Renens, Switzerland – April 26th, 2021: MassChallenge Switzerland, part of MassChallenge’s global network of innovators, today announced the top 3 winners of the second edition of the Sustainable Food Systems Challenge.
The concept of the Sustainability Food Systems Challenge was initiated by a strong group of our corporate partners and was founded with a singular purpose: to reduce emissions and feed the forecasted 10 billion population sustainably on the planet in 2050, by accelerating innovation in the food sector. The Sustainable Food
Systems Challenge is designed to foster startup/partner collaboration, so that startup’s game changing ideas can be scaled and make IMPACT now.
For our 2021 edition, 400 businesses applied to the challenge. Out of the 400 startups, 80 were shortlisted, 61 were invited to DemoDays and 35 are in a follow up with one or more partners such as Nestlé, Bühler, Givaudan, Barry Callebaut, Südzucker and DSM. These partners then selected 6 finalists for further exploratory discussions based on their potential to collaborate with the corporate partner to meet the challenge.
The selected startups and corporate partner then had a few weeks to create a joint pitch to show how the startup's idea, when scaled by the partner, will help cut emissions & feed the planet sustainably by 2050. The team then pitched in the Challenge Final on April 21st.
The pitches were assessed by an expert jury, based on the potential sustainability impact, viability and scalability of the top finalists’ ideas. The jury then selected a top 3 with an overall winner.
The overall winner of the Pitching Competition was Sophie’s Bionutrients who pitched as a Team with Bühler.
“We are really honored to be selected as the winner. To accommodate the exploding population and meet the growing demands of protein, a radical change in the way we think about protein production is ever more important. Status quo is not a cure, doing less harm is no longer enough. Unlocking macro-nutrients at the micro-level is the ONLY way forward to a sustainable future that creates minimal footprint.” – said Eugene Wang, Co-founder & CEO at Sophie’s Bionutrients.
Erika Georget, Head of Food Bioprocessing at Bühler Group added: “Enabling sustainable protein supply is critical to bring nutrition to a growing world population without further compromising the environment. Scaling solutions which allow us to decouple protein supply from arable land while reducing the environmental footprint will be an essential part of the solution”.
Closely placed as runners-up were Anina Culinary Art and Fotortec. However, our hope is that all of the 6 finalists will go on to work directly with the corporate partner’s key stakeholders to validate their joint idea, connect to more customers, access resources and capital, and ultimately co-develop and scale the proposition together.
Good luck to all 6 finalists and corporate partners on working together to mitigate climate change and feed the world sustainably.
THE FINALISTS ARE:
Sophie’s BioNutrients (Singapore) – Winner of the Pitching Competition Through fermentation process and using foodwaste to reduce cost and create circular economy, we grow the world's most sustainable alternative protein from microalgae with absolute minimum input and footprint to create the maximum nutrition and economic output.
Anina Culinary Art (Israel) – ANINA fuses technology, design, and culinary arts to create unique RTC meal capsules which are 100% natural, rich in vegetables and nutrients, and are made from fresh "ugly" produce. We thus reduce food waste by upcycling "ugly" vegetables, support the circular economy while providing consumers with product which perfectly combines convenience and a balanced & health nutrition in an unique cooking and eating experience.
Fotortec (Chile) – Fotortec's eco-positive ingredients production helps nutrition manufacturers deliver their consumers products truly aligned with their values.
Circular Food Technology (Denmark) – Upcycling under-utilized food resources, as Brewer’s Spent Grains, has the potential to close the food shortage gap efficiently without further threatening the biodiversity. Our patent pending technology has a unique modular set-up, that makes it ideal for both larger and smaller processing plants. By reintroducing the spent grains into human food we can add 1,6 Mio tonnes plantbase proteins.
Plant Jammer (Denmark) – Plant Jammer builds whitelable web-widgets with unique recipe experiences for Food Brands and Retailers. The food brands’ customers get a personalized recipe that perfectly fits their diets, tastes, and availability. By putting a powerful tool into people’s hands, Plant Jammer empowers visitors to stop food waste and eat more sustainably.
Sungenomics (US) - The best probiotics for a healthy gut are the ones made specifically for you. We create custom gut probiotics tailored and formulated to your unique microflora to improve your digestion, increase your energy, and reduce bloating, helping you perform at your best.
MassChallenge is the global network for innovators. Headquartered in the United States with seven locations worldwide, MassChallenge equips bold entrepreneurs to disrupt the status quo and to create meaningful change. Since launching in 2009, more than 2,400 MassChallenge alumni have raised more than $6.2B in funding, generated more than $3B in revenue, and created more than 157,000 total jobs. Learn more about MassChallenge at masschallenge.org.
MassChallenge Switzerland Founding Partners
Barry Callebaut, Bühler, Givaudan, Inartis Foundation, Nestlé, Swiss Economic Forum