Food+City Startup Alumni

Food+City hosted the inaugural Challenge Prize competition in February 2015. Since then, we’ve had 72 innovative and international food startups participate as finalists in the challenges and join the Food+City family. During the competition, we offer mentoring, connections, and prizes to our finalists, and we enjoy continuing to follow their progress after the competition, celebrating and supporting them however we can. We’ve seen rebrands, pivots and acquisitions as almost three quarters of participants remain in business. Check out the 85 Alumnus of the Food+City Challenges below.

2019 Finalists

Alpaca Market was a health forward food company that served fresh chef crafted provisions conveniently via a network of custom, high-tech vending machines and smart fridges.
Cambridge Crops is developing a natural and edible coating to extend shelf life of perishable foods.  It is tasteless and odorless, and can extend the window of peak freshness in everything from spinach to salmon.   Beyond that, what really makes this a unique solution is that the process in entirely water-based, so that the result is a natural product that can be easily integrated into existing processing lines without a big expense. Check out their website.
Chefis’ mission is to connect home cooks with eaters.  They believe that this will increase food safety and economic opportunity in Mexico City.  With some education, and a proper kitchen, Chefis thinks home cooks will provide safer options to customers while still offering the convenience of delivery and authentic taste of homemade food.  The three founders said, the idea came from wanting to sell their home cooked food to the public and not finding a service to do it. Check out their website.

Comerso offers turn key digital & logistics BtoB solutions :

  • To help companies to move them toward “Zero Waste”. With our solutions, companies improve their CSR policies and positive impact on environment, avoiding destruction. They have also big opportunities to save money.
  • To help charities in their supply. Everyday, we deliver consumer goods (food, clothing …) to our partners. They receive quality goods in quantity , 100% secured according to french legislation
  • To measure the positives impacts on regions / cities , thanks to our digital datas recording tools. Their core activity remains Retailers & Charities in France.
  • Check out their website.
En Solución is merging novel technologies with advanced sensing and control processes to modernize food safety. Current projects include building and validating a high-concentration nanobubble generating device with recirculating and regenerative functions capable of producing extremely high concentrations of nanobubbles in a wash water bath. This technology promises to achieve unprecedented efficacy in cleaning and sanitizing by combining powerful pathogen-killing agents with a more effective and safer delivery and control system, a breakthrough we expect to significantly improve the global food supply chain. Check out their website.

Food for All tackles food waste by helping restaurants sell all their inventory of prepared food 1 hour before they close, for a deep discount.

It’s an easy way for users and restaurants to save money, save food & save the environment all together! All that while increasing accessibility to quality food and helping local businesses to thrive. Check out their website.

An accessible and affordable digital platform for anyone around the world to grow smarter and more efficiently indoor. Check out their website.
Focused on developing technology to change the way the culinary professionals manage orders and access local food sources. The beginning of food waste in kitchens happens when product is mistakenly ordered, or excess product is requested from distributors. By streamlining the collaborative process of request and order management, we will improve efficiencies in the kitchen as well as enable analytics regarding order detail and frequency, far beyond what any one distributor can capture. Harvestable also seeks to reduce the distance ingredients travel and empower food producers by expanding our local food marketplace platform. Check out their website.
Heliponix™ provides consumers, restaurants, and institutions the GroPod™, an IoT enabled, aeroponic appliance that grows leafy green vegetables and dwarf varieties of specialty crops. The patented, self cleaning, rotary aeroponic™ design yields more vegetables (50lbs/sq-ft or a head of leafy greens on a daily basis) in an appliance the size of a dishwasher (4sq-ft) with unsurpassed energy efficiency ($7 total energy cost per month). Users subscribe to recurring monthly shipments of nonperishable seed pods™ and nutrients. Our machine learning API optimizes the growing environment for each individual user’s GroPod relative to their crop selection. Check out their website.

Uganda’s informal market economy is its lifeblood, but Mark the founder of the Namayumba-based logistics and resell company, saw an opportunity to streamline the process for vendors. The result is a digital marketplace for basic staples that lets vendors skip time-consuming, early-morning trips to wholesalers. Instead they can order high quality basic staples like bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and vegetables on the Nampya platform. The company then collects the produce from farmers and delivers it straight to its clients each morning. In this way, Nampya links farmers and vendors to fair, trusted, modern markets, thereby providing a complete supply chain in Uganda for quality produce in urban areas. We are proving right the thesis that digital solutions in emerging markets can address real time challenges and create more transparency.

FoodFam is an Austin-based startup that creates communities and families for those who need it the most. Through our service, those with diet deficiencies have access to professional chefs to enable them to cook healthy, access to restaurants to eat out with their friends, and the ability to meet others with dietary restrictions to empower each other to embrace their new lifestyle. It all happens online, so anyone can get access to vital nutrition tips and tricks fast and efficiently, without having to sacrifice too much time or money.
The LV FruitFly is an aerial orchard harvesting and automation system that allows orchards and produce suppliers to quickly and efficiently pick their crops, increase overall yields, optimize resource management, and avoid losses due to labor shortages. The system applies three key technologies (aerial suspension, AI, and soft robotics) to enable enhanced mobility, fully autonomous operations, and damage free fruit.
A multi-sided marketplace that caters to swipers(owners of on-campus currencies) customers, and those who are food insecure.The app capitalizes on the stark price differences in on-campus food currencies in dining halls with off-campus credit card prices($5 per meal vs. $10 per meal). The app allows on-campus students to get real money for their on-campus currencies and off-campus students to get cheaper meals. We centered the platform around community engagement and donation by allowing all users to donate to a student community fund based on their university and also to their closest metro area food pantry based on open-source data from Feeding America. This web app connects swipers and customers through an innovative scheduling and check-in system.

2018 Finalists

Afresh uses data science to reduce food waste in supermarkets — a $40B US problem! — by providing intelligent food replenishment recommendations. Check out their website

Aggressively Organic offers a simple hydroponic system for plant-to-plate food production that anyone can afford and use regardless of experience and space. Check out their website.

AgroRacks has a plan to grow greens beside machines! Practical vertical farms and energy-efficient server farms with AgroRacks — modular farming in the modern datacenter.

Big Wheelbarrow helps food wholesalers work more efficiently with small farms by using artificial intelligence to automate order management. Check out their website.

Corvus Robotics helps warehouses and distribution centers manage inventory using intelligent, self-flying aerial drones. Check out their website.

Elevated Honey Co. is disrupting the fake honey industry by creating an efficient, transparent and connected supply chain between beekeepers and consumers. Check out their website.

Grit Grocery is a mobile grocery truck. Imagine a farmers market meets Blue Apron on a food truck. Real food, right in your neighborhood, saving you time without sacrificing health. Check out their website.

GrubTubs collects leftovers from restaurants and delivers it to local farms, where insects turn waste into animal feed, saving thousands of dollars every month. Check out their website.

Seal the Seasons makes farm-to-table possible year round by freezing local food from local farms. Check out their website.

Stowga is a B2B marketplace that connects warehouses with underutilized space to companies looking to take on-demand warehousing services. Check out their website.

Taimba is working to optimize agricultural supply chains to cut post-harvest wastage so as to offer quality, affordable farm produce to the bottom of pyramid. Check out their website.

Enabling sustainable local agriculture with next generation temperature and humidity control systems for greenhouses. Check out their website.

UAV-IQ bridges the gap between drone data collection and agriculture clients who need the resulting information to support decision making. Check out their website.

Vinder, a peer-to-peer marketplace for homegrown produce, connects home gardeners to their neighbors to buy, sell and trade local produce. Check out their website.

2017 Finalists

Bucketload High-Tech Harvesting makes harvest information available via Cloud technology. Instantly know what’s coming from the field to the market.. Check out their website.


Wise Apple (formerly Eat Pakd) is modernizing school lunch by delivering healthy and customizable lunches directly to families’ homes. Check out their website.




Epicure presents robotic vending bars that offer sustainable, delicious, nutrition in an innovative, healthy, convenient, accessible and affordable way. Check out their website.

Evaptainers are electricity-free refrigeration units that run on nothing but water. They are a low-cost, easy-to-use, and mobile solution to the global problem of post-harvest food spoilage. Utilizing the phenomenon of evaporation, Evaptainers are able to extend the shelf life of fresh produce.  Check out their website.


Farm Fare is a mobile market and logistics app that makes the business of buying and selling local foods faster, cheaper and more sustainable. Check out their website.

FreshSurety is an Internet-of-Things technology that solves the fresh produce industry’s $200 billion waste problem by reporting carton-level shelf life anywhere in the world for a few cents per case. Check out their website.

Hazel Technologies, LLC reduces agricultural waste with products that extend the shelf-life of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and plants. Our products help our customers increase their revenue by increasing utilization, decreasing rejection and downgrading, and improving customer retention. Check out their website.


Joe’s Organics is Austin’s food recycler. We pick up food waste from green businesses, compost it, and grow specialty produce for chefs and farmers markets. Check out their website.

The Barfly System by Local Libations utilizes proprietary IoT technology to clear the retail blind spot, allowing manufacturers, distributors, and retailers within the beer industry to track the location and volume of their kegs; everywhere, all the time.

NÜWIEL is a technology startup from Germany. Our goal is to revolutionize city logistics by offering sustainable transportation solutions. We develop intelligent e-powered bicycle trailers to efficiently move goods in urban areas. Check out their website.



Open Data Nation transforms open, public data about public health inspections of restaurants into reliable predictions of when and where establishments will fail and pose a risk to public health and safety.  Check out their website.

Phenix provides businesses with waste reduction services in order to raise the potential of their waste. Using an innovative digital application & B2B services and tools, Phenix facilitates the second life of products as in-kind donations. Check out their website.

OriginTrail enables food producers to differentiate themselves based on the origin of their products while building direct and authentic relationships between shoppers and food producers to enable ethical consumption. Check out their website.

Rise is a green startup that upcycles spent barley from microbreweries into flour for bakers. We produce a sustainable, organic, high-protein, nutritious and inexpensive alternative flour that has a wide range of applications – from cookies to pasta!  Check out their website.

Rust Belt Riders offers commercial food waste producers a logistics-based alternative to landfills that is clean, timely and benefits their community. Rust Belt Riders turns waste into wealth through the conversion of discarded food into value added products. Check out their website.

Science for Society (S4S), India is the foodtech company that works on solar powered food dehydrators with farmers. With its UN award winning patented technology of Solar Conduction Dryer, S4S reduces post harvest losses, increases shelf life, and brings extra profit to farmers. Check out their website.

Smallhold grows mushrooms and leafy greens 3/4 of the way and delivers it into high-output farm enclosures installed at our users’ places of business – providing the freshest, most local food anyone can get, at a fraction of the cost. Check out their website.

Yarok has developed a fast microbiological testing system for the fresh food industry, protecting consumers and safeguarding producer interests.  Stop the product recalls due to the lack of truly fast testing for individuation of dangerous bacteria. Check out their website.

2016 Finalists


We link farms with various types of buyers located closest to them. We do this by finding a match between the two locations in any geographical area using a mileage radius to define the proximity threshold. Check out their website.

Agruppa is a service for small-scale food vendors in poor urban areas of Latin America that leverages mobile phone technology to create virtual buyer groups in order to improve access to fresh and healthy food for everyone. Check out their website.

Bento Picnic makes it easy for you to enjoy a healthy local lunch. We are Austin’s chef-owned bento shop offering healthy, ready-to-eat lunches made from local, seasonal ingredients.  In the bento tradition of Japanese homemakers, we cook everything from-scratch and compose beautiful boxed lunches.  Check out their website.


 Crickers makes healthy, sustainable snack foods with cricket flour. Their signature product is our crackers, the first edible insect crackers in the world that take advantage of the underdeveloped savory side of the edible insect market and the rise of salty snack food trends.


 The Food Corridor is the first online marketplace for food entrepreneurs to find commercial kitchen space. Food entrepreneurs can find and book commercial kitchens, commissaries, processing, co-packing and food storage spaces. . Check out their website.


Eat At Home is a marketplace, website and mobile app, which connects people looking for homemade foods, THE DINERS, with people passionate for cooking, THE COOKS.

 Garbage to Garden, located in Portland, ME, is a successful self-funded, market-based curbside composting company in the United States, servicing over 5,000 households, schools, restaurants, businesses and events in 8 Southern Maine communities. Check out their website. 


Our product is an object that is placed next to produce. The device absorbs ethylene gas which allows fruits and vegetables to stay fresh for longer periods of time and extends the life of produce. Go Fresh! Waste Less!


J.W. Hunt Organics is here to introduce America to a truly healthy and sustainable food in hemp.


Lunchbene provides an online platform and mobile app that employees can use to manage their weekly meal plan, especially lunches during the week. Lunchbene is built on scientific research findings focused on improving health.


We develop and manufacture our Patented Vertical Aeroponics Plant Growing Systems for use in the commercial and personal growing markets. We have engineered a versatile production system designed for vertical agriculture which allows for larger rooting structures to grow a wider range of crops including blooming and fruiting varieties. Check out their website.

Is a genetic sanctuary that enables responsive solutions for emerging farmers and social communities. Our goal is to provide unlicensed access to genetics and business plans to small family farmers. Check out their website.

Uses existing clinical research to create food-based remedies for everyday ailments and discomforts. Our team out of MIT and Harvard is creating a whole line of products for common ailments like gut health, mental health, and others. Our first product, Anchor Nutrition Bar, prevents and relieves nausea from motion sickness, morning sickness, and other causes. Check out their website.


Regrub is a waste management kit that utilizes the natural lifecycle of the Soldier fly to turn food waste into either a usable fertilizer, feed for animals, or prepares it so waste management facilities can dispose of it much easier.

RoboButcher merges the time-worn practice of whole animal butchery with the sharing economy of the 21st century by enabling small independent craft butchers to profitably sell locally-raised animals at near wholesale prices to a community of customers while accommodating individual meat consumption preferences.

St. Louis Metromarket is a non-profit mobile farmers’ market that will restore access to healthy foods in all St. Louis area food deserts. Check out their website.


Steak TzarTzar’s (now Hargol Food Tech) develops mass rearing of grasshoppers for human consumption. Their  solution makes grasshoppers available 12 months a year, at affordable prices for populations in Africa, Asia and Central America to ensure better food quality. Check out their website.

An app, “Tasty”, that constantly learns the food likes, dislikes, and dietary restrictions of each user, to recommend them the restaurant dishes around them that they would enjoy the most. The secret sauce is in our patent-pending technology that leverages our extensive research on food science, taste data, and real-time analytics of our users’ behaviors and “taste profiles.”

Tree Adoption Uganda ss a youth-led social enterprise that jointly addresses climate change and food insecurity in the least climate resilient semi-urban farming communities. Via our TreeCapital model, we identify vulnerable families and set up fruit tree nurseries in their backyard. They care for the trees until when they grow into saplings. With resources from corporate partners via Corporate Social Responsibility we buy back the saplings, the families earn an income which we task them to use as capital to support or grow their agri-businesses.  Check out their website.


True Made Foods makes good food for good reasons. That’s why we infuse our sauces with fresh and healthy vegetables like spinach, carrots and squash. We are putting real food back into your food.  Check out their website.

2015 Finalists

 Aspire is a global industry leader in the edilbe insect movement. They use pioneering technology (including robotics and automated data-collection) to farm insects that have a similar protein quality to meat and an environmental footprint closer to plants. Check out their website.

BeeHex is changing the way food is made by re-thinking food preparation and dispensing with its patent-pending 3D food printing and robotics systems. Check out their website.

YardFarm (formerly BioPod) designs & constructs beautiful vegetable gardens, native landscapes, homestead elements, rainwater collection, and irrigation systems for residential, commercial and institutional clients. Check out their website.

City Sprout served as a virtual farmers’ market, connecting customers directly with Austin-area food growers through an online network.

The product is an object that is placed next to produce. The device absorbs ethylene gas which allows fruits and vegetables to stay fresh for longer periods of time and extends the life of produce. Go Fresh! Waste Less!

The Hopper bar was designed to use crickets as a “gateway bug” to normalize eating insects.

The federal Department of Health and Human Services has a Health Data Initiative designed to make information available to the public. has over 3000 data sets available for developers. Prodrax will try to find a way to produce profitable products from this data. Check out their website.

Revive Foods, (now Simply Recipes) was on a mission to give discarded fruit a second chance by turing it into jam. Check out their website.

Safelain Technology is a true food quality test able to indicate oxidation using an isolated pigment, found in beets and 9 other plant families. Check out their website.

Sereneti builds robots that automate cooking using fresh food ingridients.  Check out their website.

Sproot is a food company fueled by a passion for bringing people healthy, tasty, real food. Our expertise is getting kids to love good food. We design, make and deliver awesomely nutritious and adorably packaged lunches + food curriculum to private daycares, preschools and lower schools. Check out their website.

StitZii is an evolving brand with new product developments and innovations coming all the time. Our mission is to bring people healthier food through healthier packaging. To do this, we design and produce food packaging products and inserts that are capable of removing excess fat, grease and oil (FOG) from prepared food products. Check out their website.

Stretch Recipes was on a mission to help tight-budgeted and busy consumers eat better and save money.

A marketplace enabling real-time variable pricing of products and services. Check out their website.

Ten Acre Organics (now Agua Dulce) was an urban aquaponics farm based on 10 sustainable acres. Check out their website.

Wash Cut Prep was on a mission to increase produce consumption with fruit and vegetable processing and education stations in major grocery stores.

PHW Green Food Lab LLC specialized in food safety testing services and food testing for product development.

Edi Bags was creating a sustainable substitute to plastic packaging that was both edible and biodegradeable.  

Cramen specializes in spice packets similar to the ones that come with ramen noodles — but with a nutritional twist. Each packet contains cricket flour and algae powder, both of which are high in protein and nutrients. 

Clever Carrot Catering prepared and delivered fresh, nutritious lunches to students attending private preschools.

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