IFT is actively recruiting candidates to serve as judges for the IFTNEXT Food Disruptors Challenge competition.  

We are currently seeking panelist judges from the following areas: 

-    investors 
-    successful entrepreneurs (either acquired, merge or IPOed or in Series C and above) 
-    experienced product representatives 
-    designers 
-    technology experts 
-    marketing and branding experts.   

If you feel you are qualified and interested in exploring am opportunity to serve as a judge, please feel free to contact us at fooddisruption@ift.org.

What characteristics make a good judge?

Judging is both fun. Judges should not be afraid to speak their mind or ask tough questions. 
Judges should be emotionless when they are judging.  Their body language can throw off an entrepreneur who is on the stage one way or the other. When providing feedback, judges should be constructive, looking to provide helpful feedback to help guide and support finalists in their product development and promotional pursuits.  

Some of the criteria judges will be asked to evaluate finalists on include:

  • Customer Validation  
    Are teams building something that people actually want? Does the team understand their customer and their customer’s needs very well? Did the team get out and talk to customers? What is the value proposition to customers?  What are the bases behind their value proposition?  How well do they know their market? 
  • Execution and Design  
    Have they established a minimum viable product (MVP)? Did they build the minimum set of features needed to start collecting data? Does it deliver a compelling and captivating user experience? Were they able to demo something functional?  What are the success metrics they are measuring? 
  • Business Model Validation  
    How does the team plan on making this a successful business? Have they thought about (either solved or identified problems) competition, how to scale, acquiring customers, their revenue model etc.? How will they acquire their first 100 customers? 

Judges will be given a quantitative scoring sheet with values on selected criteria in addition to what’s included above. 

What Level of Commitment Are Judges Asked to Provide?

Prior to Event 
Judges are required to attend one 45 minute session to understand the requirements of being a judge. There will be 3 sessions offered at different times.    

Day of Event 
Judges are expected to be there on time and be ready for the event. Including any pre-meetings the day of or prior to the event. In addition, judge need to be present and available to review pitches and ask questions prior to scoring each finalist. 

While funding will not be provided to have judges attend, we will provide comp Expo Only registrations for those interested.  

Post Event 
Judges will need to be available engage with finalists who may have questions following the event.   

Judges will be given 5 mins to ask questions. The Event will be in Chicago on July 17th.  All the judges require to be present in person. 

Interested in being an IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge Judge?

Please contact us at fooddisruption@ift.org if you are interested in participating as a judge for the competition or attend our Food Disruption Challenge Facebook Group Facebook Live information session on February 19, 2018. More information to come.
Connect with Other Food Disruptors

Join the IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge's 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

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

Ingredion Incorporated