Summary of 2015 Food Challenge Prize Event


Judges

1. Jon Bassett
2. Martin Berson
3. Molly S. Bray
4. Joe Canterbury
5. Marissa Duswalt
6. Claire England
7. Elise Golan
8. Caleb Harper
9. Scott Jensen
10. Bob Metcalfe
11. Aimee Olson
12. Lydia Steinman
13. Steve Wanta

Mentors

1. Vincent Ashwill
2. Michael Atkinson
3. Katie Cleary Bencken
4. Shelly Brenckman
5. James Clardy
6. Juan Estrella
7. Matt Gase
8. Sam Hellman
9. Henry Jackson
10. Sandeep Kumar
11. Aaron Lyons
12. Chelsea McCullough
13. Susan Nahkunst
14. Cynthia Walker Peach
15. Brittany Smith
16. Tom Stevenson
17. Eduardo Wallach
18. Trish Wesevich
19. Elizabeth Winslow

LEFT: ROBYN METCALFE INTERVIEWING WITH THE MEDIA RIGHT: GRAND PRIZE WINNERS, TEN ACRE ORGANICS

LEFT: ROBYN METCALFE INTERVIEWING WITH THE MEDIA
RIGHT: GRAND PRIZE WINNERS, TEN ACRE ORGANICS

The Food Challenge Prize launched in May of 2014 and received more than 120 entrants.

By November, the pool was narrowed to the top 20 teams who were each paired with a food industry mentor. Those 20 teams, representing four states and four food system categories, presented in Austin on February 14, 2015 to a panel of 13 esteemed judges and more than 400 attendees.

Ten Acre Organics of Austin took home the grand prize of $10,000 and the four category winners were awarded with $5,000 each: Aspire Food Group for Healthy Eating and Education; Revive Foods for Inputs and Production; Sereneti Kitchen for Processing, Packing and Safety; and CitySprout for Storage and Distribution. The winning team, Ten Acre Organics, uses an integrated blend of aquaponics, greenhouses and automation to create what is called “the most sustainable and productive ten-acre farm in the world.” They plan to put the Food Challenge award money toward the construction of two new greenhouses.

Massachusetts-based Sproot won the People’s Choice Award, winning two scholarships for the Innovative Intensivesprogram, a soon-to-launch executive education program from The Food Business School at The Culinary Institute of America in Napa, California.

“This first-time event generated tremendous goodwill and enthusiasm throughout the university, the city and across the country,” said Dr. Robyn Metcalfe, founder and director of The Food Lab at UT. “And the Challenge is intended to have an impact well beyond today’s awards – we are connecting teams to a powerful network geared towards continued growth. We look forward to seeing where all of the teams will be a year from now.”

WINNERS

Ten Acre Organics – Grand Prize
Aspire – Healthy Eating and Education
Revive Foods – Inputs and Production
Sereneti Kitchen – Processes, Packing & Safety
City Sprout – Storage & Distribution
Sproot – People’s Choice

THE 20 FINALISTS

1. Aspire Food Group US
2. BeeHex, Inc.
3. BioPod
4. CitySprout
5. Clever Carrot Catering
6. Cramen
7. EdiBags
8. “Go Fresh!” Products
9. Hopper Foods, LLC
10. PHW Green Food Lab, LLC
11. Prodrax, LLC
12. Revive Foods
13. Safelain
14. Sereneti Kitchen
15. Sproot
16. StitZii
17. Stretch Recipes, Inc.
18. Tastebud
19. Ten Acre Organics
20. WashCutPrep


View the Food Challenge Prize Program