NEW YORK, April 14, 2020 – Food-X, the pioneering and most active food innovation accelerator in the world, today revealed its first-ever virtual cohort of startups.
Among the eight cutting edge companies are a SaaS platform bolstering business for traditional restaurants and ghost kitchens; a disruptor modernizing the antiquated dairy supply chain; a plant-based pet nutrition company; and a first-of-its-kind marketplace for discovering ingredients and commodities.
For Cohort 11, Food-X reviewed nearly 500 applications from 56 countries before deciding upon eight ventures from seven countries – Belgium, Canada, Denmark, India, Mexico, Costa Rica and the U.S., making it the accelerator’s most geographically diverse group in its history.
Fifty percent of Cohort 11 companies are led or co-led by a female, well above industry average. According to Pitchbook, U.S. companies founded by a female or founded by mixed-gender teams garnered 11.5% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups in 2019. In fact, for all the ventures Food-X has invested in through Cohort 11, 57% of the companies have had a female founder or co-founder.
“Since Food-X’s inception, we’ve supported the startups that are supporting our food systems – and their importance has been greatly magnified by recent events,” said Peter Bodenheimer, Managing Director and Partner, Food-X. “Now, more than ever, we must shepherd the next generation of founders committed to a responsible, sustainable and healthy food future through a radically changed landscape.”
In recent years, Food-X has doubled down on its mission to scale change throughout the food system by investing in early-stage entrepreneurs that aim to solve the biggest global food challenges, namely the transformation of food commerce, the modernization of the supply chain, and the intersection of food and medicine.
“Our mission has never been more important amidst a pandemic that’s testing and straining the global food system. Traditional food commerce has been forced to embrace digital technologies for the sake of survival. While there may be a minimal supply shock in availability, there’s a growing need for transparency and traceability, as well as an increased impact on transportation and logistics. And the heightened interest to boost immune systems further underscores the importance of the burgeoning food as medicine movement,” continued Bodenheimer.
Cohort 11 includes the following:
- Bramble: A fresh, 100% plant-based pet food company that aims to consciously boost your pet’s diet.
- Ester: A startup harnessing science and AI to develop hyper-personalized customer flavor profiles for retailers of beer and wine.
- Fieldcraft: The first B2B marketplace for commodities and ingredients built to simplify sourcing from growers to manufacturers.
- Living Food Company: A managed consumer marketplace offering access to fresh, clean and delicious food made by world-class farmers, bakers, brewers and other food artisans.
- Milk Moovement: A startup that is providing actionable intelligence across the dairy supply chain through its cloud-based software.
- Nature Preserve: A sustainable food tech brand that is upcycling produce to minimize waste and maximize health via a proprietary food preservation process. First up: Lovi Smoothies, a natural plant-based mix packed with nutrients for use in smoothies, shakes, baking, and beyond.
- Rambuhealth: A venture leveraging the antioxidant-dense shell of Rambutan for heightened health benefits, which can be found in their food bars, supplements and ingredient offerings.
- remotekitchen: A unified platform to empower restaurants to run, manage and grow their business effectively.
Food-X provides an intensive 3.5-month program designed to empower the next generation of food innovators. The accelerator program helps these nascent companies grow quickly and reach their full potential via financial and human capital investments that span startup capital, expert mentorship, and access to a global network of thought leaders, as well as a growing Food-X Alumni community.
In lieu of a capstone event, such as a Demo Day, the program is looking into an alternative manner in which the startups can cogently present their high-growth businesses to angel investors and venture capital funds.
Food-X’s involvement with the cohort doesn’t end after the startups “graduate” from the program. The accelerator continues its long-term relationship with the ventures, providing follow-on investment and ongoing guidance.
The accelerator has worked with 94 young companies over the last six years. In total, Food-X has invested more than $6.5 million in startups through its accelerator program, such as Halla, Uplift Food, Bizzy Coffee, Simply Good Jars, and Abbot’s Butcher, who have gone on to raise an additional $40 million.
The accelerator is currently accepting applications for its twelfth cohort, which kicks off in the fall of 2020. Interested food entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply online at www.sosv.com/apply/food-x/.
Founded in 2014, based in New York and twice recognized by Fast Company as one of the world’s top 10 most innovative companies in the food category, Food-X is the first and most active food innovation accelerator in the world. With a mission to scale change throughout the food system, the accelerator empowers early stage food companies across the supply chain, from agtech through direct-to-consumer brands, to bring their products and services to market at speed. Food-X is powered by SOSV, a global venture capital fund with over $700 million in assets under management and a staff of more than 100 people operating world-class vertical accelerator programs. For more, please visit www.food-x.com. Follow the conversation on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. #FoodX
Ray Yeung | Nancy Zakhary