Yesterday Chipotle announced the eight companies chosen as the first-ever class of the company’s Chipotle Aluminaries Project.

All companies are growth-stage startups and, as is the case with most accelerators, the idea is to help participating companies further, uh, grow, and to establish their businesses more firmly in the market. According to a press release, the seven-month-long accelerator program is also geared towards “food with integrity.” To that end, the eight selected companies are all looking to solve some challenge in the current food industry, be it reducing waste, finding alternative proteins, or keeping animals in the food system healthier.

In plain old alphabetical order, the chosen companies are:

  • AgVoice: A mobile voice-interaction service that lets agricultural professionals track things like plant and animal production.
  • American Ostrich Farmers: A company producing ostrich meat and selling it via its online store. Because apparently ostrich is tasty as filet mignon but uses a fraction of the environmental footprint of beef to produce.
  • Asarasi: An alternative to bottled water, produced from the byproduct of maple trees.
  • GrubTubs: Turns food waste from restaurants, hotels and cafeterias into animal feed.
  • ImpactVision: A startup using hyperspectral imaging to asses food and (hopefully) improve quality and transparency.
  • Novolyze: A food-safety company using microbiology, IoT, and machine learning to improve safety around food industry procedures and products.
  • Rex Animal Health: Uses machine learning data to improve animal health and reduce waste in the livestock farming process.
  • Sophie’s Kitchen: Uses a Japanese root called konjac to create alternative seafood sold in Whole Foods, Safeway, and other grocery retailers.

Participants take part in a boot camp, get one-to-one meetings with mentors and introductions to potential investors. There’s no cash involved, but participating companies do get a year’s worth of burritos. And, of course, assistance and advice from industry vets, among them Kimbal Musk, celebrity chef Richard Blais (an alumnus of the Smart Kitchen Summit), Sir Kensington’s CEO Mark Ramadan, as well as a host of other executives, entrepreneurs, and investors.

The program kicks off in March in Newport Beach, CA.

Now that we’re thoroughly into 2019, a number of startup accelerators and incubators are taking applications for their next cohorts, across all areas of the food industry. We’ll have a big ol’ list of current openings very shortly, so stay tuned.

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