Startup Innovation Challenge

Startup Innovation Challenge

The most exciting innovations are coming from small startups who are largely unknown to the wider industry.

Now in its third year, the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge 2018 will give startups the opportunity to pitch their idea to the whole host of F&B industry players that make up the show’s 500+ exhibitors and 10,000+ attendees.  

The shortlisted startups will pitch live at the Industry Insights Theatre on Tuesday 27 November 2018. The winners will receive their award following the live pitches.

This year’s categories are:

  • Most Innovative Healthy Food or Beverage Ingredient
  • Most Innovative Plant-Based Finished Product
  • Most Innovative Technology or Service Supporting F&B 

All winners will receive one-to-one mentoring from one of the Advisory Board members of the Startup Innovation Challenge. The winners can select which Advisory Board member is most relevant to them.

In addition, each winner can select one of the following prizes:


A fully equipped exhibition booth (9m2) at either Fi Europe 2019 or Hi Europe 2020
Have a  dedicated space to promote your product and connect with key players in the industry at one of Europe’s biggest trade shows for the global F&B industry.


A digital marketing package in conjunction with ingredients Network
This includes a profile on the ingredients Network directory, the leading product and supplier search engine in the food ingredients industry, plus unique articles and interviews on your company to be shared via the ingredients Network Newsletter. Reach over 150,000 people, and generate quality leads for your business.


Access to ‘Conciergerie’ by Presans
Conciergerie by Presans enables you to engage on-demand with top level experts for industrial innovation. Our Fellows (ex-R&D Directors/CTOs of large-size companies) identify worldwide experts related to your innovation, science and technology questions. Within a couple of days Presans organizes phone call discussions between selected experts and you. The winner of this prize will get the opportunity to raise a question on the Conciergerie platform and to get in contact with worldwide experts .


Deep-dive session with Wageningen University & Research
Receive a tailored session with relevant researchers from Wageningen University & Research, the No.1 food & agri university worldwide. Get advice on your technology/product from a leading industry expert in the relevant field. Receive feedback on your proposition in order to make it ready for the market.


Special offer for V-Label licensing
Benefit from a special discount when you check and register your innovations with the V-Label - the internationally recognized quality seal for the labelling of vegan and vegetarian products. Register your first 5 products for free (no check fee). Additionally there will be no annual fee up to a total turnover of 50000 €. Above you will profit from our special start-up prices to obtain transparency and clarity for your products.

More prizes to be added soon…

The application process is now open. To apply, simply complete the online form before Sunday 30 September 2018.

To enter, you must be available to pitch in person on both Monday 26 November and Tuesday 27 November in Frankfurt, Germany.
The winners will receive their prize following the live pitches on Tuesday 27 November at Messe Frankfurt.

  • The startup should be no older than 5 years
  • The startup must have a clear business plan and a developed concept at the very least, prototypes or the final product are preferred
  • The product or service needs to be truly novel
  • The product or service must have a specific health benefit or support health in some way

If you have any questions please contact Sophie Clark, Senior Content Producer at Fi Global, [email protected]

The Kitchen Hub
Five Seasons Ventures
Alver Golden Chlorella

Alver Golden Chlorella: The winner of Startup Award for the Best Natural Ingredient

Main activity

Alver Golden Chlorella S.A. is a new Swiss company that is addressing the growing demand for tasty low impact, high protein foods by developing a range of healthy, tasty and sustainable foods with the micro-algae Golden Chlorella TM. The problem is that there is a growing need for non-animal proteins&utrient-rich foods. Algae is an ideal solution but has previously been limited due to taste and colour. Alver Golden Chlorella is the solution, as it is neutral in taste a nd is yellow making it possible for us to develop a range of finished protein-rich foods without having to change consumers tastes nor mask the taste. Golden Chlorella has a protein content of 63%, compared to just 23% for meat, and is rich in potassium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin B. Moreover, the fermentation process to produce Golden Chlorella is sustainable. It requires 44 times less water and 41 times less arable land than the equivalent production of beef protein — and emits 36 times less CO2.

Leadership team

  • Mine Uran
  • Majbritt Byskov-Bridges


Chromologics: The winner of Startup Award for the Best Innovation

Main activity

Chromologics is a spin-off from the Technical University of Denmark. Its flagship product is a novel red compound called ChromoRed, which is intended to meet the industry challenge for a natural red pigment from a sustainable, non-insect source, that is pH and heat stable, and not subject to price fluctuations. ChromoRed is a tasteless alternative for use in solid foods. Chromologics makes its pigments in fermented fungi in a bioreactor, which takes agricultural products out of the equation. The fungus naturally makes a lot of red colours, but it also makes purple, orange and blue colours in much lower quantities.

Leadership team

  • Gerit Tolborg, CEO
Greenfood 50

Greenfood 50: The winner of Startup Award for Best Natural Ingredient

Main activity

GreenFood50 develops, manufactures and sells ingredients based on saponin-free quinoa. The
company works closely with Wageningen UR and other leading international organizations.
GreenFood50’s quinoa ingredients are rich in protein, dietary fiber and Omega 6/9 fatty acid, and
are gluten-free. These ingredients increase the nutritional value of the products they are
incorporated in and fit in with the current ‘free from’ trend.
These quinoa ingredients are applied in bakery products, salads, pastas, sauces, beverages, sports
nutrition, healthy bars, snacks, vegetarian and gluten free products.
GreenFood50 is a dynamic fast growing company.


In co-operation with Wageningen University & Research, GreenFood50 has developed a
comprehensive range of quinoa ingredients: Quinoa seeds, Quinoa flours, Quinoa puffs
Quinoa crisps, Quinoa flakes, Quinoa precooked, Quinoa proteins, Quinoa starches, Quinoa
GreenFood50 quinoa ingredients have unique benefits:

  • Excellent taste and smell
  • Highly nutritious with proteins, dietary fibres, omega-6/9 fatty acids, vitamins & minerals
  • Gluten-free
  • Low glycemic index
  • No additives and no preservatives
  • Sustainable EU production.

Leadership team

  • Marc ARTS, CEO
3F bio

3F Bio: The winner of Startup Award for Best Innovation

Main activity

Integrated fermentation of protein


3f bio’s vision is to address global needs for sustainable protein, and the business objective is to
commercialise a novel and patented technology for large-scale integrated production of Food,
Fuel and Feed. 3f bio’s technology combines an established process for manufacturing
mycoprotein as a zero-waste integrated process within a biorefinery. This has a proven market
and is relevant and competitive in the $850bn global market for animal protein.
Mycoprotein is the protein component in Quorn™, which is the branded global market leader in
the expanding $3.8bn meat-free market sector. Mycoprotein was originally developed by RHM
and ICI in the 1970’s and was the ‘victor’ in the search for a high-quality meat alternative. To
date, it has solely been commercialised under the TM Quorn, due to a combined barrier to entry
of high capital costs, and a patent which expired in 2010. The 3f process will revolutionize the
production and capital economics whilst delivering an exceptional sustainability profile. The
standard mycoprotein fermentation process produces excess sugar, waste protein and effluent,
but the novel process of integrating this within a biorefinery transforms the cost of mycoprotein
by utilising lower feedstock and reduced energy costs. This produces lower cost alongside an
exceptional sustainability and carbon intensity profile.
3f's business model is to develop this with globally recognised partners with expertise and
interest technology implementation, biorefining and a global food/ingredient partner and
discussions are advanced in each area. 3fbio’s technology will halve the cost of mycoprotein
production making it substantially cheaper than the lowest cost meats, moving it from being a
premium vegetarian option to a mainstream low cost source of sustainable protein for global

Leadership team

  • Jim LAIRD, CEO