Sustainable Food Solutions Challenge: Top 4 Finalists

Renens, SwitzerlandApril 12th, 2021 – MassChallenge Switzerland, part of MassChallenge’s global network of innovators, today announces the top 4 startup finalists of the Sustainable Food Systems Challenge.

On April 28th, the top 4 startups will pitch how their solutions, in collaboration with our Corporate Partners, can reduce Green House Gas emissions, and help feed the planet’s projected 9 billion population in 2050.

The purpose of the Sustainable Food Systems Challenge is to find startups that have solutions and proven technology not yet fully commercialized in the area of sustainable food systems, and who can collaborate with MassChallenge’s partners to reduce CO2 emissions and feed our increasing population sustainably.

Selected startups will then work directly with key stakeholders within a global food corporate where they’ll get access to co-development opportunities, product validation, customer connections, strategic investments, or advisor introductions.

Out of the 484 startup applications received, 123 were selected by our corporate partners Nestlé, Bühler, Givaudan, Südzucker, Louis Dreyfus and DSM, to participate in Demo Days, 1:1 calls, deck sharing, or to collaborate. 4 partners just selected the top 4 startups with which they will create a joint pitch on how the startup’s ideas, when scaled by the partner, will help feed the planet sustainably while cutting emissions.

The idea is to drive startup/partner collaboration so that the solution can actually be scaled and make an IMPACT by accelerating innovation in the food sector.


Aqua Cultured Foods (USA) – Aqua Cultured Foods is an innovative food technology company disrupting the alternative protein space with the world’s first whole-muscle cut seafood alternative created through the process of microbial fermentation. Their novel technology produces a sustainable complete protein source, using only a fraction of the resources required by traditional agriculture. As their global challenges with overfishing, climate change, and feeding the world’s expanding population grows, their mission is to create delicious, nutrient-rich foods to feed our growing population and protect our oceans.

Comet Bio (UK) – Comet Bio’s patented production process upcycles crop and foods leftovers– such as straw, leaves, and shells – into high-quality ingredients. The proprietary extraction process is innovative, they ensure their products are of high quality by first partnering with farmers and food companies to source many organic and non-GMO leftovers.  These partnerships also benefit farmers and food companies by allowing them to profit and reduce waste while ensuring the highest quality of their products.

Gavan (Israel) – Gavan’s proprietary technology extracts high purity proteins from the source while maintaining their physical structure unharmed and preserving their high functionality. The breakthrough multi-stage technology enables the extraction of multiple proteins from the source until it is totally consumed. Zero waste. Gavan’s modification platform allows the company to modify the extracted products and control stability and functionality to deliver premium solutions for their customers across multiple applications and new products development.

PectCof (Netherlands) – The idea of Pectcof is to transform coffee cherries, a side stream of the coffee chain, into valuable bio-compounds used for the production of food ingredients, biochemicals, and second generation bio-fuels. Pectcof’s technology uses a biorefinery concept with green chemistry and state of the art biotechnology to do so. Due to its properties as emulsifier and stabilizer, coffee dietary fiber extracted with Pectcof technology is a promising new ingredient for the food and beverage industry.


Ian Roberts – Chairman of the Jury. President MassChallenge Switzerland & CTO Bühler. (Will abstain from judging Bühler)

Christina Senn-Jakobsen – Managing Director Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley

Ale Rojas – Head of E4S Tech4Impact EPFL, UNIL, and IMD

Luca Zerbini – Venture Capital investor

Alessandra Rojas – Sustainable Entrepreneurship Manager @ Tech4Impact EPFL

Myke Naef – Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Übermorgen Ventures

Risto Väyrynen – Chairman of the Board, The Impact Office

Make sure to REGISTER for this event in order to receive the Zoom link for the pitching competition on April 28th, from 12:50 PM to 5PM CET.
We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at this exciting event and finding out how each startup & corporate partner alike will contribute to a more sustainable future!

About MassChallenge

MassChallenge is the global network for innovators. Headquartered in the United States with seven locations worldwide, MassChallenge equips bold entrepreneurs to disrupt the status quo and to create meaningful change. Since launching in 2009, 2’928 MassChallenge alumni have raised more than $8.6B in funding, generated more than $3.6B in revenue, and created more than 186,000 total jobs. Learn more here about MassChallenge.

The Sustainable Food Solutions’ Partners