IFT Seeks Applicants for Food Disruption Challenge

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Dec 12, 2018

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is accepting applications through Jan. 10 to participate in its second annual IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge, a business pitch ultimately held at the annual IFT Food Expo.

The Food Disruption Challenge is designed to help emerging and investment-ready food companies gain visibility and make strategic connections.

"It was a great opportunity to tell our story to a variety of impressive influencers and business leaders in the food industry," says Sumit Kadakia, co-founder of Renewal Mill and winner of the first Food Disruption Challenge, held this past July.

Finalists will be selected in two stages, with six finalists chosen to participate in a six-week mentoring program where they will receive guidance from business experts. From there, finalists will be chosen to present their innovations in a pitch competition at IFT19 in New Orleans on June 4, 2019. A panel of judges representing the food and related industries will select the winner, awarding a $25,000 cash prize.

Attendees at the 2019 challenge will be asked to select a People's Choice awardee for a cash prize of $5,000. In addition to the cash awards, services and products for entrepreneurial advancement are involved.

Criteria are:

  • The startup company's primary business focus needs to be in the food science or technology domain and may cover any component of technology that enhances the science of food.
  • The entrepreneur/organization must be an operating and registered entity as either a proprietary firm, partnership firm, limited liability partnership or private limited in the country they are representing.
  • The company must be in business, have a product or service clearly defined and must be in the Pre-Series A Round (seed stage).

There is no cost to participate in Stages 1-3 of the competition. Costs may be incurred for finalists attending the pitch competition. All applications must be submitted by Jan. 10, 2019. See ift.org/fooddisruption or contact jbraner@ift.org.