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Meet the finalists of the 2023 Startup Innovation Challenge

Article-Meet the finalists of the 2023 Startup Innovation Challenge

The finalists of the inaugural Vitafoods Europe Startup Innovation Challenge have been announced. Find out which game-changing companies were selected for their innovative ingredients, technologies, and services. Winners will be announced on 9 May at Vitafoods Europe in Geneva.

The Vitafoods Europe Startup Innovation Challenge is coming to Europe’s biggest annual nutraceutical trade show for the first time, offering health, wellbeing, and nutrition startups a unique opportunity to develop their innovative projects through a specialised support programme.

The Challenge shines a spotlight on ambitious, innovative companies breaking new ground in the nutraceutical industry. All finalists – a total of 20 startups across four categories – will pitch before a panel of expert judges behind closed doors on 8 May, before the winners are announced on 9 May, on stage in front of an audience at Vitafoods Europe.

The finalists of the 2023 Startup Innovation Challenge are:

Most Innovative Finished Nutraceutical Product

Sweet Victory Gum       

Sweet Victory Gum is a plant-based functional confectionery that blocks the sugar receptors on the tongue, helping reduce one's sugar intake.


R3SET develops products that offer specific stress-related benefits including calming, unwinding before sleep, and reducing food cravings.


Terraseed creates sustainable and ethical supplements for vegans that are packaged in fully biodegradable and industrially compostable pill bottles.

Bread Free

Bread Free produces gluten-free wheat flour that is suitable for celiac people, using a combination of biotechnology, AI, and byproducts of the agrifood industry.


Fermentful unlocks the power of green buckwheat, producing fermented plant-based drinks that are free from gluten, dairy, and soy, and without added sugar.

Most Innovative Nutraceutical Ingredient


Novella leverages proprietary technology to grow nutritious cultured botanical ingredients while leaving the whole plant out of the equation.

Kresko RNAtech

Kresko uses ribonucleic acids, or RNAs, to design dietary supplements that re-educate the body to better cope with stressful and changing conditions.


EktaH develops a molecule, which is a human fat taste receptor’s agonist, that can naturally induce anorectic peptides, resulting in early satiety and weight loss.


Exosomm produces active anti-inflammatory ingredients containing milk exosomes for a variety of medical conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome.

BCD Bioscience

BCD develops highly soluble and easily formulable barley beta-glucan oligosaccharide that can be used by pre- and early-stage diabetics to help manage their blood glucose levels.


Circul'Egg upcycles empty eggshells rejected by egg-breaking factories and turns them into high-value ingredients for nutraceuticals.             

Most Innovative Service or Technology Supporting the Nutraceutical Industry

Nimble Science

Nimble Science has developed a capsule-based precision sampling technology to perform liquid biopsies directly from the small intestine.


Chrysea develops precision healthy-lifespan interventions, aimed at optimising naturally occurring anti-ageing mechanisms, such as autophagy.

AgroGrIN Tech 

AgroGrIN Tech upcycles fruit and vegetable waste into clean-label ingredients for the nutraceutical, foods, and cosmetic industries.

Hughes Biotechnology  

Hughes creates next-generation polyphenols that are water-soluble and can easily transfer the natural gut barrier, resulting in faster absorption.

KÄÄPÄ Biotech 

KÄÄPÄ Biotech promotes the sustainable, responsible, and versatile use of forests and cultivates large-scale, high-quality chaga mushrooms for the nutraceutical industry.         

Most Innovative Digital Solution Supporting the Nutraceutical Industry


HEALTHY-LONGER uses AI to analyse mental health symptoms combined with neuro-biomarkers in dried urine samples in order to provide highly personalised neuro-nutrient recommendations.


Nium has developed the microGUT platform, emulating the human gastrointestinal tract on an electronic chip, which allows for testing of the impact of ingredients on microbiome and metabolism.

PhenomX Health            

PhenomX Health uses expert-driven AI to analyse hormonal health symptoms combined with home-based scientific biomarkers to provide precision nutrition recommendations that honour the biochemical uniqueness of midlife women.


AdoLE has developed a mental health app for teenagers that focuses on nutrition, sleep, and lifestyle, with actionable recommendations that can be routed directly to parents, guardians, or nutritionists.