CHICAGO – January 27, 2023 – The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), a nonprofit scientific organization committed to advancing the science of food and its application across the global food system, is partnering with the Seeding The Future Foundation to offer prizes totaling $15,000 at The Pitch during this year’s IFT FIRST: Annual Event and Expo, which is being held July 16-19, 2023, at McCormick Place in Chicago.

In the Startup Pavilion, food or food-related startups will have the opportunity to participate in a multi-stage rapid-pitch competition spanning three days. Judges will include leaders from innovation, venture-capital investment groups, product development, academia, and the startup community. Space is limited as the competition is restricted to the first 100 startups to have a kiosk in the Pavilion.

Last year, Israeli-based Equinom LTD was selected as the 2022 Startup Pavilion winner as innovators from around the world came together to participate in one of the most exciting global showcases of food innovation. A heavy international presence is expected once again this year.

“More than 17,000 ingredient providers, business leaders, product developers, food scientists and science of food professionals will be attending IFT FIRST this year to experience the future of food innovation, and one of the many platforms at IFT FIRST where that innovation will be on full display is the Startup Pavilion,” said IFT CEO Christie Tarantino-Dean. “The Pitch exemplifies the innovative spirit of IFT FIRST, providing potentially lesser-known entrepreneurs with a platform to showcase their innovations to their colleagues, peers, media and potential investors, with exciting prize packages for the best pitches.”

The grand prize winner of The Pitch will receive $10,000, with the two runner-up companies receiving $2,500 each. The prize packages are courtesy of the Seeding The Future Foundation, an organization committed to supporting impactful innovations that can transform the food system to make it more sustainable while enabling equitable access to safe, nutritious, affordable food that is trusted by the consumer and improves the health of people and the planet.

Finalists from The Pitch will also have an opportunity to attend an invitation-only networking event. The 45-minute event, which will immediately follow The Pitch, will connect startups and social enterprises with potential investors and supporting partners.

In partnership with IFT, the Seeding The Future Foundation launched the annual Global Food System Challenge, which invites scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs to share their food-system-transforming solutions. Each year, $1 million in grants and prizes are awarded. Since 2021, more than 1,500 submissions from 75 countries have been received from multidisciplinary teams from academic and research institutions, non-profits, and for-profits. Challenge winners are also invited to join The Pitch finalists at the networking event at IFT FIRST. The Pitch finalists will also be strongly encouraged to participate in the Global Food System Challenge for a chance at winning part of the $1 million in innovation awards.

“Providing a growing global population with equitable access to affordable, safe and nutritious food from a sustainable supply chain will require creative new approaches and collaborations. The Global Food System Challenge and now The Pitch at IFT FIRST is a celebration of those innovators around the world who are committed to transforming the global food system with game-changing innovations,” added Bernhard van Lengerich, founder of Seeding The Future Foundation.

To secure a spot in the Startup Pavilion, click here. Exhibitor registration is open, while attendee registration opens March 1, 2023. To start planning for IFT FIRST, go to

About Institute of Food Technologists
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a global organization of approximately 12,000 individual members from more than 100 countries committed to advancing the science of food. Since 1939, IFT has brought together the brightest minds in food science, technology and related professions from academia, government, and industry to solve the world’s greatest food challenges. IFT works to ensure that its members have the resources they need to learn, grow and advance the science of food as the population and the world evolve. IFT believes that science is essential to ensuring a global food supply that is sustainable, safe, nutritious, and accessible to all. For more information, please visit

About Seeding The Future
The Seeding The Future Foundation is a private, non-profit organization motivated by its core value that everyone should always have equitable access to safe, nutritious, affordable, appealing, and trusted food. It seeks to inspire innovative solutions that can help transform the global food system to be more sustainable and benefit the health of people and the environment. The Foundation provides seed funding and support to promising ideas and high impact innovations to improve food systems globally, technologies to reduce post-harvest losses in developing regions, as well as foundational work in academia and research. For more information, please visit

Media Contact
Dennis Van Milligen
Senior Manager, Public and Media Relations
Institute of Food Technologists
[email protected]

More IFT Press Releases

Institute of Food Technologists Releases Commodity-specific Food Traceability Video Series to Aid Companies in FDA Compliance

IFT has released a series of educational videos designed to help food companies better understand how the FDA’s Food Traceability Rule will impact their operations as well as provide guidance on compliance.

IFT Launches a New Resource Group for LGBTQIA+ Members and Allies

The Proud Resource Group was created to provide wide visibility of the LGBTQIA+ experience, providing a safe space for connection, advocacy, and acceptance for all in the science of food.

Registration Opens for IFT FIRST: Annual Event and Expo

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) announced that registration is now open for IFT FIRST: Annual Event and Expo, which is being held July 16-19, 2023, at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Feeding Tomorrow Fund of IFT Opens Scholarship Applications for Students Pursuing Science of Food Careers

The Feeding Tomorrow Fund of Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) today announced that applications are now open for more than 40 undergraduate scholarships and 25 graduate scholarships.

Latest News

A Higher Bar for Artisan Chocolate

Single-origin cacao beans, innovative inclusions, and more sophisticated connoisseurship characterize today’s craft chocolate market.

Organic Versus Regenerative Agriculture: A Complicated Relationship

Organic and regenerative agriculture aren’t the same, but advances in organic may pave the way for broader adoption of regenerative practices.

How Danone Supports California Farmer’s Regenerative Ag Practices

A look at how Danone’s partnership with a California farm promotes regenerative agriculture.

IFT's New Traceability Video Series Helps Food Entities Navigate FDA Compliance

Eleven commodity-specific educational segments are now available to assist the food industry in understanding the agency's final rule and the steps they need to take next.

As the FDA Formulates Its New Healthy Rule, IFT Weighs In

IFT's Science and Policy Initiatives team identifies challenges with the agency's proposed claims for which foods merit the label "healthy."

Recent Brain Food right arrow

A New Day at the FDA

IFT weighs in on the agency’s future in the wake of the Reagan-Udall Report and FDA Commissioner Califf’s response.

Members Say IFT Offers Everything You Need to Prepare for an Uncertain Future

Learn how IFT boosts connections, efficiencies, and inspiration for its members.

More on the FDA's Food Traceability Final Rule

In a new white paper, our experts examine the FDA’s Food Traceability Final Rule implications—and its novel concepts first proposed by IFT.