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FoodBytes! to Showcase Upcycling, Supply Chain Technology

Fifteen startups are aiming to change the future of food selected for the March 28 pitch competition and mentorship.

FoodBytes! by Rabobank, a global pitch competition and networking platform for innovative food, food tech and agtech entrepreneurs, has unveiled the 15 startups selected for FoodBytes! San Francisco (SF) 2019.

These changemakers will showcase their technologies and products on March 28 at Terra Gallery and participate in a mentorship immersion that provides insights and lasting connections to scale their impact on food sourcing and production. New this year, startups selected based on rigorous criteria will compete in FoodBytes’ live pitch competition for a chance to win honors in three categories: food and agriculture technology, consumer packaged goods and people’s choice.

“The Bay Area is at the forefront of sustainable food and agriculture innovation, which is why FoodBytes! launched here in 2015 and why we’re excited to host our 15th edition where it all started,” said Nina Meijers, startup relationship manager for Rabobank’s Food & Agriculture Innovation Team, in a statement. “The startups competing at FoodBytes! SF are pioneering new solutions to real problems in our food system, including reducing food waste by brewing beer using leftover bread, combating plastic waste with cost-comparable plant-based compostable packaging and diversifying protein consumption with ‘clean meat’ and novel alternative proteins. We’re thrilled to connect them to the Rabobank network and support them at FoodBytes! and beyond.”

The 15 FoodBytes! SF 2019 startups addressing significant food and sustainability issues are:

Food Tech:

  • SnapDNA (Mountain View, Calif.): A food safety pathogen test for E. coli, salmonella and listeria. Its technology eliminates the need to culture bacteria prior to analysis, making it possible to test food samples in the field and secure analysis in just over an hour.
  • PLANETARIANS (Palo Alto, Calif.): Upcycles byproducts and solid food waste into high-protein, high-fiber ingredients. Using a process that emits 99 percent fewer carbon dioxide (CO2) gases and requires no additional land or water, its functional protein flour from upcycled defatted seeds has two times the protein and fiber at the same cost of wheat flour.
  • Bond Pets (Nederland, Colo.): Maker of dog and cat foods sourced from real animal protein, without the animal. The company produces animal proteins through fermentation—without the environmental impact of conventionally raised meat. 
  • Corumat (Pomona, Calif.): Maker of packaging that is 100 percent plant based, compostable, insulating and up to 30 percent lower in cost than traditional technologies. Corumat’s bioplastics generate 60 percent less CO2 during production than the plastics traditionally used to make red party cups.
  • Zymtronix (Ithaca, N.Y.): Stabilizes and delivers enzymes to enable cost-effective and sustainable ways of manufacturing the ingredients of tomorrow. In agricultural applications, stabilizes and delivers biocidal enzymes to create sustainable processes for crop protection.


  • Osmo Systems (Oakland, Calif.): Developer of the Osmobot, an aquaculture water quality sensor that allows shrimp and fish farmers to continuously monitor their ponds online, decreasing mortalities and improving feeding conversion at a fraction of the cost of legacy monitoring systems.
  • Hargol FoodTech (Misgav, Israel): Operates a commercial grasshopper farm using proprietary technology for efficient, large-scale farming of grasshoppers. Its grasshopper protein products offer efficient and sustainable protein sources.
  • Healthy Cow (Toronto, Canada): Develops products to help dairy farmers reduce their reliance on antibiotics and hormones. Its first product, ProPreg, offers a bovine intravaginal probiotic that supports a healthy vaginal microbiome in dairy cows.
  • Bushel (Fargo, N.D.): The grain industry’s first software platform and app that allows grain elevators and cooperatives to digitally connect with their growers and deliver near real-time information that informs better business decisions.
  • CropIn Technology Solutions (Bengaluru, India): Provides SaaS solutions to agribusinesses globally that enable agri-ecosystem stakeholders, including farmers, to adopt digital strategy and decision-making tools across their operations to maximize value per acre.

Sustainable Consumer Foods:

  • Toast Ale (New York City): Fighting food waste by brewing craft beer from unsold bread from local bakeries that would have otherwise been wasted. Toast donates all profits to Feedback, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing food waste.
  • GEM (Los Angeles): Maker of the first real food multivitamin built for women, by women. It is made from 13 algae and plant-based ingredients.
  • Shaka Tea (Hilo, Hawaii): Supports regenerative agriculture and economic development while offering the first line of Hawaiian-grown, no sugar-added, herbal iced teas brewed with māmaki, an antioxidant powerhouse only found and grown in the Hawaiian Islands.
  • The Worthy Company (Chicago): Creators of the Worthy Blendie Bowl, a plant-based superfood snack. Handcrafted recipes combine fruits, vegetables, legumes and chia in a spoonable “blendie.”
  • Taali (Wilmington, Del.): Maker of snacks made from popped water lily seeds and non-GMO, whole and natural ingredients. Taali aims to introduce healthier new grains into the U.S. snack market to reduce reliance on potato corn, wheat or extruded foods.
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