120+ Start-Ups apply for Food and Agri Accelerator Competition

Over 120 start-up businesses from across the global food and agriculture industries have applied for the Rabobank FoodBytes! competition which takes place at its F&A Next conference in the Netherlands next month (Wageningen University, 17 & 18 May).

The competition, which also runs in the US and Sydney, will see up to 20 agritech start-ups shortlisted from the applications to pitch their businesses to a panel of expert judges and an audience of global food and agri investors.

Prizes for the winning pitches include acceleration programs by ShakeupFactory and Startlife! and introductions to Rabobank’s global network of corporate and retail clients

Previous winners include Dutch agricultural plant performance analysis provider, Phenospex, which is now in discussions with several venture capitalists about new investment, and FreshSurety, a US company that provides real-time freshness reporting technology from producers to the shelf.

The judges for this year’s competition are leading Brazilian famer Bruno Melcher, Bam Kanstein, who was listed by Forbes as a leading provider of support to start-ups, Amir Zaidman, VP of business development at The Kitchen – FoodTech Hub,Shakeup Factory founder, Kevin Camphuis and Manuel Gonzalez, North America Head of Start-Up Innovation, Rabobank

The F&A Next event will also include key note speeches from, among others, Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, the nation’s start-up envoy, Gerardo Mazzeo, Global Innovation Director at Nestlé and Adam Anders, Managing Partner Anterra Capital.

There have been some significant deals in the agritech start-up sector over the past 12 months including Bayer’s acquisition of AgraQuest for $425 million and BASF’s purchase of Becker Underwood for $1 million.

Jeroen Leffelaar, Managing Director, Large Corporates Food & Agri at Rabobank, said: “As the world adapts to meet the dual challenges of population growth and climate change, innovation in the growth and production of food is critical.

“F&A Next aims to help address these problems, by connecting food and agri start-ups with the support and funding they need to turn their visions into scalable operations that can make a real impact.

“We are excited to welcome the next cohort of competitors at our Netherlands event and to learn more about the future role they will play in helping the world to meet its food supply challenges.”

Investors and food and agri companies interested in attending the conference can register at www.fanext.com.

Rabobank press office: Ricky Ambury or Chris Hopper: rabobank@citypress.co.uk, Tel: +44 (0) 07540 047833