NEW YORK, NEW YORK, US — Rabobank is accepting applications for FoodBytes! Pitch 2021, a multi-week program connecting food and agriculture startups to mentorship opportunities, industry connections and more.

Forty-five startups across agriculture technology, food technology and consumer packaged goods will be selected for the program, culminating in a live-streamed pitch competition on Nov. 10. Participating companies will have access to the FoodBytes! network of more than 350 alumni entrepreneurs receiving ongoing connections and guidance to grow their businesses.

“We’re scouting globally for startups with validated business models, demonstrated commercial traction, a robust, diverse team and a cross-industry collaborative mindset that have the potential to drive meaningful and sustainable change throughout the food value chain,” said Anne Greven, head of food and agriculture innovation at Rabobank. “Each year, the bar gets raised higher in terms of the level of innovation from prospective startups that want to engage with FoodBytes! and the Rabobank global network — they’re more mature and tested than ever, and we’re excited to support entrepreneurs throughout the stages of their growth.”

For the upcoming cohort, FoodBytes! is seeking startups ranging from seed to Series B stages with an innovative product or technology and demonstrated product market fit in three areas:

  • Sustainable supply chains, including blockchain or traceability, livestock management, animal feed efficiency, meat processing automation, byproduct upcycling, commodities processing, shelf-life extension and clean food processing;
  • Improved resource management, including carbon sequestration and reduction, precision irrigation, food loss mitigation, sustainable packaging, manufacturing robotics, on-farm automation, agriculture biotechnology, precision agriculture and artificial intelligence, and indoor farming; and
  • Next frontier of nutrition, including functional ingredients, food biotechnology and fermentation, cellular agriculture, grain and sugar alternatives, meal preparation solutions, personalized nutritions, consumer wearables and data gathering.

FoodBytes! members include a mix of global food and agriculture companies, investors and service providers. Among returning partners are Albaugh, BFG Partners, Continental Grain Co., DLL Group, Holland & Hart, Morrison & Foerster, PepsiCo, Propeller Industries, Rabobank Food and Agri Innovation Fund and Tate & Lyle. Newcomers to the platform are Bolthouse Farms, Cavallo Ventures, Cleveland Avenue, Endurance Investments, Fugini, General Mills, Grupo Bimbo, Herbalife Nutrition, Hormel Foods, iSelect Fund Management, Louis Dreyfus Co., Marfrig/National Beef, and Step Two Advisors. The members shape scouting criteria, score applicants, provide mentorship and foster connections and investments to drive and implement solutions to food system challenges.

“FoodBytes! is a unique opportunity to put us face to face with startup businesses that are using cutting-edge technology to define the future of food and agriculture,” said Ben Fishman, managing director and co-head of CGC Ventures.

Startups may apply for FoodBytes! Pitch 2021 by May 16 at Corporates and investors interested in learning more about membership may send an email to [email protected].