Food-X is Looking for Innovators

Photo Credit: Polina Rytova on Unsplash

At Food-X, we’ve had the good fortune to accelerate 70 companies across our eight cohorts since 2013. As our Spring 2019 program approaches, we are gearing up our search for the next generation of founders looking to make a dent in the food system.

In our eight cohorts thus far, we’ve seen applicants from almost every continent and across every segment of the global food system. We never know where the next great food business will come from! 
With that in mind, there are a few themes we would love to see people solving problems around:

The Intersection of Food and Medicine

The number of consumer products using functional ingredients and addressing the “better for you” market has exploded in recent years. It’s a step in the right direction. We believe the next generation of ideas will go beyond just “healthy” and deliver products and systems that become integral parts of how we avoid and treat disease.

The Reduction of Waste

Whether it’s upcycling of byproducts or technologies focused on creating more efficient use of resources, we can all agree that this is a problem worth solving.

The Application of Advanced Technology in the Food Industry

Spanning everything from the farm to the family dinner, the food industry has lagged behind many other sectors in the use of big data, machine learning, deep learning, and so many other areas of technological advancement (yes, even blockchain). We believe that the correct mix of industry expertise and technical know-how can transform how the industry does business and how the world eats.

Sustainable Proteins

The global population is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, and the evidence is increasingly clear that practices around traditional protein sources are environmentally unsustainable. Enough said!

Sustainable Packaging Innovation

One of our 100+ mentors said it best: “Stand-up plastic packaging has become an environmental nightmare.” This is just one example of how our continued demand for convenience (don’t even get me started meal kit packaging) has led to the need for meaningful innovation in the packaging we use every day.

These are just a few of the areas we see as intriguing, and if our experience tells us anything it’s that the next great company can come from anywhere, so if you’re business doesn’t fall within these areas that’s okay. Our evaluation is based on a number of factors and here are a few things to consider as you think about whether to apply for Food-X.

  1. Is the business you want to build venture scale in its potential? If you succeeed, can you make a strong argument that it can get to $100M or larger in annual revenue.
  2. The Team is everything, especially at the earliest stage. We don’t reject solo founders outright, but it’s hard to build a great business without a great team.
  3. Think you’re too far along? Think again because Food-X has helped companies at various stages and it’s less about stage than it is about need.
  4. Traction matters. In our definition, traction is that you have demonstrated a demand, that the market for that demand is sizable, and that what you deliver fulfills that demand. Whether it’s users, revenue, or something else, the more we can see data that validates your work, the better.

If you are a founding team working in any of these areas (or beyond), I strongly encourage you to apply for Food-X Cohort 09. We’d love to meet you!


Originally published at medium.com on November 14, 2018.