Before you raise money to expand your food startup, you will probably want to bootstrap the company for as long as possible. That means finding customers, generating cash as soon as possible, and keeping overhead costs low while you test product-market fit.
Pitch competitions (and grants and other entrepreneurial competitions) can be very helpful to early-stage companies. Potentially more valuable than the money you might earn will be the feedback that you receive on your business model and the visibility you stand to gain from pitching your business to a crowd of strangers.
Many competitions are either regionally focused or industry focused. Connect with your local Small Business Administration office and regional development offices to see if you qualify for any competitions that don’t appear on this list below of food and agriculture startup pitch competitions.
|AGreen Startup Competition||competition for very early-stage ag startups, located in France, sponsored by SIVAL|
|Angel Challenge||pitch competition for Norwegian companies|
|Electrolux Ideas Lab||competition with a focus on homecooking|
|Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge||competition for American food and ag startups|
|Fish 2.0||seafood focused, Asian and New England focused tracks|
|Food+City||urban food systems|
|Food Funded||entrepreneurship and investor fair|
|FoodBytes||pitch competitions in food and ag in multiple US cities|
|Foodpreneur 2017||national competition for British food and beverage companies|
|FoodTech FastTrack Silicon Valley||put on by Startupbootcamp; accepts 10 companies|
|Forward Food Competition||Sponsored by Campbells and General Mills|
|Future Agro Competition||Global Competition in Food, Agtech and Agriculture|
|Future Food Tech SF||networking event|
|Lemelson-MIT Student Prize||one prize category is food; geared toward college students|
|Maine Innovation Challenge||Maine focused|
|Pitchfest||part of the Food + Enterprise Summit|
|Rabobank-MIT Food & Agribusiness Innovation Prize||geared toward college and grad students|
|SXSW Eco Conference||sStartup showcase and competition as part of South By Southwest,|
|Thought For Food||international startup competition, takes place in a different city every year|