Startup competitions seeking foodtech companies

Steven Loeb · June 28, 2018 · Short URL:

They include AGreen Startup Competition, FoodBytes, Food+City Challenge Prize and Thought For Food

If you're a startup seeking opportunities to get funded, educated or connected, startup competitions are a great resource.

Vator has been holding its own competitions, using VatorX, to find and filter for the best startups. We've had some very successful and notable winners in the past that have gone on to raise big funding rounds including Thumbtack, DogVacay, Pokitdok, Grovo, Udemy and Apartment List, to name a few.

Anyone can list their program as VatorX is one of the most comprehensive listing guides to startup competitions, challenges, accelerators and programs. Click here to list your program!

As part of our weekly series, we'll look at top competitions with big cash prizes, as well as competitions that have teed up the most promising startups, to finding popular startup competitions you need to know about. 

Here are some of the startup competitions that are focused on foodtech companies:


Description: "At the Smart Kitchen Summit, we like to showcase the most innovative new ideas, products and companies reinventing food, cooking and the kitchen through the Startup Showcase."

Prize: Five thousand euro non-equity prize

Previous winners: Verdical


Description: "AGreen Startup is the 1st startup competition combining innovation, agro-ecology, agriculture, plants and the environment at a trade show aimed exclusively at professionals! By welcoming the AGreen Startup to Angers, SIVAL is demonstrating its desire to host a plant production trade show that is both innovative and inventive."


  • Financial contributions
  • Accommodation and support
  • Participation in trade shows
  • Other prizes

Previous winners: None specified


Description: "FoodBytes! by Rabobank is a next-generation pitch competition-meets-networking event that brings together the game-changing startups, investors and industry leaders pioneering the future of food and agriculture. The platform provides a safe haven for entrepreneurs to receive the mentorship, connections and capital they need to grow their businesses."

Prize: The Judge’s Choice winners will be invited to attend Rabobank’s premier invitation-only Annual Food and Agribusiness Summit in December in New York City.

The People’s Choice Award winners will be invited to present and display their products at Rabobank’s premier invitation-only Food and Agribusiness Summit in December in New York City. These events attract C-suite representation from over 300 of North America’s leading food, beverage and agribusiness companies.

Previous winners: SmartCatch, Nectar, Motorlead, Oatbox


Description: "The annual TFF Challenge is a global “collaborative competition” to launch promising new ideas that address how we will feed and nourish our growing global population."

Prize: As one of our 10 Finalist Teams, you will take part in TFF’s Startup Bootcamp and have the chance to win $25,000 in cash grants to start your business. Even if you are selected as a Finalist, you will get access to many parts of our Startup Bootcamp curriculum (which we open to all TFF Challenge participants). You’ll also connect with the world’s industry-leaders and our TFF Global Community.

Previous winners: Kulisha, Biteback, Peer to Peer Probiotics, Innovision, FoPo Food Powder


Farm Bureau Strong Rural America

Description: "The Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge is the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs with food and agriculture businesses."

Prize: Rural Entrepreneurs compete for $145,000 in startup funds.  

The final four teams, chosen from 471 applicants, were each awarded $15,000 and will advance to the next phase of the Challenge to compete for $25,000 at the 2018 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in Nashville.

Previous winners: GeoAir, Hawk Knob, SwineTech, Inc., Wild Valley Farms


Description: "The Rabobank-MIT Food & Agribusiness Innovation Prize, sponsored by Rabobank and supported by MIT J-WAFS and the MIT Food and Agriculture Club, is a premier business-plan competition for university and graduate students. This prize is distinct from other competitions because of its specific focus on food and agribusiness and the access it will provide successful entrants to the broad business community."

Prize: $15,000 (first place) and $10,000 (second place)

Previous winners: EatWell, Context Insights


Description: "The Food+City Challenge Prize is an  annual international competition among business startups encouraging innovation in the urban food system  Each year, finalists compete for cash prizes and an incredible package of business startup products and services. We encourage innovators, from across the globe, to create businesses and discover technologies that will improve how we feed cities around the world. Finalists work with their mentors for 12 weeks to prepare for Showcase Day presentations."


  • Pitch your company at the largest technology conference in the world, SXSW
  • One pass to attend SXSW Interactive ($1,350 value)
  • In addition to qualifying for prizes, finalists will have an unparalleled opportunity to network with judges, mentors, other finalists and the food entrepreneur community at large.
  • You’ll receive feedback and support from talented and experienced mentors.
  • Your idea will be reviewed by judges and investors from a broad range of organizations.
  • You will receive ongoing promotion and visibility through Food+City’s social media platforms.
  • You will become a part of the Food+City family, which offers ongoing benefits.

Previous winners: Taimba, Aggressively Organic, UAV-IQ


Description: "The Challenge is open to enterprise and college teams with idea stage and very early stage enterprises that would improve the production, aggregation, distribution and processing of  locally produced food and harvested seafood."

Prize: Not specified

Previous winners: Resurgam Hot Sauce, Villager Cooperative, Circle B Farmsm, FarmDrop


Description: "There’s an agricultural revolution underway. And our passion is pushing the envelope until innovative and fundable food, agtech, and agriculture innovations have spread around the globe, from farm to fork and beyond. The Future Agro Challenge is the leading global competition, bringing together the best of the best to make it all happen."

Prize: Selected agripreneurs will gain access to world class mentors, investors, potential clients, and new market opportunities.  Winners will enjoy our genie packages, which caters to each individual startup.

Previous winners: Not specified





Description: "Eat it!" rewards students working on technology-based inventions that involve food/water or agriculture.

Prize:$500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize; $10,000-$15,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize

Previous winners: SwineTech


Description: "A startup that has shown the greatest development over the last year based on growth, innovation, and impact with a product/service that uses technology to improve agriculture and food production, supply chain, distribution channels, and consumption."

Prize: Not specified

Previous winners: Too Good To Go

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