• EIT Food Entrepreneurship Prize Pitch Day

    Tuesday, 4th December 2018 @ Forward Fooding's Innovation Hub


  • Agenda

    3.00pm - 3.30pm - Registration & networking

    3.30pm - 4.00pm - Introduction from EIT Food & Forward Fooding

    4.00pm - 5.30pm - The Future of Food - presentations from industry experts:

    #1: Keynote speech: 'The importance of building socially and environmentally-conscious businesses'
    Oliver Bolton, Almond.io

    #2: Keynote speech: 'The state-of-the-art of the FoodTech ecosystem in the UK'
    Sue Nelson, Author FoodTech UK

    #3: Panel discussion: 'What to expect when applying to food and food tech-related accelerators and incubators'
    Stephane Durand, Agri-Food Quest Competence Centre
    Rekha Mehr, GIANT Innovation
    Steven O’Connell, Rebel Bio

    Harriet Symes, Impact Hub

    #4: Panel discussion: 'What it means to run a food business: the entrepreneurs’ perspective'
    Solveiga Pakštaitė, Mimica Lab
    Desiree Parker, Foraging Fox
    Neil Whippey, EatGrub

    5.30pm - 6.00pm Networking break


    6.00pm - 7.15pm EIT Entrepreneurship prize pitching (8 companies - 5min pitch + 2 min Q&A):

    Jury Panel:
    Stephane Durand, Agri-Food Quest Competence Centre
    Chris Fung, Ex-CEO - Crussh at Fit Food & Juice Bars, NED/Board Advisor/Investor
    Rekha Mehr, GIANT Innovation
    Steven O’Connell, Rebel Bio


    7.15pm - Cocktail reception & winners announcement

    9.00pm - Evening ends

    Social media handles:

    WIFI Access:
    Network: Huckletree Guest
    Code: 2xjR39J7JN




  • The Speakers

    Sue Nelson

    CEO - Breakthrough Group, TLA Food Tech Founder

    Sue Nelson is the CEO and Founder of Breakthrough Funding and the presenter of The FoodTalk Radio Show. In her spare time she is a writer of business books. Sue has written extensively for a range of magazines, and been the food writer for Cheshire Life, Lancashire Life and Cumbria Life. She is also author of the Fine Food Lover's Guide with celebrity chef, Simon Rimmer.

    She has appeared on all the major radio and tv news programmes in the UK, having been interviewed by Sir Jimmy Young, Sir Trevor McDonald, John Humphrys, Tony Wilson, Anne Diamond, Nicky Campbell and even Ann Widdecombe and Edwina Currie. She has been a guest on a range of television and radio programmes from The Culture Show to Trisha and The Food Programme to Farming Today. She was once described as "the unthinking man's Carol Vorderman".

    Oliver Bolton

    Founder & CEO - Almond

    12 year in FMCG sector. Founded health drink brands Alibi, What A Melon, FACT and Waterbomb advisory. Founding 2015 UK B Corp cohort. He co-founded VITL, in the med tech space. Co-founder of Liquid Fusion, private label drinks NPD for brands inc. Itsu & Hotel du Chocolat. Recipient of Virgin VOOM award from Richard Branson. He has also advised for Diageo, SAB Miller and Tesco PLC.

    Steven O’Connell

    VC & Ops Lead - RebelBio

    Steven O Connell is the Associate Director & Programme Manager for RebelBio - Programme based VC's for startups backed by SOSV, with $525M in Assets Under Management. Steven is an an experienced & dedicated life science business professional and has helped to build over 40 early-stage biotech companies to date with a focus on both UK, European & American markets. RebelBio has invested in high impact technologies including cell based / clean meat food products, sustainable biomaterials, diagnostics & new drugs / therapies as a result. Over the past 2 years he has built an international community of key players in life sciences to leverage support for the programme as well as act as a bridge between biotech startups, government, corporates & investors, and has facilitated over 50 strategic partnerships across a number of sectors.

    Stephan Durand

    Director - Agri-Food Quest Competence Centre

    Stephane Durand has been working for the agri-food industry in the UK for the last 24 years. After working as a consultant for the Scottish Salmon Association and for Campden BRI in the area of consumer and sensory sciences, he joined HP Foods (part of Danone group then) in Food product development and innovation in the Chinese food category. He has been working for 10 years for Moy Park, one of the largest poultry producer in Ireland and the UK. He held various positions from technical to process development to product development. For the last 4 years, he was heading the area of Innovation and R&D. In 2015, he became the Centre Manager of the newly formed Agri-Food Quest Competence Centre, a membership-based Centre focussing on Research and Innovation project for the Agri-Food businesses of Northern Ireland. The Centre is based at Queen’s University of Belfast within the Institute of Global Food Security and is funded by Invest NI to a level of £5m for 5 years. More recently, he has led the successful bid with QUB for the EIT Food KIC, a large pan-European Competence Centre for the development of entrepreneurs and start-ups, young graduates, new innovations in the area of food and agriculture. The funding is part of Horizon 2020 and will total 400m euros over the next 7 years.

    Rekha Mehr

    Head of UK - GIANT Innovation

    Rekha is a key figure in the Innovation & Entrepreneurship and has worked across Startups, Scaleups, Government, Academia, and Corporates to build a more cohesive and effective eco-system for all. She has helped shape policy to support to early-stage startups and championed peer networks to facilitate growth. She works with large organisations to deliver innovation objectives through Startup engagement and to infuse entrepreneurial culture across the company. Most recently she worked with Just Eat Ventures to shape and deliver their Food Tech accelerator and co-design their Strategic Growth plan. Rekha has founded her own food brand, Pistachio Rose London selling to Fortnum & Mason and formerly worked as a Buyer for Waitrose and Amazon. In 2016, Rekha was awarded a MBE honour by Her Majesty The Queen for services to Enterprise and Entrepreneurship.

    Harriet Symes

    Programmes & Enterprise Advisor - Impact Hub

    Harriet is the Programmes and Enterprise Advisor at Impact Hub King's Cross, coordinating programmes that provide start up and bespoke support to social enterprises. Amongst these, she runs, Feeding the City, a year long ideation programme which enables community-rooted teams to start up sustainable food businesses. Outside of this role, she has founded and continues to run a social enterprise; Thighs of Steel, which fundraises for grassroots refugee organisations, co-founded a fashion business; Merrimaking, and acts as Chair of the Board of Trustees for MASS Action.

    Desiree Parker

    Co-Founder & CEO - The Foraging Fox

    Desiree spent 20 years in the City, first as a lawyer and then in Finance where her roles spanned Global Co-Head of Derivatives and Structured Products and Head of Investment Advisory & Product Distribution. In 2015 she co-founded The Foraging Fox with Frankie Fox and in the last 4 years the business has grown fourfold. The Foraging Fox range of products are now sold in 8 countries including the world's biggest condiments market, North America, as well as certain countries within Europe. The Foraging Fox also has more than 1,250 stockists in the UK including Ocado, Sainsbury's Waitrose and Morrisons. The business has just launched its new Mayo range together with its food service portfolio, which it will be showcasing in New York, California and Germany in the coming year.

    Solveiga Pakštaitė

    Founder & Director at Mimica

    Solveiga is an industrial designer and entrepreneur. She is the inventor of Mimica Touch, a patented biologically accurate food spoilage indicator that reduces food waste and improves food safety. Last year she was named MIT Technology Review's Inventor of the Year.

    Neil Whippey

    Co-founder - Eat Grub

    Neil comes from a background in TV, working on a variety of food programs and was inspired to begin trying new foods after being diagnosed with Crohn's disease. Being highly nutritious and low in complex fats, insects have now been proven to ease symptoms for some sufferers of IBS. After chatting at a party in 2013 Neil and co-founder Shami hatched a plan to break boundaries and shatter Western stigma towards eating insects and EAT GRUB was born.

    Chris Fung

    Ex-CEO - Crussh at Fit Food & Juice Bars, NED/Board Advisor/Investor

    Christopher Fung is the former CEO of Crussh Fit Food & Juice Bars, London’s leading juice, smoothie and healthy eating chain with over 30 sites across the city and now a NED/Board Advisor/Investor in a number of disruptive high-growth potential Food/FoodTech and Ed/EdTech businesses. He has a wide ranging background spanning from working at consulting firm Bain & Co across the Sydney, Stockholm and London offices and having previously studied Manufacturing Engineering and Industrial Design. Having led Crussh for over 13 yrs, Chris is giving back by sharing his experience with the next generation of entrepreneurs and is involved in a number of businesses from Music Tech for restaurants, Healthy pot noodles & Smart Vending machines, to customer engagement tech for hospitality and retail amongst other things!

  • The finalists

    Below are the 8 finalists who will be pitching for EIT Entrepreneurship Prize

    Bio F-Solutions

    Innovative eco-friendly biofertilizers

    Our innovation aims to enhance the sustainability of food production, by minimizing the impact on the environment and climate change: Bio-F Solutions is using microbes to produce eco-friendly biofertilizers. Our microbes grow on sunlight and atmospheric CO 2 to directly provide nitrogen to the plants. Bio-F’s product is far more efficient, both in terms of land use and farm workload, thereby minimizing farmers’ costs and increasing their revenue. Initial experiments show a 242% increase in wheat production, greatly surpassing similar products in the market. Importantly, our product is also vastly more sustainable as it will drastically reduce the spread of fertilizers into wastewater streams, minimizing the effect of destructive environmental damages.


    Sustainable protein feed for aquaculture, livestock and pets

    At BioKind we help the aquaculture sector grow sustainably, by addressing the need for new protein sources to feed farmed fish & amp; shellfish. Aquaculture production in Europe is expected to double by 2030, but the natural resources that are needed to feed these farmed animals are already at breaking point. Our technology allows us to use crop waste, like stems and leaves, to grow protein-rich bacteria. Our bacteria product can replace the current ingredients like fishmeal and soy-concentrate in aquaculture feed.



    Concrete win-win solution against food waste on a supermarket level

    F4A is a concrete win-win solution against food waste on a supermarket level. Not only do our services contribute to the future of our planet, but they also give the opportunity to consumers to act and save money while grocery shopping. We offer daily promotions and inspire our customers with short video-recipes made from the products from our stocks, via our App and website. Thanks to our services, supermarkets better their CSR strategy, make profit out of their losses and increase their consumer traffic within the shops. Consumers have access to a larger panel of products at reduced prices and have an eco-responsible consumption behavior. To push the snowball effect to its maximum, we conduct conferences and workshops to create awareness towards food waste and other sustainable issues. And finally, F4A directly reduces food waste on a supermarket level, thus having a positive impact on our planet. F4A’s services are an added value to the national economy and soon the international ecosystem.

    Make Kit

    Meat-free meals made easy

    Our mission is to help people on low incomes from the most deprived communities who are at risk of or experiencing, diet-related illness to build the confidence, skills and knowledge of how to cook healthy, affordable meals from scratch through our home-based recipe kit cooking courses. Participants collect their recipe kits from convenient collection points in the community. Each kit contains a recipe card and all the pre-measured ingredients needed to cook a healthy meal for themselves and their families. The cooking sessions at-home form the core of the course and are supported by knowledge cards and virtual discussion of nutritional topics that help to develop the confidence of the participant and their understanding of basic nutrition. The programme is based on a number of trials we have run over the last two years in partnership with the NHS, local councils, charities, and children’s centres, distributing over 1000 healthy meals to over 130 participants. We found that compared to traditional cooking courses, a home-based recipe kit course was more accessible to the target group and more effective in ensuring people actually cook healthy food at home, increasing their consumption of 5-a-day and also in developing their knowledge of healthy food and confidence to cook on their own.


    A.I. powered precision agriculture

    ORBEM transforms food systems towards a sustainable future. Our A.I powered digital technology automatically analyzes and classifies biological samples without destroying them, revolutionizing the way we produce food to meet the needs of a rising population. We are currently building the ORBEM Genus, A.I. powered imaging technology that will solve two pressing problems in the poultry industry: the annual wasting of 9 billion infertile eggs and the unnecessary killing of 7 billion 1-day- old male chicks. The Genus combines cutting edge magnetic resonance imaging with advanced deep learning to classify eggs in three: infertile, males, and females. Our novel solution is making a difference with a triple bottom line strategy:

    1) People: We’re introducing billions of eggs into the global food market.

    2) Planet: We’re preventing the killing of billions of 1-day-old male chicks, reducing food waste and energy consumption along the way. 3) Profit: We’re creating new revenue streams, increasing hatchery efficiency, and reducing incubation costs.




    TempEasy innovates the tempeh fermentation process to eradicate malnutrition.

    TempEasy is a foodtech startup that is radically innovating the tempeh fermentation process to eradicate protein-energy malnutrition, a condition that tragically kills 8,000 children every day. By improving the fermentation process that produces tempeh, a 300-year-old high-protein meat-substitute that originated in Indonesia, we can increase its protein content, make it the world’s richest plant-based source of vitamin B12, and produce better tasting and more aesthetically appealing tempeh products. Moreover, we can enrich the protein content of almost any bean, legume, nut, and grain. Hence, by working together with local subsistence food producers, we can enhance their crop to not only help them make a better living but also improve the nutritional health of their communities. At the moment, we produce and sell delicious tempeh-based snacks. Soon, we will produce our own brand of ready-to-cook and ready-to-heat products to help accelerate the world’s transition towards plant-based diets.


    Re-imagining vegetables into food we all love

    VeggiHap; a Rotterdam based craft food company focusing on reimagining and reshaping vegetables into foods we all love. Over 50% veggies inside! The fortification with vegetables turns a simple pasta meal into a nutrient rich and healthy option! Pasta in unique shapes and colours! With vegetables such as carrot, pumpkin, beetroot, spinach and broccoli, our veggie pastas come in multiple short-cut pasta shapes. A Circular Story: reducing food waste by creating tasty and lovable foods with surplus and imperfect (ugly) vegetables directly sourced from farmers across the Netherlands.


    Chips made of surplus bread

    1/3 of Europe's food is wasted (88M tonnes) and thus 1/3 of our resources could be saved. The negative impact on climate, land, water, and biodiversity and its direct global economic costs of $750B annually make it to one of the most pressing challenges of the food system.
    Our solution is a first step towards a circular economy in the baking industry. We use bread which bakeries can't sell due to customer requirements of daily fresh bread and give value to it by making delicious bread chips. Additionally the popularity of savoury snacks makes it a perfect candidate for a food waste campaign. Every package contains facts about food waste, the amount of CO2 saved (= 60 g) per package, and a tip on how to reduce food waste at home since 45% of food waste occurs in private homes. This product campaign combination in itself is innovative in a truly sustainable way.

  • Vote for the 'People's Choice' Award

    The 'People’s Choice Award' will reward the most popular startup with a 3-month mentorship program with Forward Fooding's team.