Rabobank seeks startups focused on feed efficiency for its FoodBytes! platform

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Ildo Frazao
© GettyImages/Ildo Frazao

Related tags Agtech

Animal feed related startups, among others, are being encouraged to participate in this year’s FoodBytes! Pitch – Rabobank’s innovation discovery platform.

FoodBytes! Pitch looks to drive collaboration between startups, large food, and ag companies.

US company, Mazen Animal Health, a developer of orally-delivered animal vaccines that can be dosed with feed, Australian innovator, ProAgni, a producer of antibiotic- and ionophore-free nutrition products for sheep and cattle designed to improve animal performance and contribute to ethical and sustainable animal production, and Locus Animal Nutrition, a US company producing microbes targeting methane emissions in cattle are some of the feed relevant alumni of the program.

The platform is now seeking startups​ ranging from seed to Series B that are working on innovative food and agriculture products or technology with a demonstrated product market fit in the following areas:

  • Sustainable supply chains: blockchain/traceability, livestock management, animal feed efficiency, meat processing automation, byproduct upcycling, commodities processing, shelf-life extension, clean food processing
  • Improved resource management: carbon sequestration and reduction, precision irrigation, food loss mitigation, sustainable packaging, manufacturing robotics, on-farm automation, ag biotechnology, precision ag and artificial intelligence (AI), indoor farming
  • Next frontier of nutrition: functional ingredients tackling aging, mental clarity, performance, immunity, food biotechnology/fermentation, cellular agriculture, grain and sugar alternatives, meal prep/home cooking simplification, personalized nutrition, consumer wearables and data gathering

“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 F&A Innovation, 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.”

Pitching competition  

Rabobank said that, from now through to May 16, agtech, food tech and consumer food and beverage (CPG) startups looking to participate can apply in hopes of being selected to present at the virtual pitch competition in November.

FoodBytes! Pitch is an annual multi-week program that helps startups validate and grow their businesses, and their impact, through global industry exposure, tailored mentorship sessions, individualized connections with corporates and investors, pitch refinement and industry awareness and recognition.

This year’s applicants will be vying for a coveted spot among the class of 45 startups – representing 15 companies in each of three sectors: Agtech, Food tech and CPG. Following an in-depth mentoring and coaching program, 15 of the 45 will be chosen to present at the platform’s live-streamed public competition which will be held on Wednesday, November 10.

At the finale, one startup in each sector will be crowned a winner and walk away with prizes.

Following FoodBytes! Pitch participation, all 45 startups will have access to the FoodBytes! network of more than 350 alumni entrepreneurs and receive ongoing connections and guidance to help drive their businesses forward.

LDC, Marfrig, Cavallo Ventures among mentoring newcomers

Joining the corporate mentoring lineup under FoodBytes! Pitch for the first time are: Bolthouse Farms, Cavallo Ventures, Cleveland Avenue, Endurance Investments, Fugini, General Mills, Grupo Bimbo, Herbalife Nutrition, Hormel Foods, iSelect Fund Management, Louis Dreyfus Company, Marfrig/National Beef, S2G Ventures and Step Two Advisors.  

Rabobank says these corporates play a pivotal role in the platform – shaping scouting criteria, scoring applicants, providing mentorship, fostering connections and investments, all while driving collaboration to implement real-world solutions within the food and agriculture industry.

FoodBytes! is a unique opportunity to put us face to face with start-up 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.

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