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Opportunity for USA, Canada, and International Startups to Participate in a Program to Advance Company Growth and Promote Food Sustainability

MassChallenge Sustainable Food Solutions Challenge 2024


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);
USA Compact Free Associations:The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)
International, Israel and Canada.

Important Dates
Conference Date: 12/07/23
Deadline: 12/20/23 11:59 PM CET Save

Grant Description
Opportunity for USA, Canada, and International startup businesses to participate in a program in Switzerland that will offer business mentorship and resources to foster company growth. This program is designed to support innovators from different sectors by connecting high-impact startups with the resources they need to launch and succeed. The purpose of the program is to scale up proven technologies and solutions in the areas of sustainable packaging and materials, agri tech, sustainable supply chain and manufacturing, and sustainable food and feed solutions.

 MassChallenge is looking for startups or organizations that have solutions and a proven technology that together with their corporate partners can reduce their CO2 emissions and feed the forecasted 9.8 billion population sustainably on the planet in 2050.

In 2024 they will open up the Challenge again; their partners: Bühler Group, Givaudan, Nestlé, dsm-firmenich, Louis Dreyfus Company, Omya, and Südzucker, are looking for startups or scaleups, with proven solutions or technologies in the aforementioned areas.

Together, the Startups and Corporate Partners will engage to drive change toward a sustainable world and lead global impact. This Challenge allows them to work together, create a joint pitch, and scale up innovative solutions, faster than they could alone. 

All startups participating in the Challenge will get:

  • A direct pathway to multi-national corporations: If shortlisted by our partners, MassChallenge will introduce you to representatives of the partners, including senior R&D, open innovation managers, sustainability executives, and business unit heads. You will talk to the right stakeholders in these organizations, you will have their full attention from the start, and will explore ways to collaborate with them.
  • The ability to scale your technology with them: After the initial meeting MassChallenge foresees a detailed sharing of information, most likely covered by a Non-Disclosure Agreement, and then the creation of a joint pilot to evaluate the scaling potential of the product. Startups could then become suppliers to the corporation, partners in some form of venture, or receive investment. Every step is totally at the corporation and startup's discretion, and there is no obligation to proceed unless the startup and corporation wish.
  • Publicity and more connections: Each corporate partner will invite one of the startups that they shortlisted to our flagship event, the MassChallenge Sustainable Food Solutions Challenge Day, in June 2024. There, the startup combined with their corporate partner will present their joint solution on how to feed the planet sustainably to all of our corporate partners, resulting in more connections and the potential to work with other corporates. This event will be subject to press releases from MassChallenge and some of our corporate partners, providing visibility to the startups. Selected startups will receive 1,000CHF to contribute towards travel to the event.

How the Challenge works:

  • Relevant applicants will be presented to partner corporations;
  • Selected startups will be invited to meet with R&D, open innovation, sustainability executives, and business unit heads for further discussion and to evaluate the potential for collaboration;
  • It is expected that this will result in proof of concepts, partnerships, and investments for several of the startups;
  • In addition to the above, each partner will select one start-up to pitch their joint collaboration idea at the MassChallenge Sustainable Food Solutions Challenge Day in June 2024 where all of MassChallenge's corporate partners will attend. This will be a physical event in Switzerland;
  • It is anticipated that partners and startups will then work together to scale the startups' ideas through the partners’ businesses.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
MassChallenge is seeking startups or organizations that have solutions and a proven technology in the area of Sustainable Food & Feed Solutions, Sustainable Supply Chain & Manufacturing, Sustainable Packaging, and Agri Tech.

MassChallenge is looking for startups and scaleups that:
1. Have a product or idea at the prototype stage or with a working proof of concept backed by data (ie Technical Readiness Level 5, where the technology has been validated in a relevant environment).
2. Are a strategic fit with their partners. In the application form, startups can note which specific partner(s) are a strategic fit for their solution. When discussing with a partner what’s important is an openness to collaborate and scale your idea.
3. Are from seed to series C+. What’s important is that your product is at least at the prototype stage or with a working proof of concept backed by data. You may already have some sales & traction. This enables MassChallenge to validate that there is a need for your product and that you’re ready to work with their corporate partners. The next step is to work with the corporate partner to scale your technology.
4. Have Impactful, Viable, and Scalable ideas:
- Impactful: to massively benefit society by extracting value whilst reducing the CO2 footprint & emissions of the entire food value chain;
- Viable: be able to demonstrate traction amongst consumers; manufacturers, and their supply base (including farmers);
- Scalable: be able to scale at agricultural, manufacture, distribution, or disposal stage of food production.
5. Are from any geography. However, note that MassChallenge's partner corporations are headquartered in Europe, so physical collaboration would be mostly in Europe. Startups should ensure they are able to travel to Europe for discussions. The selection process will be carried out online.

Pre-Proposal Conference
Info Webinar 1: November 22, 5:00 PM CET
Register here:

Info Webinar 2: December 7, 5:00 PM CET
Register here:

Pre-Application Information
- October 17: Program launch and call for applications
- November 22: Online Information Webinar 1
- December 7: Online information Webinar 2
- December 20: Closure of applications call at 23:59 CET (deadline extended)
- February 26: Notification to present at Partners' DemoDays or 1:1's
- March 11: DemoDays or 1:1's with corporate partners
- April 29: Announcement of the finalists
-June 5: Challenge Day Pitching session face-to-face in Lausanne
- After May: Collaboration between successful startups and corporates

View the information webinar:

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