IFT Press Room

CHICAGO – Applications to participate in the Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) third annual IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge™ competition are being accepted through January 9, 2020. Launched in 2018, the IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge™ is designed to help emerging and investment-ready food companies gain visibility and make strategic connections.

The competition is for companies that represent innovative solutions throughout the supply chain including ingredients, processing, packaging, testing, as well as technology solutions including: internet, mobile, clean tech, web-based applications, cloud, ERP, SaaS, etc.

Criteria to compete in the Food Disruption Challenge competition includes:

  • The startup company’s primary business focus needs to be in the food science or technology domain and may cover any component of technology which enhances the science of food.
  • The entrepreneur/organization must be an operating and registered entity as either a proprietary firm, partnership firm, limited liability partnership, or private limited in the country they are representing.
  • The company must be in business, have a product or service clearly defined and must be in the Pre-Series A Round (seed stage).

Finalists will be selected in three stages, with six finalists chosen to participate in a six-week mentoring program where they will receive guidance from business experts. From there, finalists will be chosen to present their innovations in a high-profile pitch competition at IFT’s Annual Event and Food Expo in Chicago on July 14, 2020. A panel of notable judges representing influential sectors of the food and related industries will select the recipient of the IFTNEXT Future Food Disruptor of the Year™ award, which includes a $25,000 cash prize.

IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge™ session attendees will be asked to select an IFTNEXT Future Food Disruptor People’s Choice awardee for a cash prize of $5,000. In addition to the cash prizes, other services and products for entrepreneurial advancement will also be included.

Each of the finalist companies will be awarded a $1,100 stipend for travel-related expenses, with two complimentary registrations to IFT’s Annual Event and Food Expo and the opportunity to exhibit in IFT’s IFT20 Startup Alley (separate fees apply). There is no cost to apply to the competition, though other costs may be incurred, and are the responsibility of the applicant. All applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. (PST) on January 9, 2020.

To learn more about the competition and apply, please visit: ift.org/fooddisruption. For additional information, please email [email protected].

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IFT’s Annual Event and Food Expo is one of the largest events of its kind bringing together science of food professionals from around the globe representing all segments of the food profession—research and design, ingredients, safety and quality, technology, equipment, processing, packaging, manufacturing, suppliers and buyers, policy makers, and academics—all converging with the intention to inspire and transform collective knowledge into innovative solutions to help advance our planet’s food safety, nutrition, and sustainability.