Guest post by 33entrepreneurs, a VC fund and open accelerator dedicated to wine and spirits, food and tourism based in Bordeaux, France.
Throughout July, 33entrepreneurs traveled around the U.S. and Canada by bus looking for innovative food, wine, beverage, hospitality and travel startups to join our accelerator program. First, we’ve visited New York City, Boston and Montreal, and then we headed to Toronto, Chicago and Austin.
Get an inside look at the winning food tech and beverage tech startups from the second group of cities below. These startups will exhibit for free at Bon Appétech (October 2-4 in San Francisco) and will have the opportunity to pitch there. The two winners from that competition will be invited to join our 2016 accelerator class in Bordeaux, France and will receive $100,000 in investment.
Stay tuned for our recap of our final cities, Boulder, Los Angeles and San Francisco, coming soon!
On July 15 in Toronto, seven startups presented their projects at Bitmaker Labs. Three food tech companies presented, Yumr, Thank You Chef and Food with Benefits. The panel of judges including Craig Hunter – CEO at Bitmaker Labs, Brian Pullen – Design Director at The Working Group & Entrepreneur, Saul Colt – Chief Evangelist at Xero, and Amy Matchen – Manager at StartGBC- selected Thank You Chef as the food industry winner.
Thank You Chef is a match making service for private chefs and diners. Chefs offer cooking classes or private dinners to customers in their own homes. Thank You Chef’s goal is help people eat better and cook at home. It also aims to make social impact by organizing cooking classes for teenagers from under privileged families.
Our fifth contest took place in Chicago at DePaul University, with the help of our partner Seagull Institute. Six startups from the food tech and wine tech sectors pitched their ideas: Ullo, Savvo Digital Sommelier, Divvyeats, EATNIP, Single Servings and Greenease. Judges included Troy Henikoff – Managing Director at TechStars, Lauri Alpern – Organizational Development and Social Entrepreneurship Strategist and Advisor – and Randy Ellis – Founder/Creative Director at 5ivehat -. They selected Single Servings as the food tech winner and Savvo as the wine tech winner.
Single Servings creates single-serving meal kits tailored towards young professionals. It distributes its recipe/ingredient boxes from kiosks across Chicago. Customers pick up their box on their way home, prep and cook for 20 minutes, and then have a healthy homemade meal for under $10.
Savvo displays touchscreen promotional wine kiosks at the point-of-purchase. The startup provides a platform to match shoppers who are looking for wines that fit their taste preferences and wine brands eager to reach these consumers. It’s goal is to make the in-store purchasing process frictionless for all retailers, suppliers and consumers.
Our sixth contest took place in Austin at Tech Ranch on July 21. Judges included Robyn Metclafe – Austin Food University, Jaime Sutton – Tech Ranch Accelerator, Sean Arena – Executive Director of New Business Ventures at Sabre, Cam Houser – CEO of 3 Day Startup, and Gary Hoover – Founder and CEO at The Spark Factory. The group selected BYTE and PiqChocolates as the food tech winners.
BYTE is a mobile subscription service for restaurant discovery. It helps eaters search and view HD digital menus, and makes it easy for restaurants to receive real-time feedback, directly communicate and reward their customers. BYTE’s order and pay service will help increase sales and improve customer satisfaction.
PiqChocolates 3D prints personalized chocolates. Its online design tool that lets anyone easily design their own chocolate bar and uses rapid prototyping techniques to create high-resolution molds inexpensively. The company can take a digital scan of any object and turn it into chocolate.