Food-X: Changing the Future of Food

Food-X: Changing the Future of Food
From, by Rocco Pallin

Food-X has begun work with its fourth and latest cohort of startups, each aiming to bring innovation to the food sector. Ten early-stage companies from all parts of the supply chain—agriculture to packaged consumer goods—have received the three-and-a-half-month Food-X mentorship with experts and advisors that culminated in Food-X Demo Day on June 2 in New York City. Additionally, the chosen startups received US$50,000, networking opportunities, and media exposure, all in exchange for seven percent equity.

Founder Shen Tong, also the Founder and Managing Partner of Food Future, explains that Food-X accelerates the startup process “to empower the little guys in food to make big changes to the way we eat.” Cohorts I, II, and III have collectively graduated 23 food and agriculture startups since 2014.

A diverse group of ten companies designed to “affect positive change and disruption in the food system, particularly around healthful eating and sustainable farming and distribution,” made it through the comprehensive Food-X application process to become a part of Cohort IV. According to Tong, who recently spoke at the Food Tank Summit in Washington, D.C., it’s all about fulfilling the demand for “tasty, accessible, affordable, healthy, local, and sustainable food.” Check out the Cohort IV graduates, below, and watch for the announcement of the next cohort's members coming soon!

Barley + Oats: This New York City-based meal delivery service is all about moms. With its “Motherfood”—“nutritionally sound and balanced superfood that has a specific function for prenatal, postnatal, and the long term health of your offspring”—Barley & Oats offers subscription meal services to expecting and new moms, all free of GMOs, synthetics, additives, trans fats, preservatives, and refined sugars, and all focused on delivering the right amounts of the right nutrients for maternal and child health and development.

Bite: Bite is a digital menu platform for restaurants aiming to cut costs, improve customer service, and speed up table turnover. Bite develops completely customized menus, provides the hardware—i.e. tablets and iPad minis—and educates the restaurant on browsing and ordering data.

Eattiamo: Eattiamo connects producers of authentic Italian foods with international customers through a digital network and manages pricing, payment, and shipping. Based in La Spezia, Italy, Eattiamo provides an online store interface where customers can purchase a variety of delicacies from authentic Italian producers, complete with producer bios and other info. Eattiamo’s “Special Boxes” allow customers to buy complete offerings like a “Real Portofino Dinner” or “Real Italian Appetizers.”

FreshSurety: Bringing innovation to supply chain management, FreshSurety provides low-cost radio-frequency sensors that measure “temperature, humidity, and metabolites associated with ripeness, decay, and mold” in produce cartons. FreshSurety hopes to replace visual produce inspection with big data for improved inventory management.

Lotus Scoop: Brooklyn-based Lotus Scoop Ice Cream sells small-batch, craft ice cream in unique flavors. Flavor collections include Artisan, Caribbean, Latin American, and Southern, all made from local dairy and fresh fruits and vegetables. Through a partnership with Uber, they even offer delivery.

Molli: Named for the Aztec word for “concoction,” Mölli produces and sells traditional Mexican sauces and marinades made from “only real ingredients.” Recipes accompany the sauces allowing for complete and authentic Mexican meals. Already in stores in Texas, Molli also takes online orders.

Plasma Nutrition: Plasma Nutrition’s MotoPro Protein uses atmospheric plasma science to create a protein powder that is more absorbable and digestible. The whey component of the protein powder is grass-fed and non-GMO, and the powder is free of artificial flavors or sweeteners.

ProTings: ProTings are vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free high-protein chips made from pea protein, flaxseed, and sunflower oil. They’re highly digestible and contain essential amino acids and vitamins. The ProTings co-founders hope to bring on a new wave of “protein snacking.”

The Saucey Sauce Co.: Based on Vietnamese family recipes, brother and sister co-founders of Saucey Sauce develop and sell fat-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free sauces from all-natural ingredients. The duo also provides recipes for their sauces on their website.

Wine Sherpa: Co-founded by the owner of CoolVines, Wine Sherpa is a mobile platform designed to “do the heavy lifting” on your wine adventure. After signing up and listing preferences, Wine Sherpa selects and delivers wine, and tweaks customers’ preferences continually based on their reviews of previous selections.

Food innovating startups fitting the bill to #AccelerateFood should check out the application for Food-X Cohort V, due June 30.

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