invaluable legal insight to the finalist startups, helping them to navigate the complexities often faced by burgeoning brands. “These innovators need to know that what they’re doing matters,” said Chuck Cotter, Partner at Holland & Hart. “The hope is that our guidance can help these companies navigate obstacles that can get in the way of innovation.”

Also continuing as an official sponsor of FoodBytes! is Nucleus Maximus, a Boulder-based agency that works with food and beverage companies on brand strategy, product positioning and package design.

Food + Tech Connect, the site of record and world’s largest community for food tech and innovation, is a Presenting Partner. Food + Tech Connect gives innovators the tech and business insights, connections and skills they need to transform the food industry through its website, newsletter, events, consulting and business courses.

FoodBytes! San Francisco attendees will cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award winner, while an esteemed panel of industry experts will present the Judges Choice Award. These awards will be given to the companies best demonstrating industry creativity, sustainable practices, growth potential and social innovation, and will be invited to attend Rabobank’s premier invitation-only Annual Event in December 2017 in New York City, which attracts C-suite representation from over 300 of North America’s leading food, beverage and agribusiness companies.

Follow us: For coverage of FoodBytes! San Francisco, follow FoodBytes! on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and follow Rabobank on Twitter @RaboWholesale. 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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