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: March 28, 2019
Terra Gallery & Events
511 Harrison Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Check out the FoodBytes! Buzz
“If you're building a food-related startup, FoodBytes! is the perfect place to get the word out about your innovation. The people in the room understand what you want to accomplish, and the FoodBytes! team will do everything possible to make sure the experience is all about you, the entrepreneurs, and make sure you’re in the spotlight”.Marc-André Roberge
“The FoodBytes! experience was transformative for our company. It validated that our business model had legs, and it helped us articulate how sustainability made good business sense. The interactions with judges and mentors helped us challenge our business strategy, and the experience of pitching in front of an audience helped us distill our story. Bravo!”Ravi Jolly
Maker of dog and cat foods sourced from real animal protein, without the animal. The company produces high-quality animal proteins through fermentation – without the environmental impact of conventionally-raised meat.
The grain industry’s first software platform and app that allows grain elevators and cooperatives to digitally connect with their growers and deliver near real-time information that informs better business decisions.
Maker of packaging that is 100% plant based, compostable, insulating and up to 30 percent lower in cost than traditional technologies. Corumat’s bioplastics generate 60 percent less CO2 during production than the plastics traditionally used to make red party cups.
Cropin Technology Solutions
Cropin Technology Solutions provides SaaS solutions to agribusinesses globally that enable agri-ecosystem stakeholders, including farmers, to adopt digital strategy and decision-making tools across their operations to maximize value per acre.
Los Angeles, CA
Maker of the first real food multi-vitamin built for women, by women. Made from 13 algae and plant-based ingredients, GEM is the first FDA-regulated daily vitamin that provides vitamins and minerals women need more for everyday wellbeing.
Hargol FoodTech operates the world’s first commercial grasshopper farm using proprietary technology for efficient, large-scale farming of grasshoppers. Its grasshopper protein products offer one of nature’s most efficient and sustainable protein sources.
Healthy Cow develops products to help dairy farmers reduce their reliance on antibiotics and hormones. Its first product, ProPreg, offers a bovine intravaginal probiotic that supports a healthy vaginal microbiome in dairy cows.
Developer of the Osmobot, an aquaculture water quality sensor that allows shrimp and fish farmers to continuously monitor their ponds online — decreasing mortalities and improving feeding conversion at a fraction of the cost of legacy monitoring systems.
Palo Alto, CA
Planetarians upcycles byproducts and solid food waste into high-protein, high-fiber ingredients. Using a process that emits 99 percent fewer CO2 gases and requires no additional land or water, its functional protein flour from upcycled defatted seeds has 2x the protein and fiber at the same cost of wheat flour.
Shaka Tea supports regenerative agriculture and economic development while offering the first line of Hawaiian-grown, no sugar-added, herbal iced teas brewed with māmaki, an antioxidant powerhouse only found and grown in the Hawaiian Islands.
Mountain View, CA
The industry’s fastest food safety pathogen test for E. coli, salmonella and listeria. Its technology eliminates the need to culture bacteria prior to analysis, making it possible to test food samples in the field and secure analysis in just over an hour.
Maker of snacks made from popped water lily seeds and non-GMO, whole and natural ingredients. Taali aims to introduce healthier new grains into the US snack market to reduce reliance on potato corn, wheat or extruded foods.
New York, NY
Toast Ale is fighting food waste by brewing craft beer from unsold bread from local bakeries that would have otherwise been wasted. Toast donates all profits to Feedback, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing food waste.
The Worthy Company
Creators of the Worthy Blendie Bowl, a plant-based superfood snack. Handcrafted recipes combine fruits, vegetables, legumes and chia in a spoonable “blendie” that delivers high-protein, high-fiber nutrition on the go.
Zymtronix stabilizes and delivers enzymes to enable cost-effective and sustainable ways of manufacturing the ingredients of tomorrow. In agricultural applications, stabilizes and delivers biocidal enzymes to create sustainable processes for crop protection.
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 - 5:00 PM | Pitch Companies
Pitch companies take to the FoodBytes! stage
5:00 - 5:30 PM | Voting & Award Ceremony
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 Co-Head of F&A Innovation Anne Greven, our esteemed panel brings diverse expertise to the FoodBytes! table.
Global Co-Head of F&A Innovation , Rabobank
Anne Greven is the Head of F&A Start-up Innovation for Rabobank, NA. She currently manages the FoodBytes! & TERRA platforms, which spur innovation and technology solutions that address the world’s food challenges and ultimately serve current and future clients of the bank. Anne is a multifaceted senior finance professional who has been with Rabobank since 2003. Most recently she was managing the Acquisition Finance team and prior to that was the co-head of the Loan Syndications team in Capital Markets. Prior to joining Rabobank, Anne was a Vice President in Morgan Stanley’s Senior Funding Group and Structuring and Syndications Group at TD Securities, and worked in various credit areas of the bank.
Abi Ramanan is the CEO of ImpactVision, a machine learning company, applying advanced imaging technology to food supply chains. ImpactVision's hyperspectral software assesses food quality, such as the freshness of fish, the dry matter content of avocados or the presence of foreign objects non-invasively and at production grade speeds, providing 100% product coverage, to reduce waste, whilst maximizing the yield and quality of products delivered to consumers.
After several years of developing campaigns and communications for a range of NGOs including Oxfam GB, the Fairtrade Foundation, and Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, Abi turned her attention to social business and founded two food social enterprises in London, Papi's Pickles and DayOld, tackling a range of issues from migrant employment to food waste and child hunger.
In 2015, Abi won a scholarship to Singularity University’s Global Solutions Programme, where she co-founded ImpactVision. Abi is also one of Nesta’s 50 ‘New Radicals’ 2016, an UnLtd Big Venture Challenge winner 2016, a British Council Future Leaders Connect 2017 participant, a TEDx speaker and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.
ImpactVision won the People’s Choice Award at FoodBytes! NYC 2017 and were also part of the inaugural Cohort of TERRA (Rabobank’s accelerator) where they launched their first system for foreign object detection with Beta San Miguel (BSM), who we piloted with as a result of the program. In 2018, Abi was a FoodBytes! London judge for the first event taking place in Europe
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.
Founder & Managing Director, Blueberry Ventures
Arif Fazal is Founder & Managing Director of Blueberry Ventures, an investment fund focused on food, beverage and nutrition that he launched in June 2015. Arif invests in and works with emerging and innovative food, beverage and nutrition companies led by inspiring entrepreneurs and management teams and collaborates closely alongside similarly focused co-investors. Select current and past Blueberry Ventures investments include High Brew Coffee, REBBL, Ripple Foods, Barnana, Revive Kombucha, Rhythm Superfoods, Fishpeople Seafood, Biena Snacks, Sufferfest Beer Company, Bonafide Provisions, Nutriati, Austin Eastciders, Pique Tea, TruBrain & Vive Organic.
Prior to launching Blueberry Ventures, Arif led Arif Advisors where he rolled up his sleeves with consumer branded growth companies and investors in the space, helping companies drive growth and investors realize opportunity. Prior to that, Arif held general management, strategy & business development executive roles within Fortune 50 grocer Safeway Inc. and Fortune 500 lifestyle brand Williams-Sonoma Inc. Arif holds a MBA from Stanford University and a BA from UC Berkeley and lives in beautiful Marin county where he spends his free time with his family enjoying food (of course!), sports and the outdoors.
Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Acre Venture Partners
Lucas Mann is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Acre Venture Partners, bringing to the team over 15 years of entrepreneurial management and founding experience. With a focus on helping brilliant entrepreneurs develop modes of disruption in a practical and scalable way, Lucas has lead teams in a variety of sectors, including software and design, media, real estate, hospitality, and finance. His work at Acre focuses on improving human and environmental health by identifying large scale systemic changes to food and agriculture. By partnering with companies that create fundamental disruption, Lucas is fortunate to work with a wide range of experienced specialists in genetics, biotechnology, food and agriculture.
Acre’s partners have deep operating and policy experience in food and agriculture, with over 70 years of combined domain expertise. Selected investments include Farmer’s Business Network, Inari Agriculture, Evolve Biosystems, Back to the Roots, Spoiler Alert and Impact Vision.
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.
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.
Founder & CEO, Foodspace + Co
After graduating with honors from the California Culinary Academy, San Francisco, Joe co-founded a catering company in 2006. He was instrumental in growing Cosmopolitan Catering (acquired by Compass Group in 2018) to over $20M and in 2015 exited and began consulting in foodservice facility and product design with his newly formed foodspace® brand. Joe is an expert in foodservice management, food business growth, product development, business strategy and mentorship.
Managing Director, Creative Alignments
Frank Milianti is the Managing Director at Creative Alignments, responsible for overseeing the company’s consumer products practice. He has more than 15 years of experience leading CPG recruitment efforts to help maximize his client’s investment in people. He's energized by developing lasting relationships with strategic partners and sharing his knowledge on how to best build a successful culture and team.
CFO, Farmer's Business Network
Maria is the CFO of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. (FBN). FBN is creating the future of farming that puts Farmers First by democratizing information, producing unbiased analytics, and providing competition for the farmer’s business. Maria has held a variety of professional roles prior to FBN, including CFO for 1-Page, CFO of Worldwide Sales & Marketing for ADP, and Partner & Managing Director for KPMG LLP. Maria has a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and has an MBA from Stanford University.
Business Development, Republic
Matt leads Business Development and sits on the Investment Team at Republic––a platform for startups to raise capital and for everyone to invest in startups. He educates entrepreneurs on the value of allowing their most loyal users or customers to invest in the business using new regulations enacted by the SEC in 2016. Before diving into the startup world, he worked on Global Citizen’s BD team that managed corporate partnerships of their Fortune 50 accounts including Google, Johnson & Johnson, and Citi.
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.
Business Banking Market Manager, Rabobank NA
Robert is Business Banking Market Manager for Rabobank NA, overseeing a team of 20 Business Bankers. The Business Banking Group serves small and medium-size businesses, providing assistance in various financing options and creating a full-service platform for its clients. Prior to his current position, Robert was Executive Director of a Certified Development Company which provided real estate financing up to $15M for commercial/Industrial companies. Robert has also worked at Zion in their National Real Estate Group in the LA market and has closed over one billion in financing over his career. Robert holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from San Jose State University and an MBA from Santa Clara University.
Co-founder & CEO, Sugarlogix
Chaeyoung received her PhD in chemical and biomolecular engineering from UC Berkeley, and her BS in chemical and biological engineering at Seoul National University. During her PhD, she worked on developing in situ product separation methods to realize continuous operation modes for biofuel fermentation. This is directly related to her contribution to the fermentation technology optimization at Sugarlogix. She has a deep passion for developing sustainable and robust technologies to manufacture novel foods that can help enhance the quality of life, and this is what drives her every day at Sugarlogix.
Senior Associate, Touchdown Ventures
Brett is a venture capital investor at Touchdown Ventures focused on consumer products and digital commerce, working closely with eighteen94 Capital, Kellogg’s corporate venture fund. Brett’s prior experience spans financial services to early-stage consumer products facing ventures, allowing him to bring both an entrepreneur and investor perspective to the market. Originally from Philadelphia, Brett spent several years in Southern California and currently lives in San Francisco.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Chobani Food Incubator is a program for companies taking on broken food systems to bring better food to more people. In addition to investment, we give growing food and beverage companies access to our network and expertise in order to scale up their operations and achieve significant growth
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.
Republic is an investment platform for private companies to raise capital and for everyone to invest in private companies. After JOBS Act regulations were enacted in 2016, AngelList alumni spun out to launch Republic with a mission to democratize access to capital and access to angel investing.
Curious about how robotics and automation is changing the way we grow, discover, cook and consume food? Join us and executives from Google Brain, Albertson’s, Cafe X, Chowbotics, Starship Technologies and more on April 16 in San Francisco at ArticulATE: the premiere event exploring how robots are disruption the meal journey. Use code FOODBYTES15 to save 15% on tickets.
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?
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.
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.
KitchenTown builds successful food and beverage startups by providing commercialization facilities and expertise to scale. Through educational programs, an innovation center, partnering opportunities and access to capital, KitchenTown nurtures companies from concept to small-scale production.
The Movitz Group
The Movitz Group helps early stage conscious brands raise capital & build revenue. Our decades of expertise is expressed through methodical, disciplined, and articulate go to market strategies to build revenue responsibly, and best practice financial strategy preparation and investor pitch development when raising capital.
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.
Thought For Food
Thought For Food (TFF) is the world’s leading organization dedicated to catalyzing, supporting and funding the next generation of startups and leaders for food and agriculture.
The entrepreneurs behind Parsnip are on a mission to connect all the better-for-you brands to partnership marketing opportunities. They’ve already built a network of 500 brands that find one another on Parsnip to work collaboratively on things like giveaways, newsletter exchanges, guest posts, in-store demos, gift baskets, or product placement at events like Summit LA and the NPR How I Built This with Guy Raz Summit. It's free to join and use!
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.
Food Navigator USA
William Reed’s FoodNavigator brand has been the leading online news source for the food industry for almost 20 years, leveraging our digital-first position to bring powerful insights and robust information to help your business succeed. Our team of award-winning journalists deliver daily news, analysis, online and face to face events, podcasts and video coverage of the issues and stories impacting decision makers in the food and beverage industry.
FoodNavigator-USA provides a 360-degree view of the food and beverage market, spanning everything from investment, incubation and innovation, to ingredients, food science and product formulation, labelling, litigation, regulation, consumer trends, new products and new technology. Our editorial standards are unsurpassed and we deliver insightful content across multiple channels to the right people wherever they are operating.