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Innovative New Zealand food and agribusiness start-ups and fledgling ventures will have the opportunity to showcase themselves to potential investors at an international event to be held in November.  

The FoodBytes! event will be staged as part of the international Farm2Fork Summit, focusing on future innovation in food and agriculture, to be held in Sydney, Australia, on Thursday, November 3.    

Originally launched in the US in 2015, FoodBytes! is designed to find the most innovative and ground-breaking concepts in food and agriculture and pair that creativity with the capital needed to bring them to market.  
This will be the first FoodBytes! event held outside the US and will be open to applicants internationally, with applications being sought from New Zealand.  

Rabobank head of Sustainable Business Development Marc Oostdijk said FoodBytes! was keen to spotlight New Zealand companies or individuals with innovative concepts which could be brought to market in the food and agricultural industries.    
“New Zealand is internationally recognised as a clever and agile nation when it comes to innovation and technology in industry and indeed in many areas of life, so we are confident there will be food and agri starts-up who could be ideal candidates for inclusion in FoodBytes!.  
“FoodBytes! is designed to showcase the entrepreneurs that are building the next generation of food and agribusiness-related companies, who are innovating and disrupting the food chain with ground-breaking ideas in food, agribusiness and technology.  We are focused on uncovering innovation and technology whether it be anywhere from local kitchens to university laboratories.   
“These companies and individuals are responding to an industry and sector that is constantly changing to adapt to consumer preferences and to be more sustainable – which is critical for the future.”  

Successful applicants will be invited to attend Rabobank’s Farm2Fork Summit in Sydney to demonstrate their concepts to potential investors, key industry influencers, media and agribusiness professionals.  
A judging panel will assess each concept based on a set of criteria, with a select number of applicants being invited to deliver a short pitch presentation on the main summit stage.  
“This will provide the opportunity for investors looking to finance the next break-through idea to meet new and innovative companies which are ‘disrupting’ across the food chain – in everything from food-related software and applications to distribution, manufacturing and production,” says Oostdijk.  
A FoodBytes! Sydney Judges’ Choice and a People’s Choice award will be announced following the presentations.    

Applications to participate in FoodBytes! can be made by ‘applying to demo’ at, closing on Monday, October 10, 2016.  

Oostdijk says as an international food and agribusiness bank focused on helping to address the world’s food challenges, Rabobank founded FoodBytes! with the goal of joining innovative start-up ventures together with the capital and guidance needed to bring these ideas to market.  
“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, and it is exciting to be involved in the future of the food and agribusiness landscape with initiatives such as FoodBytes!,” he says.  

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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