NOW OPEN - ELEMENTAL EXCELERATOR - 2021 INNOVATOR FELLOW (DUE October 30, 2020)
Elemental Excelerator is a Hawaii and California based accelerator that connects commercial opportunities to entrepreneurs building world changing companies. Every year, they provide up to $1M to each of 15-20 mission-aligned ventures in energy, water, agriculture, transportation, circular economy and beyond. Elemental is working especially to address the lack of food resiliency and rising greenhouse gas emissions associated with food production, distribution and waste. Believing that our most complex problems require collective action, they are building an ecosystem of passionate people to change the world, one community at a time.
Applications DUE Friday, October 30, 2020 – OR UNTIL FILLED. Click here to find out more.
NOW OPEN - THE MARCH FUND - 2021 INNOVATOR FELLOW (DUE October 30, 2020)
The March Fund is an early-late stage venture capital fund committed to supporting and investing in entrepreneurs and companies developing transformative biotechnologies, machine intelligence and sustainable nutrition solutions for the evolving consumer landscape and agriculture-food supply chain. They aim to accelerate the emergence of Food 3.0 on a global scale, and create a healthier, more sustainable planet. The March Fund was founded by Christopher Lai, former investor at Horizons Ventures; Dr. Harold Schmitz, former Chief Science Officer of Mars, Incorporated, Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Senior Scholar at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management; and Wang Rui, former CEO of Red Bull Vitamin Drink Co., Ltd and current Founder & CEO of QiFeng.
Under Review - FTW VENTURES - 2020 INNOVATOR FELLOW (DUE August 14, 2020)
FTW Ventures is an early-stage venture fund investing in breakthrough hardware, software, and biotech and novel products for the worldwide food system. The fund seeks out exceptional startups leveraging responsible science and technology to improve the quality, access, and enjoyment of food. They advise founders along their entire startup journey- through fundraising, developing the initial product strategy, building their go-to-market plan, business development connections, and providing guidance on effective marketing.
FTW Ventures was founded by Brian Frank, a serial entrepreneur turned venture investor with prior operating and investing experience in the technology and food-tech sectors. In addition to serving as the General Partner of FTW, Brian also is the Food & Ag Tech Network Leader for Village Global, and a mentor to various accelerators and VC firms such as Techstars Farm-to-Fork Accelerator, the Sustainable Ocean Alliance, the World Food Programme, and AB InBev 100+ Sustainability Accelerator.
Applications are DUE Friday, August 14, 2020 – OR UNTIL FILLED. Click here to find out more.
Under Review - RADICLE GROWTH FELLOW (DUE August 14, 2020)
Radicle Growth is an acceleration fund that applies a proprietary platform to discover and support emerging technologies in food and agriculture. They partner with entrepreneurs to turn ideas into game-changing technologies and thriving businesses. Radicle Growth provides early-stage companies with innovation capital, and surrounds start-ups with a robust global food and ag network of resources, partners and research institutions. Through additional operational services and strategic partnerships, food and ag tech companies gain the power to bring the latest technologies to market and transform the future of food.
Applications DUE Friday, August 14, 2020 – OR UNTIL FILLED. Click here to find out more.
Closed - BETTER VENTURES - 2020 INNOVATOR FELLOW
Better Ventures is an Oakland venture capital firm that provides funding and support to companies creating scalable solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges, including re-tooling for a sustainable economy, tackling data-driven health care, and enabling an adaptive workforce. They invest in software, data science, and life sciences startups to deliver profitably and progressively toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Better Ventures believes that mission-driven companies will outperform the market. They back pre-seed stage startups and founders who leverage breakthrough innovations in science and technology to build a more sustainable and equitable economy in which both people and planet thrive.
Applications are due May 15, 2020 – or until filled. Click here to learn more.
Closed - TECHACCEL - 2020 INNOVATOR FELLOW
TechAccel LLC was founded in 2014 as a first-of-its-kind technology and venture development organization in the agriculture, animal health & nutrition, and food technology sectors.
TechAccel sources, invests in and acquires early-stage innovations. Through collaborations with dozens of universities and research institutions, TechAccel conducts science advancement and de-risking research and development to ready technologies for commercialization. TechAccel is based in the greater Kansas City area and has offices in St. Louis at the Danforth Plant Science Center.
Closed - FOODSHOT GLOBAL - 2019 INNOVATOR FELLOW
FoodShot Global in New York empowers bold ideas and innovative companies to accelerate the transformation to a healthy, sustainable and equitable food system. It is a collaborative investment platform of innovators, investors, industry leaders and advocates working to solve our biggest food system challenges. By connecting knowledge, networks and funding across private and public sectors, FoodShot creates scalable, impactful, and inspired solutions – MoonShots for Better Food. FoodShot’s integrated capital continuum includes the $500,000+ GroundBreaker Prize for researchers, early stage entrepreneurs, and policy advocates, as well as up to $10 million in equity or debt investment for winning for-profit businesses. Along with post-investment resources, FoodShot’s blended capital model empowers best-in-class entrepreneurs, researchers and advocates to transform the most critical food system challenges into opportunities for collaborative investment and meaningful change. This year’s Protein Challenge focuses on solving the global protein gap. With the population growing to 10 billion and the rise of the global middle class, protein demand will increase exponentially. There is an intensifying urgency to radically innovate the entire protein supply chain — including crops, seafood, meat, and the emerging sectors of alternative proteins like algae, mushrooms, and cell-based meat.
Applications are due Wednesday, October 23, 2019 – or until filled. Click here to learn more.
Closed - THE MARCH FUND - 2019 INNOVATOR FELLOW
The March Fund is an early-late stage venture capital fund committed to supporting and investing in entrepreneurs and companies developing transformative biotechnologies, machine intelligence, and sustainable nutrition solutions for the evolving consumer landscape and agriculture-food supply chain. They aim to accelerate the emergence of Food 3.0 on a global scale, and create a healthier, more sustainable planet. The March Fund was founded by Christopher Lai, former investor at Horizon Ventures; Dr. Harold Schmitz, former Chief Science Officer of Mars, Incorporated, Life Member, Council on Foreign Relations and Senior Scholar at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management; and Wang Rui, former CEO of Red Bull Vitamin Drink Co., Ltd and current Founder & CEO of QiFeng. The fellowship provides opportunity for an exciting international residency in Hong Kong.
Closed - THE PRODUCTION BOARD - 2019 INNOVATOR FELLOW
A technology incubator and investment holding company aiming to improve the efficiency and economics of global food and agriculture markets, The Production Board will host the Innovator Fellow in San Francisco. Click here to learn more.
Closed - FOOD FOR THOUGHT WORLDWIDE VENTURES - 2019 INNOVATOR FELLOW
An early-stage venture fund investing in breakthrough hardware, software and biotech solutions for the massive, worldwide food system, Food for Thought Worldwide (FTW) Ventures will host the Innovator Fellow in San Francisco. Click here to learn more.
Closed - BETTER FOOD VENTURES - 2019 INNOVATOR FELLOW
“Connecting people who are feeding the world with people who are changing the world through tech innovation.” International agrifood information and communications technology investors at Better Food Ventures will host a UC Davis graduate student fellow in Silicon Valley.
Better Food Ventures Fellow: Machine learning for precision epidemiology in response to livestock disease
Closed - TECHACCEL - 2019 INNOVATOR FELLOW
Technology and venture development organization TechAccel will host a UC Davis graduate student fellow at the Danforth Center for Plant Science in St Louis.
TechAccel Fellow: Leveraging natural maize metabolites to enhance crop resilience to fungal disease
Closed - FOODSHOT GLOBAL - 2018 INNOVATOR FELLOW
New investment platform, FoodShot Global (FSG), kicked off the program, by hosting a UC Davis graduate student in New York.
Inaugural Fellow: Mastering biochar for improved agricultural performance
In the second open call for proposals from the Innovation Institute for Food & Health (IIFH), applicants from across multiple sectors and disciplines were encouraged to collaborate in designing cutting-edge projects to improve energy efficiency across the food system. An initial joint endeavor between the Energy Institute at Colorado State University (CSU) and the University of California at Davis emphasized technologies and processes to address energy inefficiencies, food safety and nutritional content in food preservation.
Energy inputs present the greatest cost for food production and processing. Yet ineffective preservation results in huge spoilage waste across storage and distribution channels, and introduces food-borne toxins that affect countless populations in the US and abroad. Disrupting this high-cost, high-waste scenario is our target for impact for this program.
FOOD – Reducing energy use and waste in food preservation
ENERGY – Saving energy through gasification of food waste to fuel food preservation
Analysis of food processing and agricultural waste streams to explore the commercial potential of a waste-to-energy gasification technology supplying food preservation processes.
AGRICULTURE (COLLABORATION) – Partnership with Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research
IIFH worked with national partner Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) to develop $1.79 million food waste and drought tolerance programs to improve drying methods and shelf-stablilty of products across the food system.
In the first open call for proposals from the Innovation Institute for Food & Health (IIFH), non-profit and industry applicants from across multiple sectors and disciplines were encouraged to collaborate in designing cutting-edge projects to accelerate transformation at the interface of food, agriculture and health. Transdisciplinary perspectives can revolutionize sustainable agriculture and food safety, and secure access to nutrition for all.
Our first pilot brought county families together with expertise from the Yolo County Food Bank, Family Hui and UC Davis to address prevalent issues of food insecurity and food waste locally. IIFH went on to fund uncommon collaborators across a portfolio of projects in the broad fields of food, agriculture, health, engineering and technology.
HEALTH – Assessing the health impacts of wheat varieties
HEALTH – Improving the quality and safety of Rwanda’s dairy market
A community-based curriculum to train smallholder farmers in Rwanda on ways to improve the quality and safety of the country’s dairy infrastructure, as it aims to double milk consumption by 2018.
ENGINEERING – Developing the ultimate weapon against bacteria
A techno-economic analysis of novel biologics production and use for food safety antimicrobials, and an alternative to traditional antibiotics.
TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT – Using insect surveillance to reduce pesticide use
Application of sensor technology and big data to create a collection of sensors and algorithms to monitor pests and insects, reducing use of pesticides and crop damage.
TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT – Mapping and coordinating data between food systems and stakeholders
Development of a centralized framework and location for mapping, developing, storing and interpreting data streams between food systems and stakeholders to lay the foundation for a technology driven food system.
AGRICULTURE – Developing a production pipeline for a plant-based meat substitute
Improving cropping, harvesting, handling and post-harvest methods to develop a reliable supply of protein derived from alfalfa.
AGRICULTURE – Creating optical assays to detect crop exposure to drought
Developing a hybrid platform that couples biological specificity with nanochemistry to detect specific crop stress in real time.
FOOD – Applying Design Thinking to systemic food challenges
Training students in evolved Design Thinking and rapid prototyping to create solutions for systemic food challenges, such as waste.
FOOD (COLLABORATION) – In Partnership with Yolo Food Bank
IIFH’s first pilot project used abundant local produce to create a delicious and nutritious shelf-stable meal reflecting the cultural preferences of predominant food insecure families in Yolo County.
Growing innovation network encompassing industry, research, technology, finance, government, and non-profit sectors.