IFT is looking to identify mentors for each of our competition finalists. These mentors will be asked to share their perspective and experience, and to connect their respective startup with opportunities to help them work through challenges. Mentors will be selected based on their area of specialization and best matched with a finalist they can best advise on items like where to focus effort, how they can approach funders and identify the right customers, or how to hire the right talent. 

The 6-week mentoring program will cover the following areas based on the needs of each start-up: 

  1. Building the relationship – getting know one another 
  2. Setting goals 
  3. Working towards goals and deepening engagement 
  4. Ending the formal mentoring relationship and planning for the future 

Learn More

Interested in learning more about the IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge mentor program? Please contact  

Frequently Asked Mentoring Questions

Here are some of the questions we are frequently asked about mentoring.

  1. What is mentoring?  
    Mentoring is when one individual shares their professional knowledge, information, and network connections and to support another individual who is seeking assistance to advance their work, cause, or skills. 
  2. Why should I consider becoming a mentor? 
    Mentors can be valuable sources of information at any stage of a startup’s growth. Mentors can often give founders a fresh perspective on problems or challenges because they're not personally involved with the business like other advisors or colleagues.  
  3. Why does the challenge need mentors?  
    The IFTNEXT program is focused on creating and developing a community where mentors and startup founders can connect and benefit from one another. We are creating a 6-week mentoring program where the finalists (6-8 startups) will meeting with mentors (in-person or virtually) to create and practice an excellent pitch, supported by the business plan, to be made at the IFT18 annual event.  
  4. How much time would I have to spend as a mentor? 
    We would like your commitment for 3 hours a week.  Part of that time will be group mentoring and part of it would be individual mentoring.  We would like to have you spend another 3 hours on the day before the Challenge competition.  The challenge competition will be in Chicago. If you cannot be there in person, we can manage over skype or other media.  You are not required to meet in person. 
  5. What are some of the Key Mentoring Skills? 
    There are many questions and challenges for founders as they try to develop and market their product/service.  For the Food Disruption Challenge we are looking for mentors who have worked in a start-up eco system and can help with any of the following areas:

    Agricultural tech 
    Branding and Marketing 
    Food media 
    Growth Hacker 
    Product Design 
    Super Connector 
    Supply Chain 
    Employee Laws/HR 
    Food Regulations and Laws 
    Block Chain

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

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

Ingredion Incorporated