9th Sep 2021 By Bridget O'Connell | firstname.lastname@example.org | @foodtickernz
Auckland food tech startup Ārepa will be flying the flag for New Zealand at global food and agriculture innovation programme FoodBytes!
The nootropics company founded by Angus Brown and Zac Robinson is one of 45 startups selected from 375 applications to take part in Rabobank’s FoodBytes! Pitch 2021 programme run out of New York – and the only Kiwi company to make the cut.
The cohort would take part in a virtual programme from mid-October to November, and 15 startups would be selected to present in a live-streamed public pitch competition on 10 November, from which three winners would be chosen.
Brown said they entered Foodbytes! to grow the company’s global connections as they started to build a presence overseas. The programme focused on creating solutions for food system challenges and bringing startups, corporate leaders and investors together.
“As we start to expand into offshore markets, in particular the US, it’s important we make connections with international investors and retailers as well as be seen alongside the world’s best food tech companies, and Foodbytes! is the perfect opportunity for this,” Brown said.
In line with this expansion, Ārepa was currently vetting potential investment partners for an invite-only pre-series A funding round, which would see it take its flagship product, a nootropic drink made with blackcurrants and pine bark extract, to Australia and the US.
Companies for FoodBytes! were chosen based on their solutions in areas that were identified as innovation priorities, including sustainable supply chains, improved resource management, and the next frontier of nutrition.
Ārepa was one of only two companies in the cohort that qualified for the advanced nutrition and technology field under the consumer packaged goods category.
Rabobank head of food and agriculture innovation Anne Greven said: “The purpose of FoodBytes! is to help facilitate progress in the food and agriculture industries to feed the world’s growing population while navigating the challenges imposed by climate change and the global pandemic.”
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