July 21, 2021
Cargill announces latest class of Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator
Cargill and Ecolab have announced on July 19 the latest class of entrepreneurs to join the Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator, a three-month, mentorship-driven programme that engages early-stage entrepreneurs changing the face of the global food system.
The 11 startups in the 2021 Techstars programme are utilising technology to drive innovative solutions in areas such as the future of food retail, food safety and workforce development and management.
The food value chain is one of the last major industries to completely modernise, but the latest technologies are having a major positive impact throughout the food system, said Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator managing director Brett Brohl. "We've seen tremendous industry leadership from our partners Cargill and Ecolab in using technology to drive real business value for themselves and customers, and this year's Farm to Fork startups are poised to do the same."
"Cargill is continuing to invest in technology, both internally and externally — putting the best minds, most innovative people and companies to the task of addressing the biggest challenges facing the food system," said Justin Kershaw, Cargill's chief information officer. "Through our continuing work with the Techstars programme, we're able to bring established, global business resources and reach to the table while motivating fresh thinking that will help us solve urgent and complex food security and sustainability issues."
"Ecolab believes that innovative ideas can come from anyone and anywhere, and our involvement in the Techstars programme is one way that we are helping to advance innovation to benefit the food industry and ultimately, society," said John Guttery, senior vice president of enterprise initiatives for Ecolab. "We look forward to helping these impressive entrepreneurs advance their solutions and enable a more efficient and sustainable food system."
Now in its fourth year, the Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator engages early-stage entrepreneurs seeking to effect positive change across the food system through the improvement of food safety and quality, the use of upcycled materials and the harnessing of research data for the betterment of the industry. The 11 teams in the 2021 class come from across the United States and worldwide, and include the Farm to Fork Accelerator's first two teams from Africa.
Participants receive mentor support from Cargill and Ecolab executives and access to the companies' market expertise and global connections. The Techstars network of successful entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and other partners also work with the selected startups throughout the accelerator programme.
The 2021 Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator roster, comprised of 11 startups from across the globe, brings a diverse and innovative perspective to some of the food and agriculture industry's biggest challenges, with teams focused on providing solutions for a variety of stakeholders along the food value chain from restaurants to farmers and everyone in between. Each of the companies will share progress made during the programme and pitch their companies at a demo day on October 15, 2021.
The class includes some of the following companies:
- 3DIMO; Cape Town, South Africa/San Francisco, California, the United States. 3DIMO is an online marketplace for sale of livestock - vetted using artificial intelligence and precision analytics, direct from farms of any size.
- Caddy; Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Caddy is building the QuickBooks of food safety and traceability.
- Parkday; New York, the United States. Parkday builds sustainable, data-driven food programmes for companies and their people.
UBI Meat Experts; Montreal, Québec, Canada. UBI is building a platform for grading and monitoring the quality of cuts in the meat industry, leveraging AI to reduce food waste and improve food safety.