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Is Your Startup Ready for FoodBytes! Chicago?

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FoodBytes! by Rabobank, the global pitch competition for startups, is now welcoming applications for its September 2019 program in Chicago.

Taking place at Revel Fulton Market across September 18 and 19, FoodBytes! Chicago offers successful applicants access to business workshops and the opportunity to win networking and pitching time with c-suite food and agriculture executives at Rabobank’s annual Food & Agriculture Summit.

However, FoodBytes! Chicago is more than a pitch competition, as it gives entrepreneurs networking and feedback opportunities within Rabobank’s food and agriculture ecosystem.

Nina Meijers, Startup Relationship Manager at Rabobank’s Innovation Team, said: “For many startups, it’s getting access to that ecosystem on an ongoing basis that is the most valuable part of being involved with FoodBytes!.”

The deadline for submissions is Sunday, June 23 at 11:59pm CDT (Chicago Time) and you can apply here​.

What Is FoodBytes! by Rabobank Looking For?

Seeking applicants focused on areas of key industry interest, including:

  • Food as medicine
  • Sugar alternatives
  • Soil and water conservation
  • Novel healthy ingredients
  • Animal health
  • Sustainable production
  • Robotics
  • Precision agriculture
  • Food safety
  • Food waste

To be in the chance to be selected for FoodBytes! Chicago, your startup needs to be offering game-changing food or agriculture innovations in a high-growth or high barrier to entry market. Applicants must be business smart, demonstrating excellent entrepreneurial experience and assured management of key factors such as costs, margin structures, competitor analysis and ability to scale.

However, modern businesses need to be aware of their impact on the world and therefore they will also be measured on how their concept is focused on the triple bottom line of people, profit and planet.

To discover more about what makes a great pitch, watch the judges from FoodBytes! San Francisco 2019 discuss this in a video interview with FoodNavigator-USA’s Elaine Watson​.

What Happens After I Apply?

15 startups will be selected to pitch at FoodBytes! Chicago and will be split into two groups, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) and Food and Ag Tech. Regardless of grouping, each entry is eligible for the People’s Choice Award, which is voted on by the audience across both categories.

Day one of the program offers the entrepreneurs a suite of group sessions on business areas including branding, deal structures, legal matters and finance. There will also be the chance for one-on-one mentoring on the entrepreneur’s products, technologies and pitches.

During day two, the entrepreneurs will present three-minute pitches to the judges and the FoodBytes! audience. The winners from this process earn the right to attend Rabobank’s annual Food & Agriculture Summit, to be held in December in New York City. They will also receive a variety of business consultation services including legal consultation and access to Rabobank’s research reports.

FoodBytes! Chicago is supported by presenting sponsor ADM with additional support from official sponsors Printpack, Polsinelli, Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN and foodspace; as well as supporting sponsors Agropur Cooperative, Creative Alignments, Germin8Ventures, The Intertwine Group and Boulder Food Group.

Checkout more videos from Foodbytes! San Francisco 2019: