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Food and Agriculture Startups Address Soil Microbiome, Edible Algae Innovations, Farm Labor Shortages at Rabobank's FoodBytes! San Francisco

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Next-generation pitch competition announces 20 startups selected to participate in 11th event

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Rabobank announces the 20 startups to pitch at FoodBytes! San Francisco on Thursday, March 1 at The Village. These game-changers are working at the cutting-edge of food innovation; analyzing the soil microbiome to produce food more sustainably, disrupting the fish oil supplement industry with algae, tackling farm labor shortages with fruit-picking robots and more. Part of Rabobank’s Banking for Food vision to feed the world sustainably by 2050, FoodBytes! provides entrepreneurs a safe haven to share ideas as well as connections to Rabobank’s network of clients, mentors and investors to help fuel growth.

“The innovations coming through FoodBytes! are inspiring and helping to solve real challenges in the food and ag industries,” says Stephanie Edgecombe, global brand manager, food marketing, ADM. “We’re pleased to support FoodBytes! and its family of entrepreneurs, who like ADM, share an unbridled passion and commitment to develop groundbreaking new ingredients, technologies and products to serve the growing consumer demand for a greater purpose.”

Over 145 startups applied to pitch from around the world, and selected pitch companies hail from the U.K., Canada, Sweden, France and the United States. The highest ranked startups based on criteria including sustainability, traction and innovation will have 3.5 minutes to pitch. The second highest ranked startups will have 1.5-minutes to pitch. The startups will pitch to an audience of investors, executives, entrepreneurs, media and an expert judging panel including industry leaders Justin Gold, founder, Justin’s; Ashley Koff, CEO, The Better Nutrition Program and Russell Forester, senior vice president, The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.

“The guidance and networking we received from the FoodBytes! community enabled us to accelerate our concept much faster than we would have otherwise,” says Serena Taylor, the chief strategy officer of Evaptainers and People’s Choice Award winner of FoodBytes! San Francisco 2017. “We are so grateful to have been welcomed into the FoodBytes! family and look forward to seeing this year’s startups.”

The 3.5-minute pitch companies are:

Boost Biomes (San Francisco, Calif.) – Addresses critical needs in food abundance and food security. The company is generating new, safe and effective biopreservatives to reduce waste and biopesticides to increase crop yield. Biome Makers (San Francisco, Calif.) – Smart microbial discovery company specialized in DNA sequencing, bioinformatics, and machine learning tech targeting sustainable and more

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