Industry News | January 27, 2016

Brooklyn Will Host Its First-Ever FoodBytes! Conference

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Rabobank, the world's premier food and agribusiness bank, announced that the next FoodBytes! will be held in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Thursday, March 3 at The Hall at MP.

“Together with Rabobank and SF New Tech, Food+Tech Connect is thrilled to bring together our communities of investors, industry leaders, and disruptive startups at FoodBytes Brooklyn. Our goal is to help the most promising innovations succeed, and FoodBytes is a powerful platform for making that happen.”

FoodBytes Brooklyn is the latest in a series of transformational conferences designed to foster new ideas in food, innovation, technology, and bring them together with investors. Previous FoodBytes events were held in San Francisco in 2015.

This will be the first FoodBytes event on the East Coast. SF New Tech, San Francisco's largest and longest-running tech showcase company (who produced the previous events), and Food + Tech Connect, the New-York based site of record and community for the food tech and innovation sector, are partnering with Rabobank to bring FoodBytes to a new audience.

“New York is a hotbed of innovation, creativity, and sustainability when it comes to food and it is the financial center of the country, so this makes Brooklyn a perfect next step as we expand FoodBytes nationally. We're excited to see how FoodBytes can create new opportunities for startups in new markets,” says Manuel Gonzalez, head western region, Rabobank North America Wholesale.

Rajiv Singh, CEO of Rabobank North America Wholesale, says, “Increasing access to food, improving nutrition and enhancing stability in the food value chain are all part of Rabobank’s global Banking for Food strategy. We’re proud of FoodBytes because the companies we uncover are doing all those things as well as responding to and shaping consumer behavior and preferences. These companies are truly taking food and agribusiness into the future.”

Investors looking to finance the next bright idea in food will meet new and innovative companies that are disrupting across the food chain and in food-related software and applications, distribution, manufacturing, production, and more. Approximately 10 entrepreneurs and startup companies will be chosen to present live demos of their ideas to FoodBytes Brooklyn attendees—investors, technologists, media—and will have the opportunity to network with food and agribusiness executives and opinion leaders, among many other industry influencers.

The organizers of FoodBytes Brooklyn invite startups in food, agribusiness, and beverages that are interested in presenting to review the event criteria and apply via the FoodBytes website by Thursday, February 18 at 5 p.m. PT.

FoodBytes Brooklyn is expected to draw over 300 attendees and tickets to attend the event can also be purchased via the FoodBytes website.

"SF New Tech is incredibly excited to help shine a light on new strides in food innovation with our third edition of FoodBytes. Brooklyn will be the place to learn about and see the future when it comes to the world of food, agribusiness, and beverages. FoodBytes gives companies an opportunity to show their latest and greatest innovations to a room full of highly interested attendees who'll be able to ask them serious questions. The conversation about the evolution of food and agribusiness starts with FoodBytes” says Myles Weissleder, founder of SF New Tech.

"Together with Rabobank and SF New Tech, Food+Tech Connect is thrilled to bring together our communities of investors, industry leaders, and disruptive startups at FoodBytes Brooklyn. Our goal is to help the most promising innovations succeed, and FoodBytes is a powerful platform for making that happen," says Danielle Gould, founder and CEO, Food+Tech Connect.

Attendees at FoodBytes Brooklyn will have the opportunity to vote for the startup that should win the People’s Choice Award. Voting will take place at the end of the event and the startup with the highest ranking will be crowned the FoodBytes Brooklyn People’s Choice Award winner and will receive a logo to display in its marketing materials. The winner and potential runners-up will also be invited to attend Rabobank’s premier invitation-only Client Appreciation Events in December 2016 in New York City, which attracts C-suite representation from more than 300 of North America’s leading food, beverage, and agribusiness companies.

Previous FoodBytes People’s Choice Award winners and runners-up include:

  • Back to the Roots: a startup specializing in "ready-to-grow" and "ready-to-eat" products
  • Patrick’s Fine Sodas: a beverage startup specializing in healthy, probiotic sodas
  • Tiny Farms: a platform for the production and distribution of insects as commodity agricultural products
  • AGERPoint: developing industry-leading technologies that redefine data acquisition, analysis, and translation for growers of fruit-bearing trees and vines
  • MycoTechnology: created a food-processing platform that uses gourmet fungi to transform agricultural products taste, value, and nutritional characteristics

According to Dow Jones VentureSource, food- and beverage-related startups attracted $1.1 billion in venture capital worldwide in the first half of 2014. In all of 2013, the industry saw $1.59 billion in venture funding, which constitutes a 39 percent increase from the $1.14 billion the industry saw in 2012.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations predicts a 60 percent increase in food demand by 2050. According to the Rabobank report Unleashing the Potential of Global F&A, the industry should prepare for that growth by investing in innovation. The report suggested innovations should be focused in two areas: research and development and business models.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.

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