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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 51 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 nearly one half (44 per cent) 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.”