Israel’s Steak TzarTzar was named one of 24 finalists in the Second Annual Food+City Challenge Prize, an Austin, Texas-based food startup competition awarding up to US$50,000 for top ideas in global food system innovations. The company will travel to Austin in February 2016 to compete against an international group of finalists working on a wide range of ideas that may transform the way the world – or the community – feeds itself.
Now in its second year, the Food+City Food Challenge Prize (formerly known as the Food Lab at the University of Texas at Austin) attracted 115 entrepreneur submissions from around the world, aimed at improving or solving a wide range of food system issues.
Selected finalist projects include:
– Go Fresh!, a startup founded by Texas A&M University student McCalley Cunningham, which seeks to help businesses and households decrease food waste.
– Tree Adoption Uganda, founded by Uganda native Charles Batte, uses fruit trees to build climate change resilience in farming communities that are tackling malnutrition and food insecurity.
– Agruppa, which uses mobile technology to quantify demand in small stores in low-income neighborhoods in Colombia in order to provide access to high-quality produce at lower prices.
– Tastegraphy, a startup founded in Austin, compiles and sells data about consumer tastes, changing not only how people discover food, but also how their taste preferences can drive food creation.
– Garbage to Garden of Portland, Maine aims to combat chronic soil erosion by collecting organic compost, via a garbage and recycling collection service, from households, businesses and schools.
– 47farms, whose business model seeks to connect large food sellers and distributors with local growers and suppliers in order reduce the distance that food travels between farms and consumers.
The challenge aims to identify and encourage startup businesses, products and/or processes that spark new solutions for problems within the global food system.
In an effort to further motivate food innovators to tackle these pressing issues, Food+City is now awarding up to US$50,000 to this year’s winners (up from $30,000 in 2015).
“This is a great lineup, and we’re excited to see this year’s participation expand well beyond the United States to include the UK, Israel, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Colombia,” said Dr. Robyn Metcalfe, director of Food+City.
“A wide range of startups include urban vertical farming, commercial kitchen sharing, and curbside composting.”
“We also saw an increase in food delivery services and waste reduction business models.”
By November 15, 2015, the finalists will be paired with industry mentors who will guide them as they strengthen their business plans and develop prototypes for the next 12 weeks.
The winning teams will be announced following a public showcase and a fast-pitch process at the Showcase Day on February 6, 2016, in Austin.