Food+City Challenge Prize Recaps

 Food+City Challenge Prize 2017

Winners:

Gold Prize Winner

Evaptainers: Producer of electricity-free, mobile refrigeration technology that keeps food fresher longer using only sun and water.

Silver Prize Winner

Rise: Producer of beer flour which is upcycled from spent grain, has more protein than chicken and is 100 percent sustainable.

Bronze Prize Winner

Nuwiel: Producer of bike trailers that are flexible and have braking systems that provide optimum safety for food delivery.

People’s Choice Winner

OriginTrail: Helps quality food brands build genuine transparency to stand out in the marketplace and increase trust in their products.

Congratulations to Evaptainers (Boston / Morocco), which won the gold prize, $30,000 in seed funds and business products and services from Moo.com and RWR Legal. Rise (New York) took home the silver prize—$10,000 in funds and the business service package. The bronze winner was Nuwiel (Germany), whose award was $5,000, and the People’s Choice Award of $5,000 went to OriginTrail (Slovenia).

The Prize experience kicked off on Feb. 2 with sold-out Jeffersonian Dinners that explored the topic of the Last Food Mile. Six knowledgeable moderators facilitated lively discussions at our two host restaurants, El Naranjo and Central Standard, with a crowd of supply chain experts, Prize finalists and mentors, food business veterans and other interested attendees. Even the chefs got involved, with Chef Iliana de la Vega of El Naranjo sharing her supply chain challenge of accessing specific chiles and other ingredients she relies on from Mexico. Chef Michael Paley of Central Standard talked about his experience obtaining locally-sourced ingredients.

Food + City Challenge Prize 2016

Winners:

Gold Prize Winner

True Made Foods

Silver Prize Winners

Agruppa

Garbage to Garden

The Food Corridor

Real Food Solutions

People’s Choice Winner

Regrub

Innovation in food takes all forms, from crafting an energy bar that eases nausea to one made out of crickets, from using soldier fly grubs to break down food waste to an app that learns to read a user’s food preferences, not unlike Netflix.  All of these ideas and more were presented at the Food City Challenge Prize day on Saturday.

Each of the 20 finalists had their own unique way of addressing the many intricacies of how we feed cities, challenging our notions of how the supply chain works, the food that enters and the waste that leaves. At the second annual event, entrepreneurial energy and curiosity filled the atrium of the McCombs School of Business on the University of Texas campus. Throughout the day, hundreds of people milled through the space, not only learning about the many different facets of food entrepreneurship represented, but also engaging in conversations with each other about the challenges that face our food supply systems today.

The Gold Prize, which included a check for $30,000, a scholarship for two team members to participate in the Food Business School’s (FBS) Food Venture Lab and a variety of other startup goodies from sponsors MOO.com, Barnraiser and MWR Legal, was awarded to True Made Foods, a startup based out of New York City that makes vegetable-based, lower-sugar condiments, including ketchup and barbecue sauce.

Finalists:

1.47Farms

2.Agruppa

3.Bento + Picnic

4.Crickers

5.The Food Cooridor

6.Eat at Home

7.Garbage to Garden

8.“Go Fresh!” Products

9.J.W. Hunt Organics

10.Lunchbene

11.Moflo Aeroponics

12.Piggy Bank

13.Real Food Solutions

14.Regrub

15.Robobutcher

16.St. Louis MetroMarket 

17.Steak TzarTzar

18.Tastegraphy

19.Tree Adoption Uganda

20.True Made Foods

Food+City Challenge Prize 2015:

Winners:

Ten Acre Organics – Grand Prize

Aspire – Healthy Eating and Education

Revive Foods – Inputs and Production

Sereneti Kitchen – Processes, Packing & Safety

City Sprout – Storage & Distribution

Sproot – People’s Choice

The Food Challenge Prize launched in May of 2014 and received more than 120 entrants.

By November, the pool was narrowed to the top 20 teams who were each paired with a food industry mentor. Those 20 teams, representing four states and four food system categories, presented in Austin on February 14, 2015 to a panel of 13 esteemed judges and more than 400 attendees.

Ten Acre Organics of Austin took home the grand prize of $10,000 and the four category winners were awarded with $5,000 each: Aspire Food Group for Healthy Eating and Education; Revive Foods for Inputs and Production; Sereneti Kitchen for Processing, Packing and Safety; and CitySprout for Storage and Distribution. The winning team, Ten Acre Organics, uses an integrated blend of aquaponics, greenhouses and automation to create what is called “the most sustainable and productive ten-acre farm in the world.” They plan to put the Food Challenge award money toward the construction of two new greenhouses.

Massachusetts-based Sproot won the People’s Choice Award, winning two scholarships for the Innovative Intensivesprogram, a soon-to-launch executive education program from The Food Business School at The Culinary Institute of America in Napa, California.

“This first-time event generated tremendous goodwill and enthusiasm throughout the university, the city and across the country,” said Dr. Robyn Metcalfe, founder and director of The Food Lab at UT. “And the Challenge is intended to have an impact well beyond today’s awards – we are connecting teams to a powerful network geared towards continued growth. We look forward to seeing where all of the teams will be a year from now.”