Food+City Caps Off Second Annual Food Challenge Prize Competition with Cash and Prizes for Food Innovation Startups

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              Contact: Lisa O’Neill

February 9, 2016                                                                                      Newton O’Neill Communications


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Food+City Caps Off Second Annual Food Challenge Prize Competition with Cash and Prizes for Food Innovation Startups


Gold Prize of $30,000 Awarded to True Made Foods. Four Silver Prizes Awarded to International Group of Finalist Teams


(AUSTIN, Texas) —This Saturday, Feb. 6thFood+City awarded $50,000 in cash prizes and numerous business services to the top five winners at the 2016 Food+City Challenge Prize, a startup competition created to ignite and support food system entrepreneurs. Out of an original pool of 170 applicants, 20 finalists from around the world were invited to Austin to present their innovative concepts at Showcase Day on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. More than 700 people attended the day-long event. 


A panel of distinguished judges — representing diverse industries such as business, entrepreneurship, engineering and culinary arts — selected the following winners: 


Gold Prize: $30,000 in cash funding, scholarships for two team members to participate in the Food Business School’s (FBS) Food Venture Lab, and a variety of other prizes (from sponsors, Barnraiser and MWR Legal) were awarded to True Made Foods, a New York City-based startup that produces vegetable-based, lower-sugar condiments, like ketchup and barbecue sauce. 


Four Silver Prizes consisting of $5,000 of cash funding and business tools and services were awarded to:  


·       The Food Corridor, a startup based in Colorado that offers an online marketplace for food entrepreneurs to find commercialkitchen space 

·       Agruppa, a service in Bogotá, Colombia, that leverages technology to empower small foods vendors in low-income neighborhoods by providing them with fruits and vegetables at wholesale prices

·       Garbage to Garden, a market-based curbside composting company out of Portland, ME

·       Real Food Solutions, a Boston-based companythat uses existing clinical research to create food-based remedies for everyday ailments, including nausea


The People’s Choice Winner, chosen by more than 6,000 people who participated in both online and onsite voting, was Regrub, a waste management solution that utilizes the natural life cycle of the soldier fly to turn food waste into fertilizer or feed. The founders, who are freshmen at Texas A&M University, received a $250 credit from, conciergecampaign services from Barnraiser, as well as enrollment in an online course at the Food Business School.


“This was a tremendous day filled with enthusiasm and often wonder from our finalists, sponsors and judges to the participants who weresimply curious about the latest in food business trends,” said Food+City founder and executive director, Dr. Robyn Metcalfe. “These teams worked hard and many came thousands of miles to be part of this celebration of improvements in our global food system.”


The top ten finalists, including those already mentioned,were St. Louis Metro Market, Steak TzarTzar, Tastegraphy and Tree Adoption Uganda. Aside from the main prizes, some finalists were publicly recognized at the Showcase Day and received a certificate from the University of Texas’Department of Nutritional Sciences, calling out their focus on important nutritional topics like healthy eating and sustainability. 


In addition to the finalist demonstrations, fast-pitch process and awards, Allison Waddell, Food and Culinary Director for Barnraiser, hosted a panel with three of last year’s Food+City Challenge Prize finalists about the lessons learned since Showcase Day 2015. Evan Baehr, Austin entrepreneur and co-founder of Able, signed copies of his book Get Backed.


The community came together to support these food entrepreneurs with generous sponsorships from H-E-B as the Program Sponsor to Miller Imaging & Digital Solutions printing all the materials. 


Attendees enjoyed food and drink samplings, thanks to local businesses such as Wholy Bagel, Whole Foods, Hat Creek Burger Company, Rhythm Superfoods, Easy Tiger, Little CityCoffee, 512 Brewing Company, mmmpanada’s, Austin Java, Snap Kitchen, Tamale House East, Jaime’s Spanish Village, and Tiff’s Treats.


Learn more about food system entrepreneurship and innovation at and read more about what transpired at the 2016 Food Challenge Prize Showcase Day in this recap article.

About Food+City

Food+City grew out of the Food Lab at The University of Texas at Austin and is directed by Dr. Robyn Metcalfe. Based in Austin, Texas, Food+City is a platform for bold exploration of the global food system; it provokes fresh perspectives on the realities of how we feed cities, inspiring and fostering action. The Food+City stories, told in many forms, raise awareness of the opportunities for improvement in our food systems and uncover the insights that will shape how we make our world more sustainable. For more information on Food+City, please visit Follow and like on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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e:  o:  512.494.6178 c:  512.921.5993