Kellogg partners with Future Food-Tech on startup challenge

D’Anne Hayman Courtesy Kellogg Company

Kellogg Company and Future Food-Tech are inviting startups with innovative ideas for supporting digestive wellness to apply this week to compete in a pitch challenge that will be held in March.

Battle Creek-based Kellogg Company said Wednesday it is collaborating with Future Food-Tech to launch Innovation Challenge 2021, which will give new talent in the industry a chance to shine in a virtual pitch competition March 11-12.

D’Anne Hayman, vice president of global innovation and nutrition at Kellogg, will judge the finalist entries alongside Simon Burton, managing director of eighteen94 Capital — which Kellogg established in 2016 to invest in companies pursuing next-generation food innovation.

Simon Burton Courtesy Kellogg Company

Applications for the challenge, which can be submitted here, are due Friday.

“Staying healthy is a priority for many of us now like it’s never been before, and we know that good health — whether our own health or the health of our planet — begins with the choices we make about food,” Hayman said. “As the original well-being company and one of the largest plant-based food companies, we’re excited to help make the best ideas out there a reality. No doubt, we’re stronger together than any of us is alone.”

Added Burton: “We have a passion for identifying and investing in great ideas. We’re thrilled about the opportunity to seek out technologically oriented, creative solutions for improving the health of the microbiome and to help bring them to life.”

Challenge and submission details

Research in recent years has provided a better understanding of the gut’s impact on mental and physical well-being. New plant fibers, valorized fibers from waste streams, prebiotics, postbiotics, fermented ingredients and new non-spore food stable probiotics all have the potential to improve digestive wellness, and thus, mental and physical well-being, Kellogg said.

The applicants’ challenge will be to develop a new microbiome-based solution that improves gut wellness.

The Innovation Challenge 2021 will be hosted at the virtual Future Food-Tech summit, which is one of the biggest innovation conferences of the year. Innovators, global food brands, ingredient providers and investors will come together virtually to grow ideas from concept to reality.

Kellogg is looking for startups to apply their entrepreneurial and scientific skills to show how their technology could help solve the problem and deliver tangible value to consumers.

The judges and Future Food-Tech team will select the most innovative and impactful ideas to move into the live pitch round.

Selected finalists will pitch their solution to the judges and global audience at 12:40 p.m. Pacific Time/3:40 p.m. Eastern Time March 11 during the live-streamed virtual Future Food-Tech Summit. Registration is online.

The judges will select a winner and determine the most appropriate way to work together, depending on where the winning startup is in its innovation journey.

More information about the challenge is here.

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