Applications to participate in the Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) second annual IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge™ competition opened today and will remain open through January 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 where 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 IFTNEXTFuture 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 11:59pm (PST) on January 10, 2019.
To learn more about the competition and apply, click here.