Applications to participate in the Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) second annual IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge competition opened today and will remain open through Jan. 10, 2019. As part of IFT's mission to encourage entrepreneurism and innovation, the IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge is designed to help emerging and investment-ready food companies gain visibility and make strategic connections.
"The caliber of individuals that IFTNEXT brings together is truly incredible," said Sumit Kadakia, co-founder of Renewal Mill and winner of the first IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge competition. "I thought it was a great opportunity to tell our story to a variety of impressive influencers and business leaders in the food industry."
Throughout the competition, finalists will be selected in two stages with six finalists chosen to participate in a six-week mentoring program, in which they will receive guidance from business experts. From there, finalists will be chosen to present their innovations in a high-profile pitch competition at IFT19 in New Orleans on June 4, 2019. A panel of prestigious judges representing influential sectors of the food and related industries will select the recipient of the IFTNEXT Future Food Disruptor of the Year award, which includes a $25,000 cash prize.
IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge session attendees at IFT19 will be asked to select an IFTNEXT Future Food Disruptor People's Choice awardee for a cash prize of $5,000. In addition to the cash prizes, other services and products for entrepreneurial advancement will also be included.
IFT19 is an annual event hosted by IFT that brings more than 17,000 science of food professionals together — including scientists, researchers, academics, ingredient, technology and manufacturing companies — with the intention to inspire and transform collective knowledge into innovative solutions that help advance our planet's food safety, nutrition and sustainability.
Eligibility criteria to compete in the Food Disruption Challenge competition 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 which 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 no later than 11:59 pm (PST) on Jan. 10, 2019.
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a global organization of nearly 17,000 individual members from more than 100 countries committed to advancing the science of food. Since 1939, IFT has brought together the brightest minds in food science, technology and related professions from academia, government and industry to solve the world's greatest food challenges. Our organization works to ensure that our members have the resources they need to learn, grow, and advance the science of food as the population and the world evolve. We believe that science is essential to ensuring a global food supply that is sustainable, safe, nutritious, and accessible to all. For more information, please visit ift.org.