Everybody eats, so it’s no surprise that food is one of the largest global industries with a valuation in the trillions. That’s why at the moment we’re seeing food-focused startups gaining promising traction and displaying enormous market potential in Australia and beyond.
Startups like Sydney-based YouChews are creating digital products to show consumers that there are better ways of doing things. The company is an online catering marketplace for interesting and unique food options that have been sourced from the local community. It allows businesses and individuals to source and order bespoke food options from otherwise unheard of food artisans that are trending throughout the grassroots of the foodie scene, bringing them to the ‘masses’.
That is why Liz Kaelin, CEO and cofounder of You Chews, is getting behind a new hackathon initiative in the food sector.
Hackathons have become somewhat of a staple within the Australian startup ecosystem. They have brought entrepreneurs and developers together to solve challenges we face in the areas of FinTech, HealthTech and FashionTech, but until now FoodTech has never been on the agenda, and a group of local ‘foodies and technologists’ are about to change that.
HackFood is set to become the country’s first food-focused hackathon when it kicks off at Fishburners on November 6. Presented by Food Tech Aus and You Chews, the weekend-long business building competition and startup bootcamp will be connecting individuals from the technology, hospitality and food sectors with one aim in mind: to identify and uncover unique digital technology solutions that will address challenges faced by the food industry in Australia.
There are seven challenges that have been identified for which interested parties can submit an idea around a possible solution. They are Food Waste, Getting to Market, Customer Retention, Food Traceability, AgriBusiness, Convenience, and Healthy Eating.
The event will have leading industry mentors and judges, as well as investors and government representation over the two days. The winning team will get to pitch for the soon-to-launch Simplot Food Innovation Program; if successful, this will mean $30,000 in seed funding from the Slingshot Investment Fund.
HackFood is an all-inclusive event encouraging not just tech developers and startup entrepreneurs, but also foodies and chefs to come along to collaborate on ideas and of course, eat delicious food.
“The purpose of the weekend is to validate a business idea,” said Kaelin. “HackFood will help participants make sure they’ve got a good business idea that customers want before investing their time and money in creating a full-fledged digital product.”