Food+City Startup Challenge

Are You the Future of Food Innovation?

The Food+City Startup Challenge is an innovation program for those who are transforming food systems around the globe.

Part mentorship program and part startup competition, entrepreneurs participate for a chance to win valuable prize packages, access to industry mentors and experts, significant exposure to investor networks at the Food+City Startup Showcase during South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, and much more.

Join us as we share the stories of the startups who are disrupting traditional supply chains and improving how we feed our cities.


Finalists are selected from the entries submitted during a two-month application period in the fall. Our experienced judges and advisors then pair the finalists with specialized mentors until the Food+City Startup Showcase in March. At the Showcase, the finalists pitch and demonstrate their startup businesses before a live panel of judges, industry peers and attendees.

Who Should Apply

Entries must include a process, product, service or technology that solves a problem within the “to” of Farm to Table.  For example, some of the business ideas that interest us include:

  • Food distribution technology that enables food to travel in a safer, more efficient way
  • Data systems or products that increase visibility throughout the supply chain
  • Systems that decreases waste by getting more food into and through the supply chain
  • Packaging materials that extend shelf life or reduce waste
  • Energy-saving tools that lower carbon footprint
  • Services that optimize resources within the last mile

Benefits realized from your startup may include:

  • reduced food waste
  • lowered carbon footprint
  • safer food
  • less food fraud
  • extended shelf life
  • increased traceability
  • simplified last mile
  • improved efficiencies
  • minimized expenses
  • increase food security

Key Dates

Final Application Deadline
TBA – Fall 2019

Finalists Announced
TBA – Winter 2019

Startup Challenge Showcase Events
TBA – Spring 2020

Discover More

Explore the rules and FAQs, get to know our tribe of mentors, judges and alumni, and see coverage of our previous competitions.

The deadline for the 2019 Startup Challenge has now passed. Please contact for late entry requests and information on our next program.