The WFF Startup Innovation Awards, powered by Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) are a global startup competition established to support and showcase innovators and entrepreneurs who are harnessing the power of technology to drive the sustainable transformation of agrifood systems in support of ending global hunger and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Made possible through a strategic partnership with XTC, the world’s largest startup competition for entrepreneurs addressing global challenges, these awards aim to elevate the next generation of entrepreneurs who are creating new technologies and innovations to benefit our planet and the agrifood systems we need to thrive.
Agrifood systems specialists, innovators and entrepreneurs from around the globe have volunteered to become experts and judges for the WFF Startup Innovation Awards.
Technological and digital innovation will play a critical role in the future of our food. To address the unprecedented challenges facing our agrifood systems, we need to find new, actionable, innovative and inclusive solutions. We also need to ensure that these solutions take into account the complex, interrelated nature of global agrifood systems.
Beth Bechdol, Deputy Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), spoke in her keynote address on the links between climate change, healthy diets and the conservation, sustainable use and restoration of natural resources. She highlighted the urgent need for game-changing entrepreneurship and stressed the power of young entrepreneurs and innovators to tackle global challenges. “We believe that innovations can come from anywhere and anyone… all you need is an idea, passion, and tenacity to make this real change happen. And I truly believe that the best of our future innovations will come from young people.“
The WFF Startup Innovation Awards are seeking to identify, elevate and accelerate the growth of startups who show the greatest potential for a positive impact in transforming agrifood systems, aligned to one of four categories: better production, better nutrition, better environment and better life. Additionally, this year, the competition will also have a special award around how the innovation in each of the categories will contribute to the interconnected issues of the 2022 World Food Forum theme, “Healthy Diets. Healthy Planet.”
The Startup Innovation Awards provide finalist and award winners the potential for global visibility, the ability to raise capital, network with global entities (governments, United Nations agencies, corporations, VCs, partners), and gain the mentorship opportunities they need to pioneer technological breakthroughs and help power a sustainable future for our food.
The WFF Startup Innovation Awards will launch a separate call in June 2022, as well as pull from entrants in the 2022 Extreme Tech Challenge. The competition is open to companies whose work impacts an element of agrifood systems: production, aggregation, processing, distribution, consumption and disposal of food products that originate from agriculture, forestry or fisheries, and parts of the broader economic, societal and natural environments in which they are embedded.
Phase I: Launch
2 June 2022: Launch of the WFF Startup Innovation Awards, powered by XTC.
Phase II: The WFF-XTC Startup Cup
July – October, 2022; the WFF selection team will narrow down the list of entrants to an initial group of shortlisted startups to be highlighted on the WFF website and participate in the September semi-finals. The eight finalist startups across the four betters will then give their pitches to the panel of judges in a session during the World Food Forum flagship event in October, with the final award for each of the categories of the “four betters” in relation to the 2022 theme: “Healthy Diets. Healthy Planet.”, as well as one overall winner, the WFF Startup Award Innovator of the Year, to be delivered in the WFF Innovation Award Ceremony.
Last year’s winners:
Source: World Food Forum