30 Shortlisted Startups, Pre-Finalists of Global FoodTech Challenge
Officially launched at Expo City in Dubai in March 2022, by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Tamkeen, with ASPIRE as the lead partner, the FoodTech Challenge announces today the selected 30 innovative agritech and foodtech start-ups.
The 30 shortlisted start-ups have been selected from 667 submissions across 79 countries, representing a 52% increase in entries compared to the first edition of the competition, which saw 437 applications from 68 countries.
Targeted at early-stage start-ups trying to enter the agri-food tech industry, the FoodTech Challenge looks for innovative solutions that address food production and food loss and waste challenges, from indoor and vertical farming to upcycled ingredients and waste efficiency.
BNK Automotive Hosts EV Era Conference with AmCham Kuwait
Of the shortlisted start-ups, 50% of proposals were focused on tackling food production. Applications addressing food loss and waste solutions account for the other 50% of the shortlisted start-ups, which featured food waste tech, food sharing platforms, supply chain monitoring, and traceability as key themes.
Silal and ADQ have supported the food production track of the competition, and Emirates Foundation has supported the food loss and waste track, which aligns with Ne’ma, the national food loss and waste initiative that aims to contribute to the UAE’s commitment to eradicate 50% of food waste by 2030.
The shortlisted candidates were selected by a strong multi-sector bench of 28 technical and commercial judges.
In the next phase of the competition, they will be assessed by the competition’s partners in panel interviews, and then by nine finale judges to ensure that each entry is rigorously analyzed from an array of perspectives.
The next stage of the competition will identify 10 finalists. From these finalists, four winning teams will be selected to take away prizes from a US $2M prize pool, which includes up to US $400,000 in cash, and eligibility for support programs available through the competition’s enablement partners.
The winners will not only receive financial rewards, but the partners will also collectively provide a critical community and support network to help the winners to set up in the UAE and scale up their concepts.
Abu Dhabi Global Market and Abu Dhabi Residents Office, for example, will provide support for UAE commercial registration with ‘Golden Visas’.
The Competitiveness Office of Abu Dhabi will provide technical, legal, and financial support for patent registration, and the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development will help with mentorship and go-to-market support for local agri-tech experts.