About the Challenge Find out who will be the first IFTNEXT Future Food Disruptor of the Year TM

As part of IFT’s mission to encourage entrepreneurialism and innovation, the IFTNEXT Food Disruption ChallengeTM is a new competition designed to help emerging and investment-ready food companies advance the science of food by providing mentorship and visibility to further the positive impact on our global food supply. Six finalists have been chosen to share their innovations in a high-profile pitching competition at IFT18 in Chicago July 17. The six finalists represent breakthrough solutions across food ingredient, packaging, agriculture, and processing applications. To learn more read the press release.

IFTNEXT Food Disruption ChallengeTM Live Pitching Competition
When: Tuesday, July, 17, 8:00 a.m.
Where: IFT18 at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
Emcee: Daymond John, Renowned Entrepreneur of ABC's Shark Tank 


The finalists include:

c-fu Foods Inc.

C-Fu Foods – an ingredient innovation company developing the next generation of insect-based, value-added food ingredients. The company’s goal is to support the emerging insect food sector with high quality functional ingredients that solve the technical challenges that limit the use of insects in food.

Inductive Intelligence

Inductive Intelligence – a packaging technology company that makes it possible to safely and conveniently heat foods and drinks in disposable package, using the same device you use to charge your mobile phone battery.


Nebullam – a food technology company providing new vertical farmers with High Pressure Aeroponic systems, powered by artificial intelligence.

Renewal Mill

Renewal Mill – a CPG and ingredient company that creates high-value superfood ingredients and foods from the $6 billion of unused fiber and starch byproducts of legumes, vegetables, and fruits produced annually.


Rise Products – a food technology company that uses a patent-pending process to convert organic by-products into healthy, tasty, and sustainable food products, starting by turning spent barley from brewers into flour.


Re-Nuble – an agricultural technology company that uses an inexpensive, patent-pending process to transform food waste into chemical-free, organic nutrients for both soil-based and hydroponic cultivation.

About the Judges

Six prestigious judges representing influential sectors of the food and related industries, will select a finalist to be the recipient of the IFTNEXT Future Food Disruptor of the YearTM award including a $25,000 cash prize. Food Disruption ChallengeTM session attendees will also be asked to select an IFTNEXT Future Food Disruptor of the YearTM People’s Choice awardee for a cash prize of $5,000. In addition to the cash prizes, other services and products helpful for entrepreneurial advancement will also be included. Judges include:

  • Jennifer Bentz - SVP of R&D, Innovation, and Insights for Tyson Foods, Inc.
  • Jeff Grogg – Founder & Managing Director of JPG Resources
  • J. Skyler Fernandes - Managing Director of Investments, Cleveland Avenue
  • Lenny Lebovich - Founder and CEO of PRE® BRANDS
  • John Ruff - Past President, Institute of Food Technologists (2012-2013) and former SVP of Global Quality, Scientific Affairs and Nutrition, for Kraft Foods
  • Natalie Shmulik - CEO of The Hatchery, Chicago

Learn more about the judges

Daymond John to Emcee Live Pitching Competition at IFT18

We are pleased to announce that Daymond John, of ABC’s Shark Tank will be joining us as emcee of the IFT18 featured competition session on July 17, 2018. Daymond will also share his entrepreneurial insights through an interactive on-stage interview.

Daymond John

About Daymond John
From his wildly successful role on ABC’s smash hit, Shark Tank, to his distinguished status as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, Daymond John has become globally recognized for his relentless commitment to promoting and supporting entrepreneurs. Daymond initially made his mark as the entrepreneur and branding expert behind the groundbreaking lifestyle brand, FUBU, which eclipsed more than $6 billion in global retail sales. From the streets of Hollis, Queens, Daymond started a global movement from the basement of his mother’s house by capitalizing on the then fledgling hip-hop culture. Today, the streetwear market that FUBU pioneered is a $20 billion dollar industry.


Our special thanks to Food Disruption ChallengeTM sponsors United Sorghum Checkoff Program and Trailblazer Sponsors:

The Annex by Ardent Mills



Connect with Other Food Disruptors

Join the IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge'sTM Facebook group to stay-up-to-date with competition information, meet and share insights other entrepreneurs, and be informed about competition developments.


Be sure to reference our helpful FAQ webpage. Should you have any further questions about the competition, please direct them to fooddisruption@ift.org

IFTNEXT is generously supported by Ingredion Incorporated, IFT’s IFTNEXT Platinum Innovation Sponsor.

Ingredion Incorporated