Newswise — CHICAGO – Applications to participate in the Institute of Food Technologist’s (IFT) inaugural IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge competition opened today and will remain open through February 8, 2018. The IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge is a competition designed to help emerging and investment-ready food companies advance the science of food and its positive impact on our global food supply.

“As a non-profit, professional membership organization dedicated to advancing the science of food, IFT is excited to provide professionals developing innovative food products and services the opportunity to showcase them to support IFT’s vision of ensuring a safe, nutritious, and sustainable food supply for all,” IFT CEO Christie Tarantino-Dean, FASAE, CAE said.

Prestigious judges representing influential sectors of the food and related industries will select a finalist to be the recipient of the IFTNEXT Future Food Disruptor of the Year award, including a $25,000 cash prize. Food Disruption Challenge session attendees at IFT18 will be asked to select an IFTNEXT Future Food Disruptor People’s Choice awardee for a cash prize of $5,000. In addition to the cash prizes, other services and products for entrepreneurial advancement will also be included. 

Twenty-five semi-finalists will be selected in two stages. From there, six finalists will be selected to participate in a six-week mentoring program, where they will receive guidance from business experts.

The competition will culminate with the finalists participating in a high-profile pitch event at IFT18 – emceed by renowned entrepreneur, Daymond John of ABC’s Shark TankIFT18 is an annual event hosted by IFT that brings over 20,000 science of food professionals together—including scientists, researchers, academics, ingredient, technology, and manufacturing companies—to share, network, and learn about the most recent advances in the science of food. 

Eligibility criteria to compete in the Food Disruption Challenge competition are:

  • The startup company’s primary business focus needs to be in the food science or technology domain and may cover any component of technology which enhances the science of food.
  • The entrepreneur/organization must be an operating and registered entity as either a proprietary firm, partnership firm, limited liability partnership, or private limited in the country they are representing.
  • The company must be in business, have a product or service clearly defined and must be in the Pre-Series A Round (seed stage).

There is no cost to participate in Stages 1-3 of the competition. Costs may be incurred for finalists attending the pitch competition. All applications must be submitted no later than 11:59pm (PST) on February 8, 2018. For additional information, contact [email protected].

About IFT The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a global organization of 17,000 individual members from more than 100 countries committed to advancing the science of food. Since 1939, IFT has brought together the brightest minds in food science, technology and related professions from academia, government, and industry to solve the world’s greatest food challenges. Our organization works to ensure that our members have the resources they need to learn, grow, and advance the science of food as the population and the world evolve. We believe that science is essential to ensuring a global food supply that is sustainable, safe, nutritious, and accessible to all. For more information, please visit