Rabobank brings FoodBytes to Brooklyn

Source: Rabobank

Rabobank, the world's premier food & agribusiness bank, is proud to announce that the next FoodBytes! will be held in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Thursday, March 3, 2016 at The Hall at MP.

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,” said Manuel Gonzalez, Head Western Region, Rabobank North America Wholesale.

Said Rajiv Singh, CEO, Rabobank North America Wholesale, “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 ten 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.

Call for Demos Underway

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 5pm 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!” said Myles Weissleder, Founder, 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," said Danielle Gould, Founder & CEO, Food+Tech Connect.

FoodBytes! Brooklyn People’s Choice Award

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 over 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.

Trends in Food & Technology

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% increase from the $1.14 billion the industry saw in 2012.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations predicts a 60% 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.

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