Future of food hackathon. Building sustainable food systems

Future of Food: Building sustainable food systems was a 24h food innovation hackathon happening in Riga on 18-19 February 2020. The aim of the hackathon was to find new solutions and promising business ideas on how to improve food production, processing, and consumption and build a more sustainable future. The hackathon provided a platform to connect students, food innovators, startup founders and leading industry experts to brainstorm, build and validate new ideas with the potential to transform the food sector.

Participants from over 13 different countries gathered together and divided into 16 teams to work on the idea in one of 4 outlined tracks: circular shift, food waste, new food, digitalization. In total, over 200 participants from around the world applied for the hackathon and 100 participants from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Netherlands, Croatia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Saudi Arabia were accepted to participate in the hackathon. 

Hackaton gathered 11 experienced mentors who held 4 inspirational keynotes, 5 optional workshops and individually worked with groups during both days of the hackathon. 

Three best teams shared 10 000 EUR prize fund provided by the Rimi Latvia retail chain to bring their ideas to life.

The most successful idea and the winner team were JarBuddies - a product fermentation application that helps to keep the track of the process. The app also allows connecting with other fermentation enthusiasts and share the product & necessary bacterias with those who are in the nearest area. The team consisted of participants from Denmark, the Netherlands, Latvia and Croatia and received 5 000 euros to kickstart their project. In addition to the main prize, one member of the winning team will be given the opportunity to attend the technology conference The Next Web that will be held in Amsterdam on June 18-19 for free. 

The second place received a Latvian team called Broccoli for an application that converts the entered recipes into a list of required products available at the online stores. Third place and a cash prize of 2 000 euros to kickstart their project was received by Green Bytes who offered a platform that collects information from various restaurant registers to predict the exact number of items to order, which should result in reduced food waste. The team has already established a company in Iceland. 

In total, 16 ideas were presented at the hackathon.

Future of Food was the official side-event of TechChill 2020, the main tech event in Baltics and participants of the Hackaton got a free 2-day General Pass to attend TechChill conference on February 20-21 along with 2000 startup founders and enthusiasts. 

The hackathon Future of Food was organized by The Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia, EIT Food Hub Latvia, Riga Technical University Design Factory and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in collaboration with Helve. More information www.futureoffood.eu 

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