FoodBytes! London awards top prizes to packaging, animal feed, and herbicide alternatives

Rootwave, an electric weed killer, Mimica Lab, which creates freshness indicators for perishables, and sustainable protein feed producer Biokind champions of pitching competition

Three start-ups involved in packaging, animal feed and herbicide alternatives clinched the top prizes at FoodBytes! London yesterday, beating 17 other companies in the pitching competition.

Rootwave, Mimica and Biokind will now receive essential business support in the form of mentorship and industry connections from a network of sponsors including Dairy Crest, Watson Farley & Williams, Buhler Group, and presenting sponsor ADM, a leading nutrition company.

They will also have the chance to pitch at Rabobank’s European Client Event in Ireland in May 2019.

This was the inaugural London event for Rabobank’s FoodBytes! which is on a mission to find the “world’s most disruptive food and agriculture innovators”.

The 10 highest ranked start-ups were given 3.5 minutes to pitch to a room of investors, corporates and media, whilst the other 10 were given 1.5 minutes.

The three winning start-ups were:

Judges’ Choice Award: Rootwave

Rootwave is an alternative to herbicides that uses electricity to kill weeds instead of environmentally harmful chemicals.

The FoodBytes! judges based their decision on the company’s product innovation, market traction, team experience and focus on sustainability.

Andrew Diprose, CEO of Rootwave, commented: “FoodBytes! is an amazing experience and I’d highly recommend any early stage entrepreneur to apply. The exposure, publicity and potential for relationship building is second to none and we want to thank the FoodBytes! team.”

People’s Choice Award: Mimica

Voted for by the audience and Facebook Live viewers, the People’s Choice Award went to Mimica, which creates accessible, affordable freshness indicators for perishables like food and pharmaceuticals.

Solveiga Pakštaitė, founder and director of Mimica, commented: “The validation from FoodBytes! and Rabobank is so important to us because the way we want to create impact is through the access and exposure to all of the businesses that were here.

“Winning the People’s Choice Award has certainly allowed us to do that and opened up so many opportunities for us.”

Highly Commended Award: Biokind

Biokind, which produces sustainable protein feed for aquaculture, livestock and pets, was Highly Commended from among the 1.5 minute companies. Its product is non-GMO and made via natural fermentation.

Rui Yan Lee, co-founder of Biokind, commented: “This is a truly amazing event with quality connections to investors and potential partners, which will add value to our business.”

Tamira Treffers-Herrera, regional head Europe at Rabobank commented: “FoodBytes! London has been a huge success; the quality of the start-ups was incredible, making the competition for the awards very tough.

“I’m proud that Rabobank is showcasing the future of food and look forward to seeing the pitch companies build on this experience and continue to grow a better world together.”