Enter Now: Startup Innovation Challenge for Food and Beverage Ingredients Open

At this year’s Food ingredients Europe & Ni, trade show organiser Fi Global will highlight the most exciting new F&B startups  in the Startup Innovation Challenge. Entrants to the competition are invited to apply now, with the winners receiving business advice and coaching from top industry experts.

Innovation is the secret of success in the F&B industry, and nowhere is that more evident than at Fi Europe & Ni. Yet not all startups, no matter how good their offering, have the resources to make a significant impact on the market.

That’s why the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge aims to provide budding entrepreneurs with a springboard to success by showcasing their innovations, bringing them to the attention of ingredient professionals and potential investors.

Fi Europe & Ni 2019 will welcome more than 30,000 visitors and over 1,700 exhibitors, making it a must-attend trade event for sourcing food ingredients.

All shortlisted young enterprises will have access to a Startup Lounge, situated in the heart of the exhibition. This will give them the chance to network and demonstrate their offering. They will also be invited to pitch their innovation live on 2nd December to the expert jury and on 3rd December to Fi Europe visitors at Fi Europe’s Industry Insights Theatre.

Top prizes include a fully equipped stand at Fi Europe 2020, a marketing campaign within ingredients Network or access to the “Conciergerie” innovation platform from Startup Challenge Partner Presans.

Startups wishing to enter the competition should be less than five years old, have a solid business plan and innovations targeting the food and drink sector, with a focus on ingredients or additives that improve taste, texture, appearance and/or nutritional value, or technologies and/or services that support the sector.

This year’s categories (competitors can enter more than one) are:

          1)         Most Innovative Food or Beverage Ingredient

          2)         Most Innovative Plant- or Cereal-based Food or Beverage Ingredient

          3)         Most Innovative Alternative Food or Beverage Ingredient

          4)         Most Innovative Process, Technology or Service Supporting F&B

The judging panel will be comprised of industry experts, investors and company representatives from the food ingredients industry.

Entries must be received by 20 September. 

What the experts and winners say

Dr. Sandra Einerhand, Fellow at Presans, says: ‘What will we eat in the future? The future menu may involve more plant-based and customised diets. Tastes, textures and nutritional values might be completely different from anything we have experienced so far. Start-ups all around the world are working on shaping our future diets, and the most innovative ones will be present at Food ingredients Europe in Paris this year. So this year’s innovation challenge will give us a preview of how our future menu might look and taste.”

Dr. Abhiram Dukkipati, Founder of Magellan Life Sciences was recognised as the Most Innovative Healthy Food or Beverage Ingredient startup last year for his work on a protein-based sweetener. Reflecting on the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge, he said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for any startup to leverage their networking and fund-raising efforts. We benefitted significantly from our participation in the entire process. During the presentation and the jury questions, we gained an understanding of the risk factors as perceived by investors and the industry. This has allowed us to reformulate our go-to market strategy with a risk profile acceptable to investors. Thanks to the exposure during and after the challenge, we have been approached by many stakeholders in the industry who are willing to work with us.”