In October, we wrote about the ARK Challenge, an innovative new Arkansas-based incubator with a focus on retail, food processing and logistics. The program, which invests $18,333 in each participating startup and takes an equity stake (6%), is the result of a public-private partnerships that include the Federal government, local education institutions, a non-profit and venture capitalists. Last month, ARK unveiled their graduating class at their demo day. The three winning companies were each awarded $150,000 in funding to continue development. The following is a round-up of the food+tech graduates:
Agricultural Food Systems – this was one of the ARK companies that caught our food+tech eye, you can read our interview with its founder in a previous post. It is developing a TenderID product that measures the tenderness of meat on the production line. It's designed to greatly improve the efficiency and value of meat production.
Farmeto – connects small farmers with local retailers in an online marketplace.
Mass Vector – “a web based Software as a Service that provides real-time analytics and progressive demand prediction based on individual UPCs,” according to its Crunchbase profile. Basically, it can help retailers predict inventory needs. It also tracks competitors prices on individual items.
Truckily – a service that helps customers find their favorite food trucks by location and cuisine.