The inaugural Vitafoods Europe Startup Innovation Challenge offers health, wellbeing, and nutraceutical startups a unique opportunity to develop their innovative projects through a specialised support programme. Winning startups can choose from a range of prizes curated by the organisers and expert judges.
Startups will pitch their product or service before a panel of expert judges behind closed doors on 8 May, and on 9 May on stage in front of the audience at Vitafoods Europe, held in Geneva from 9 to 11 May, giving all finalists unparalleled exposure and networking opportunities with key nutraceutical industry stakeholders.
The judges are looking for entrepreneurs making ground-breaking finished products and ingredients for nutraceuticals, supplements, or functional food and beverages and innovative technologies, services, and digital solutions that support the nutraceutical industry.
All relevant startups that have been active for five years or less are welcome to apply, and entries are open until 5 March. To apply for free and find out more about the exciting prizes up for grabs, click here.
Startups can apply to one or more of the following categories:
1. Most Innovative Finished Nutraceutical Product
This category covers finished nutraceutical products offering innovation in ingredient composition, consumer focus, or delivery format.
2. Most Innovative Nutraceutical Ingredient
This category covers innovative ingredients for nutraceuticals, supplements, or functional food and beverages that can offer scientific substantiation of their efficacy.
3. Most Innovative Service or Technology Supporting the Nutraceutical Industry
This category covers innovations that support improvements in ingredients sourcing and production, food safety and quality, traceability, transparency, smart packaging, and/or supply chain management.
4. Most Innovative Digital Solution Supporting the Nutraceutical Industry
This category covers innovative business- and consumer-facing digital solutions supporting the nutraceutical industry, with the aim of improving the sustainable development and/or personalisation of nutraceuticals.
In addition, one of the finalists will receive a special jury’s prize for the Most Innovative Sustainable Solution, an award that considers the startup’s overall sustainability efforts.
The panel of judges is made up of health and nutrition experts, including Aline de Santa Izabel, entrepreneur and biosciences specialist; Giancarlo Addario, principal at Five Seasons Ventures; and Raphaelle O'Connor, director of nutrition consultancy inewtrition.
A chance for all finalists to make invaluable industry connections
Taking part in the Vitafoods Europe Startup Innovation Challenge offers unique exposure to all finalists and an opportunity to make invaluable industry connections from the leading nutraceutical experts at Europe’s leading nutraceutical trade show.
Participating startups stand to gain free access to Vitafoods Europe 2023 in Geneva, giving them essential exposure to some of the biggest stakeholders in the global nutraceutical industry.
Startups can also benefit from free stage time to pitch their innovations to attendees of Vitafoods Europe and a free dedicated meeting space at the Startup Lounge.
Helping startups achieve success
The Vitafoods Europe Startup Innovation Challenge is organised by Informa, the company behind the Food Ingredients Startup Innovation Challenge, which has been propelling food ingredient startups to success since 2016 - as previous participants in the Challenge testify.
Dr Ilan Samish, founder and CEO of Amai Proteins and 2019 Food Ingredients Startup Innovation Challenge winner, said:
“The Startup Innovation Challenge is the world’s leading competition in the field of ingredients, a major component of our food and beverage system, which is often B2B and, as such, receives less of a spotlight compared to consumer-packaged goods applications. Numerous ingredient and food and beverage companies approached us after the win.”