NEW YORK — Fifteen food and agriculture startups were selected to participate in Rabobank’s FoodBytes! Pitch 2020 virtual competition on Dec. 2.

The program offers opportunities for emerging brands across the globe to network with investors and industry professionals representing some of the biggest food and agriculture corporations in the world. Hundreds of entrepreneurs applied to the program. This year an expanded selection of 45 startups received one-on-one connections to investors and corporate members and will permanently join the FoodBytes! alumni network.

“In five short years, FoodBytes! has become one of the most valuable networks for startups who are pioneering sustainable ways to feed the planet, but we can’t stop there if we want to drive change at a global scale,” said Anne Greven, head of food and agriculture innovation for Rabobank. “That’s why we redesigned FoodBytes! Pitch this year to include some of the world’s largest food and ag companies who want to work alongside startups to build a sustainable food system. The FoodBytes! innovation platform has now expanded far beyond a pitch slam. We’re connecting emerging and established leaders who want to solve real problems like climate change, plastic waste and food insecurity.”

The 15 finalists advancing to the final round are developing sustainable solutions to address key challenges in the food system such as food waste, nutrition and food safety. A winner will be named in each sector —consumer packaged goods, food technology and agriculture technology — and each will receive $10,000 and consulting services from FoodBytes! Pitch member companies.

The finalists are:

  • Agricycle Global, Milwaukee, offers a portfolio of sustainable and ethical brands upcycling food loss from rural female farmers.
  • Evo Foods, Mumbai, India, is bringing animal-free alternatives to Indian consumers, beginning with a nutritious liquid egg replacement formulated with chickpeas, mung beans and peas.
  • Planeteer, Milpitas, Calif., produces edible cutlery featuring sweet and savory flavors.
  • Pleese Foods, New York, has developed an allergen-free plant-based cheese for pizza.
  • Wheyward Spirit, Portland, Ore., produces an alcoholic beverage that repurposes excess whey sourced from US dairies.
  • Alchemy Foodtech, Singapore, has created a plant-based power blend that slows the digestion of carbohydrates.
  • Envara Health, Wayne, Pa., makes a structured lipid ingredient that increases nutrient absorption without the need for digestion.
  • Mi Terro, City of Industry, Calif., makes plastic-alternative and cotton-alternative fibers for fashion, medical and packaging applications from upcycled and reengineered excess milk and dairy products.
  • NanoGuard Technologies, St. Louis, has pioneered a high-voltage cold plasma processing technology that eliminates microbes, deactivates viruses and reduces pathogens on surfaces to increase shelf life and improve food safety.
  • NovoNutrients, Sunnyvale, Calif., transforms industrial carbon dioxide waste into food and feed ingredients.
  • BPS Agriculture, Southlake, Texas, has developed aqueous-based agriculture products that improve nutrient delivery and enhance end-product performance.
  • Farmforce, Oslo, Norway, has created a mobile platform that digitizes the management of smallholder farming by replacing paper-based processes to help farmers secure sustainable sourcing.
  • Mazen Animal Health, St. Joseph, Mo., has developed oral animal vaccines that may be dosed with feed.
  • ProAgni, Lavington, Australia, makes nutrition products for sheep and cattle that are free of antibiotics and ionophores.
  • SWAN Systems, Perth, Australia, offers a cloud-based precision irrigation and fertilizer platform to help growers schedule, monitor and optimize management of water, nutrients and crop health.

Find more information and register to join the livestreamed pitch competition here.