Update (4/29/2022): On Wednesday night, the winners of this year's Rabobank - MIT Food and Agribusiness Innovation Prize were announced. The first-place prize of $20,000 was awarded to Electric Rehri from Harvard University. The second-place prize of $10,000 was awarded to Rugged Bio from Stanford University. Congratulations to the winners!
Now in its seventh year, the Rabobank - MIT Food and Agribusiness Innovation Prize, sponsored by Rabobank and supported by J-WAFS and the MIT Food and Agriculture Club, is a business plan and pitch competition for university and graduate students developing new products or technologies to improve sustainability in our food system.
The finalist teams were chosen earlier this year and were paired with industry mentors to further develop their ideas. During the final pitch event on April 27th, the finalists will present their business plans and compete to win $30,000 in total prize money in addition to invaluable mentorship and networking opportunities to help expand their businesses.
Meet the finalists
The six finalist teams cover a wide range of approaches to enact positive changes within our food system, from increasing access to fresh produce with electric vehicles to using an AI/ML-based recognition model to help farmers detect plant infestation and disease. While each team’s approach is vastly different from the next, the finalists share a common goal of improving the entire food value chain.
Axo (University of Chicago): A digital platform that bridges the gap between packaged-food companies and regenerative farmers by verifying and connecting them to food companies while increasing transparency throughout a more resilient supply chain.
Berman Foods (Rice University): A company that crafts artisanal cheeses and spreads from nourishing plant-based ingredients.
Electric Rehri (Harvard University): A service that upgrades street carts in Indian cities to affordable and modular electric vehicles for efficient door-to-door delivery of fresh produce.
Future Farm, Inc. (Harvard University): An organization that develops technology tools for small or community-based agriculture to automate and grow food sustainably in traditional or controlled environment production systems.
Growr (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): A smartphone solution that uses an AI/ML-based image recognition model to help farmers detect plant infestation and disease and recommend control measures.
Rugged Bio (Stanford University): A next-generation microbial engineering platform catalyzing bioproduction.
The final pitch night takes place on April 27th when finalists will pitch to compete for prize money and invaluable mentorship and networking opportunities to help expand their businesses.
Learn more about the final pitch night here.