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FoodBytes! Boulder Pitch Contest Winners
Rabobank reported Mad Agriculture, The Honest Stand and FarmRaiser were awarded the top prizes during FoodBytes! Boulder, a pitch competition meets networking event that brings food, agribusiness and tech startups together with investors, executives and industry leaders.
After having received over 150 applications from around the world, 20 companies were selected to compete for three esteemed awards – the Judges’ Choice Award, the Peoples’ Choice Award and the Highly Commended Award – which took place at the University of Colorado Boulder at Folsom Fields’ Byron R. White Club.
“In our industry, growth is spurred from innovation,” said Manuel Gonzalez, North America Head of Startup Innovation, Rabobank. “I truly believe that the visionary companies here at FoodBytes! Boulder are the solution-seekers who will positively transform the food and agriculture sector over the coming years.”
Judges’ Choice Award: Mad Agriculture
From the impressive ten pitch company finalists, the esteemed panel of FoodBytes! Boulder judges were tasked with selecting the company they felt best demonstrated industry creativity, sustainable practices, growth potential and social innovation. Boulder-based company, Mad Agriculture, took home the honor. Mad Agriculture harnesses the nutrient recycling abilities of insects to turn food waste into a protein rich feed supplement, lessening dependence on unsustainable ingredients like fishmeal and soy. “Two years ago, we saw an obvious need for a solution to two growing problems – food waste, and the increasing cost of feed for farmers,” said Mad Agriculture co-founder and Boulder local Phil Taylor. “Receiving the Judges’ Choice Award at FoodBytes! Boulder – from some of the leading minds in food and agriculture – confirms that the need is real, and we’re thrilled to use this platform to further our work.”
People’s Choice Award: The Honest Stand
FoodBytes! attendees were able to get in on the judging too, choosing The Honest Stand as the People’s Choice Award winner. The Honest Stand, founded in Denver, is a gourmet food company that uses whole foods that are non-genetically modified to produce gourmet products that are Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo, Soy Free, Yeast Free and Cholesterol Free. “Being named FoodBytes! Boulder Peoples’ Choice is an amazing recognition, by both our peers and some of the most influential people in our industry. The Honest Stand operates on the notion that delicious, gourmet food can actually be good for you, too, and we’re excited to continue bringing that message to the masses,” said founder Alexandra Carone.
Highly Commended Award: FarmRaiser
The Highly Commended Award is reserved for one of the talented 60-second pitch companies, and was awarded to FarmRaiser. FarmRaiser, a healthful take on the traditional bake sale, partners with local farmers and artisans to bring healthy, local food offerings to communities and students. “FarmRaiser’s goal is to help communities raise funds for important programs, by supporting the local food economy, with the ultimate goal of fostering a healthier next generation,” said FarmRaiser founder Mark Abbott. “Recognition at an event like FoodBytes! Boulder is so important – it helps us get our mission in front of a hugely influential audience.”