Food production and the associated value chain, accounts for c. 25-30% of total Greenhouse Gas emissions, and according to the IPCC, observed climate change is already affecting food security through increasing temperatures, and changing rain patterns, and a greater frequency of some extreme events.
Combining supply side actions such as efficient production, transport, and processing with demand-side interventions such as modification of food choices, and reduction of food loss and waste, can reduce Green House Gas emissions, and help feed the planet’s projected 9 billion population in 2050.
MassChallenge believes startup and corporations can help this effort. Startups can play a unique role in bringing new disruptive ideas to the table. Corporations can play a critical role in scaling these ideas bringing benefits to society quickly.
In 2020 a group of leading global food manufacturers and producers partnered with MassChallenge to find and collaborate with startups, so that together, they could help feed the planet sustainably. Over 800 startups have applied to the challenge, 125 being connected to our partners. Of these, over half were involved in follow up with our partners - check the success stories segment
In 2022 we will open up the challenge again. Our partners - Nestlé, Bühler, Givaudan, Barry Callebaut, LDC, DSM and Südzucker – are looking for startups or SME’s, with proven solutions or technologies in the areas of sustainable food production, ingredients and side-stream utilization.
We are looking for startups or scaleups that:
1) Have a product or idea at the prototype stage or with a working proof of concept backed by data (ie Technical Readiness Level 5, where the technology has been validated in relevant environment) in the areas of sustainable food, sustainable ingredients and side-stream utilization.
2) Are a strategic fit with our partners. In the application form startups should make a case about how their solution is a strategic fit with a specific partner(s). What’s important is an openness to collaborate and scale your idea.
3) Are from seed to series C+. What’s important is that your product is at least at the prototype stage or with a working proof of concept backed by data. You may already have some sales & traction. This enables us to validate that there is a need for your product and that you’re ready to work with our corporate partners. The next step is to work with the corporate partner to scale your technology.
4) Have Impactful, Viable and Scalable ideas:
5) Are from any geography. However note that our partner corporations are headquartered in Europe so physical collaboration would be in Europe. Startups should ensure they are able to travel to Europe for discussions. The selection process will be carried out online.
Submit your application before January 14th. To apply, click HERE.
In the form, select all the partner corporations for which you believe that your technology could be useful, and provide a thoughtful explanation as to why you think that is. The answer will be read by our partner corporations, thus the more specific your explanations, the more likely they will want to engage with you.
Fotortec & Givaudan
Rami Jadaa, Founder Fotortec
"Fotortec started as means to prevent more children dying from malnutrition. Our technology is only at the service of this purpose, allowing us to transform any type of vegetable side stream on site into edible mushrooms from which we obtain high quality, fully traceable protein ingredients. Thanks to MassChallenge Switzerland Sustainable Food Solutions 2021, Fotortec’s flavor enhancer was chosen among 400 startups by Givaudan as the most viable substitute to yeast extract, which is the most main stream flavor enhancer, 2nd only to red meat as a source of CO2 in the food industry. So, what has happened after this formidable matching? We have been working with 2 partners introduced by Givaudan, to optimize production and product aspects of our technology with the objective of delivering the solution the industry requires to serve the consumers of today and the future. This has been valuable beyond expectations because, as a startup, we understand very well the value of focusing on our uniqueness; and now we are backed by 3 leaders and their deep knowledge and capacities in their industries, to impact society, Nature and industry more than ever. "
Sophie's Bionutrients & Bühler
Eugene Wang - Founder Sophie's Bionutrients
"Tell you the truth, just right before the SFS, I wouldn't imagine that I would be moving the company to Europe and settle myself there. Now, it is all clear. I am relocating to Amsterdam next week. And I plan to move most of the team to Europe as well. This is all thanks to you all. As an entrepreneur, I really have to say it is hard to find big companies to share the impact driven values we entrepreneurs have. But, through SFS, I see that there are indeed quite a few large companies in Europe like Bühler who share the same value and are willing to help promote that shared value. I can only say that I am really grateful for this opportunity. Also thanks to SFS, we found more customers in Europe who share the same vision and want to work with us. I can only say that Bühler and SFS help us see how visionary most of the companies in Europe are when it comes to ESG. And that align with our goal perfectly. Thank you all for this wonderful opportunity!"
Plant Jammer & Südzucker
Michael Haase, Founder Plant Jammer
"Expanding to a B2B market was something we did have in our product roadmap.We knew that we had a product we believed in and one that could make a real impact in fighting food waste, but in order achieve that impact, we’d need to get the product in front many more millions of people than we could as a downloadable app. We didn’t want to spend a lot of time, budget, and effort without knowing we’d have a customer market. MassChallenge alleviated a lot of the risk in our development. The partnership with Südzucker began after the Sustainable Food Solutions Pitch Day by working on a SaaS relationship: we found our B2B customer, and Südzucker got a dynamic tool that aligned with their brand’s mission in driving sustainability efforts."