By Brett Brohl, Managing Director of the Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator
2020 has been a….unique… year. We began this year’s journey looking for the best food tech founders in the world like we did for our prior two classes of the Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator in partnership with Cargill and Ecolab. We organized trips to meet founders across the globe to Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Boston, Chicago, and then travel shut down.
Travel restrictions are just one example of how COVID-19 has impacted the world. It has also exposed and escalated many challenges facing the food supply chain; it’s heavy reliance on labor that is increasingly more difficult to find, a supply chain that lacks unification and digitization, and ensuring food is made safely, to name just a few. These challenges forced the hands of enterprises and entrepreneurs to innovate and adopt new technology. Industry-wide there was acceleration and a unique sense of urgency to do more faster with fewer resources. From restaurants to the largest food enterprises in the world, there has already been a tremendous shift in the way companies do business.
The food system has changed more in the last six months than it has over the entirety of the five years I have been investing in the space. Alongside our partners at Cargill and Ecolab, we are excited about the opportunities in front of this year’s class and the potential for tremendous outcomes as we all work together to take on many of these challenges. From robotics and AI to supply chain and food and water quality. This year’s class of companies have teams from all over the world, including Hong Kong, India, Canada, UK, and the United States. This global perspective and diversity of backgrounds adds to the potential to bring change to some of food’s biggest challenges.
2020 has changed the food system forever. It has accelerated some trends that were in their infancy, created new trends and has shed light on the tremendous opportunity that exists in the food system for entrepreneurs. We are excited to announce the 2020 Techstars Farm to Fork class. This group of amazing founders are tackling some of the largest challenges in the food system.
AgTools is a real-time data and intelligence platform that provides transparency to the global food & ag industry.
St. Louis, MO
Automated environmental health & safety for mining and metals manufacturing using real-time data.
Boson Motors designs and manufactures certified light-duty electric vehicle powertrains and an Android-based vehicle operating system.
Canomiks is a genomics, bioinformatics and AI-based Product Superiority Platform (PSupP) for the functional food, beverage, dietary supplement and skincare industry to make safe and efficacious products.
An online marketplace for the animal feed industry.
A proactive contaminant management system for industrial water quality.
Empowering poultry farmers to make better and safer production decisions through AI and robotics.
IXON Food Technology specializes in advanced sous-vide aseptic packaging (ASAP) that allows protein to remain stable at room temperature for up to twp years.
Milk Moovement is transforming the traditional dairy supply chain by bringing all stakeholders onto its collaborative, cloud-based software.
West Bengal, India
A digital marketplace for machinery, tools & equipment that solves operational inefficiencies for farm & food businesses in India.