Entrepreneurs with big, bold ideas are invited to participate in a brand-new competition, the IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge. The competition will culminate at IFT18 in Chicago next July when finalists pitch their innovative ideas to a live audience of judges, mentors, and investors in a bid to win a grand prize of up to $20,000.
The competition is open to entrepreneurs working within the food science and technology space and related areas whose businesses are still early in the development stage. Project Director Jagruti Bhikha, who announced the Food Disruption Challenge on Tuesday at the IFT Central booth, said it was built around the four pillars of IFT’s mission: develop, network, innovate, and advocate.
Online submissions for the Food Disruption Challenge open on January 8, 2018. Semi-finalists will be selected in two stages, and 25 of them will be chosen to move into stage three of the competition. From there, 10 finalists will be selected to participate in a six-week mentoring program, where they will receive guidance from business experts. During IFT18, the finalists will make five-minute pitches to a panel of judges, and one Judge’s Award recipient and one People’s Choice Award recipient will be chosen.
Programs like the IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge are important, Bhikha said, because “the only way to move forward with innovation is to make sure that startup founders are getting all the help they need.”
Visit the IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge's Facebook group to stay up to date with information and recent developments with the competition.