The platform features an expanded startup discovery program and a reinvented corporate innovation program.
Rabobank announced the redesign of its FoodBytes! food and agriculture innovation platform. The platform features an expanded startup discovery program FoodBytes! Pitch and a reinvented corporate innovation program FoodBytes! Pilot. Startups can apply for FoodBytes! Pitch through August 10.
Rabobank is expanding FoodBytes! Pitch to select 45 startups total, including 15 startups in each of three verticals: sustainable consumer foods (CPG), food tech, and agtech. This expanded pool of startups is to offer greater peer-to-peer networking opportunities, as well as more tailored mentorship in each vertical.
All 45 startups will have a chance to pitch their businesses via pre-recorded video to FoodBytes! judges. The startups become FoodBytes! Pitch alumni who join Rabobank’s engaged community with ongoing support and introductions to help grow their businesses.
The judges will select 15 finalists to participate in a public, live-streamed pitch competition on December 2, which will also be viewed by C-level executives participating in Rabobank’s Annual Food & Agriculture Summit.
The live-streamed pitch competition will culminate in the selection of one winner in each vertical: CPG, food tech and agtech. Being a FoodBytes! Pitch winner offers startups a valuable credential that opens doors, as well as deeper support from Rabobank to help them grow, says the bank.
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In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rabobank encourages applications from entrepreneurs whose technologies and products address critical food system challenges, including food loss mitigation, on-farm automation, animal health tech, shortened supply chains, accessible food e-commerce and functional ingredients. Corporate organisations and investors now gain access to all FoodBytes! Pitch startups, as well as the programming designed to create meaningful connections, through a paid membership.
Rabobank has also launched FoodBytes! Pilot, a reinvented corporate innovation program which replaces its TERRA accelerator and its cohort format. The new 6-to-9 month program features consultative services that help corporate partners embed long-term innovation into their organisations — something that often requires organisational change.
FoodBytes! Pilot is open year-round to corporate partners who receive consultative support to develop innovation objectives and create cultural change that supports success.
Rabobank serves as a ‘matchmaker’ – pairing Pilot corporate partners with startups for customised pilot collaborations based on the organization’s goals and challenges. Partners receive Rabobank guidance and consultation throughout the pilot.