Eleven up-and-coming start-ups will attend a week-long boot camp at the WFP Innovation Accelerator in Munich, Germany in a bid to secure the support needed to scale their idea. Having beaten off competition from more than 130 entries, the teams are through to the final stage of the Food in Emergencies - Global Impact Challenge (GIC), a global call for radical innovations to help end hunger by 2030. Launched earlier this year, the GIC is a joint call between WFP and Silicon Valley-based Singularity University. 

Over the course of the four days, finalists will work with the Accelerator to develop and refine their ideas, aided by a diverse pool of WFP field experts, industry experts and staff from Singularity University.  

Shortlisted finalists believe their ideas can help provide access to local and nutritious food for the most vulnerable people affected by emergencies such as natural disasters and conflict. Their solutions should be rapidly deployable when a crisis breaks out, and provide a sustainable source of nutritious food as quickly as possible – something that can be rolled out fast and at modest cost. 

One winning team will be selected to continue on to SU’s nine-week Global Solutions Program in Silicon Valley.  There they will have access to a world-class faculty, mentors and technology labs, and the opportunity to collaborate with other companies and/or transition their solution into a viable company within SU Labs.

The remaining finalists will vie for support from WFP, with up to USD 100,000 in funding, hands-on support and access to WFP’s extensive field operations on offer through the Innovation Accelerator's Sprint Programme. 

Meet the Startups

Phytoponics(UK) vision is to innovate the food chain through facilitating the mass adoption of hydroponic technology through advanced product design, so that market sustainable agriculture can tackle this century’s challenge of food, land & water.

Evolution Solutions (USA) believe their product ANSA - Autonomous Nutrient Supply Alternative - will change the way we think about agriculture by effectively using space, sustainably consuming water and eliminating the use of soil while maintaining nutrient quality and therefore bringing healthy food closer to homes.

Spira (USA) is a microalgae company using biotechnology to address global food insecurity by making products that promote a delicious, nutritious and healthy life. The spirulina starter kits are simple to grow, harvest and eat, and produce only clean oxygen as a by-product of the process.

Local Roots (USA) design, build, deploy and operate the world’s most productive indoor farming solutions. They believe the key to a more sustainable future requires eliminating supply-chain risks and undoing the commoditization of the food industry. 

Isabel’s (USA) mission is to deploy the most cost effective and resource efficient food production systems around the globe. From global cities to temporary communities, they want to deploy their technology to help feed everyone in need. 

Groasis (NL) have created the Growboxx® plant cocoon, an inexpensive, intelligent and biodegradable bucket made of recycled paper. With the Growboxx, a family can plant a productive tree (fruit, timber, oils, medicines, fodder, etc.) in combination with 4 vegetables, without using irrigation.

PX (CAN) believe their SaaS (software as a service) solution will see networked teams of humanitarian field responders tethered to streams of data-driven decision support, providing optimum relief response. Harnessing exponential technologies, their platform aims to provide real-time feeds, data analysis and visualisation and tactical dashboards to coordinate global emergency relief operations.

ColdHubs (NG) is a “plug and play” modular, solar-powered walk-in cold room, for 24/7 off-grid storage and preservation of perishable foods. It addresses the problem of post-harvest losses in fruits, vegetables and other perishable food.

Aero (SA) founder Spencer Horne believes his start-up idea can use airships to cheaply, accurately and quickly transport rapid relief supplies to communities affected by an emergency.

Nutigene (USA) makes fresh, raw liquid vitamins that are delivered straight to your door based on individual assessments.

KuganPro (UG) produces Black Soldier Fly larvae meal, a cheap, sustainable protein source made from organic waste that can be added to animal feed. They use simple, low tech and robust breading boxes that require limited water.