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Five Australian startups have been shortlisted from a record number of international applicants to participate in FoodBytes! Virtual Pitch 2020, Rabobank’s global food and agri startup discovery program.
The Australian-based companies are among 45 food and agri startups, from across 14 countries shortlisted from 340 applicants from around the world. Successful applicants will become a part of a program which helps entrepreneurs through mentoring and access to corporate leaders and investors.
The shortlisted Australian startups are:
- Food tech business Carapac (NSW) – maker of a durable, home-compostable alternative to plastic packaging made from crustacean shells
- Field robotics company Agerris (NSW) – commercialising robotic agricultural equipment and AI solutions for on-farm operations and sustainability
- Swan Systems (WA) – precision irrigation and fertiliser platform to help growers precisely schedule, monitor and report on smarter resource management (water and nutrient consumption) to improve economic and environmental outcomes
- ProAgni (NSW) – makers of antibiotic and ionophore-nutrition products for sheep and cattle that contribute to ethical and sustainable animal production and industry performance and
- I Am Grounded (Queensland) – business upcycling discarded coffee fruit into sustainable snack products
The 2020 cohort is the most diverse in the program’s five-year history, with 31 per cent of the startups being founded or led by a black, indigenous or person of colour (BIPOC), and women founded or led companies making up one fifth of the pitch class.
Nathalie Gibson, Rabobank Australia Head of Innovation, Knowledge & Networks said the shortlisted Australian startups stood out from a strong global field of applicants, based on the “innovative solutions they had developed to contribute to a more sustainable and efficient food supply”.
“The five Australian startups shortlisted for this year’s program are a testament to the food and agri talent in this country,” says Nathalie. “They demonstrate ground-breaking new approaches in agtech, foodtech and consumer food and beverages, in areas including animal health, regenerative agriculture, on-farm robotics, advanced nutrition, sustainable packaged and plant-based and up-cycled ingredients.”