Food tech prize won by kitchen-sharing platform

Rabobank Australia

Tuesday, 08 November, 2016

Food tech prize won by kitchen-sharing platform

Food and agri tech entrepreneurs have come together with potential investors and industry thought leaders for a food and ag pitch competition, held in conjunction with Rabobank’s Farm2Fork Summit in Sydney.

Top honour at the FoodBytes! event was awarded to food tech start-up Sprout Kitchens, recognised for their industry creativity, sustainable practices, growth potential and social innovation.

“We’re basically a marketplace for kitchen space, which sees us find cafes and kitchens with underutilised space to rent out to other food businesses looking for commercial kitchens,” Sprout Kitchens co-founder James Jordan said.

The concept came to Jordan through a previous business start-up.

“I started a business delivering on-demand burritos around Sydney,” he said, “and the way we were doing that was by renting out cafe kitchens at night-time to manage the logistics of that business.

“We came to realise that the cafe space was really the most valuable part of our business so we decided to build a platform where we could aggregate that kitchen space and then other people could build their own food businesses off our platform.”

Manuel Gonzalez, Rabobank North America head of Start-Up Innovation and founder of FoodBytes!, said the entrepreneurial multiplying effect of Sprout Kitchens was an aspect that appealed to the judges.

“What Sprout Kitchens will be able to do with their platform is enable new entrepreneurs to find a way of developing their product in a professional and safe environment,” Gonzalez said.

“Currently there are food businesses developing their product at home without the equipment they need, but with this service they can hire a kitchen, even for a few hours if they need it.

“There is a need around the world for services like this, where there is better use of assets, and I see plenty of opportunities for scalability of this product.”

Jordan said Sprout Kitchens has been focusing on strategic partnerships.

“Our challenge now is to reach people who want to use our space so we have started to partner with Deliveroo and other similar business that can help us in a one-to-many strategy to reach these businesses in a meaningful way.”

The FoodBytes! People’s Choice Award, voted on by delegates of the Farm2Fork Summit, was awarded to AgriWebb — a software company providing end-to-end farm management solutions. Incorporating ‘real-time’ record keeping, a mapping service and livestock analysis features, the software developed for farmers aims to simplify data collection for improved management decision-making.

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