Vol. 127 - NO. 39

Blog Startup CPG

SINCE 2019

Showcase Your Company’s Brand
at IFT FIRST’s Startup Pavilion

Here are a few best practice recommendations from innovative suppliers crushing it on RangeMe.

By Joseph Tarnowski, VP of Content & Global Media, RangeMe

Are you a food-related startup looking to generate leads, gain access to the science of food community, and achieve greater visibility for your company?

If so, you won’t want to miss the chance to be an exhibitor in the Startup Pavilion at IFT FIRST: Annual Event and Expo—the largest B2B food innovation expo in the Americas.

IFT FIRST is hosted each year by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), a nonprofit scientific organization committed to advancing the science of food and its application across the global food system. With the theme “Innovation in a Time of Crisis: Can We Future-Proof the Food System?”, this year’s event, held July 16-19 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, looks to food and food-tech startups to help solve some of the global food system’s most pressing challenges.

FIRST stands for Food Improved by Research, Science, and Technology and is IFT’s response to the transformative nature of the global food system, a place where professionals can discover the latest global trends, newest innovations, and cutting-edge solutions while making strategic connections to advance their businesses and careers.

In addition to its spotlight on startups, the event combines a scientific program featuring more than 100 scientific talks on novel technology and innovation, sustainability and climate change, health and nutrition, food safety, and consumer insights; a vast expo floor boasting more than 800 suppliers of ingredients, food technology, and trends; an experiential innovation lab with multidisciplinary problem-solving paths; myriad opportunities to network, explore ideas, ignite creativity, and get business done, and much more.

The Startup Pavilion is where we honor vision and inventiveness by providing a dedicated and high-profile space for food and food-tech companies from around the world to showcase their ingenuity, gain recognition, and—new this year—win prizes.

One hundred startups can reserve their spot in the Startup Pavilion by purchasing a low-cost kiosk and become eligible to enter The Pitch, a three-day speed-pitch competition with cash prizes up to $15,000, sponsored by Seeding The Future Foundation, a nonprofit committed to supporting sustainable food system innovation.

The Pitch is a closely watched event and an amazing chance to promote your business in front of colleagues, peers, the media, and potential investors. While participation in The Pitch is not required for Startup Pavilion participants, it is an unbeatable opportunity for brand exposure. Not to mention, The Pitch’s 25 judges will include leaders from innovation, venture-capital investment groups, product development, academia, and the startup community. The grand prize winner—named the IFT FIRST Startup of 2023—will be awarded a $10,000 prize; two runner-up companies will each receive $2,500. The chance to connect your company with potential investors and supporting partners will continue immediately following The Pitch award announcement on July 19 at invitation-only reception and networking event especially for participating Pavilion startups.

Last year’s Startup Pavilion was one of the hottest, most trafficked spots on FIRST’s expo floor, boasting nearly 7,000 visitors—who didn’t just drop by but stayed in the Pavilion for an average of 29 minutes—and offering unprecedented opportunities for companies to meet buyers and industry decision makers, generate leads, and showcase their brand. The Israeli, plant-based company Equinom was selected as the 2022 Startup Pavilion pitch competition winner.

Here are just two of the many positive testimonials from those who participated in last year’s Startup Pavilion:

  • “For Alchemeat, we had over 1,100 tasters who were super impressed by our products, including inquiries demonstrating thousands of pounds order potential from major players, including Costco, Panda Express, Sun Warrior, GTFO It’s Vegan … and more. Expressed interest from 15+ multi-billion food companies including ADM, Tyson, Ingredion, Kerry Food, IFF, Impossible Foods, and more.”
  • “I could not have asked for a better opportunity to feature Paragon Pure’s portfolio than the Startup Pavilion at IFT. Not just our booth but the entire pavilion had an incredible amount of traffic. We were so busy we barely had time to walk the show floor. The number of leads we got far exceeded our expectations. We met so many prospects and potential customers. I would highly recommend any startup to take advantage of the pavilion. I know we will definitely want to go back next year.”

This year’s IFT FIRST is expected to welcome 17,000 participants from more than 65 countries and will include ingredient providers, business professionals, product developers, food innovators, food safety and food science advocates, and more. Learn more about the Startup Pavilion and how to secure your spot at this unprecedented opportunity to engage with a diverse and substantial audience; meet buyers, investors, and industry decision-makers; develop strategic connections; and highlight your unique brand.

Not a startup but passionate about promoting their growth and gaining exposure yourself? Learn more about becoming a Startup Pavilion Sponsor and how you can seize the chance to efficiently interact with target prospects, ingredient suppliers, trend watchers, and experts in the future of food.

Learn more about the entire IFT FIRST: Annual Event and Expo here.

IFT is a proud sponsor of Startup CPG. If you are looking to partner with Startup CPG, please email us at partnerships@startupcpg.com.

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