Singapore Food Bowl, a food-focused startup program backed by AgFunder’s GROW accelerator, today announced the 12 startups chosen for its first-ever cohort. While those companies vary in terms of what they do and offer, all of them are working towards the same underlying goal: to build a more sustainable food system that’s more decentralized and able to stand up to unexpected, unprecedented crises like COVID-19.
That’s an especially urgent goal in Singapore, a country that relies on imports for about 90 percent of its food. To address this, the Singapore government recently created the 30 by 30 initiative, where the city-state aims to have 30 percent of its food grown locally by 2030. Reaching that goal will require a substantial amount of food tech and alternative farming methods, since Singapore has very little in the way of arable land.
Hence, programs like Singapore Food Bowl which is tied to the 30 by 30 initiative and also supported by Enterprise Singapore and Dole Packaged Foods.
John Friedman, director at GROW and AgFunder Asia, said in today’s announcement that the program is “providing a platform not only to accelerate innovation in the local agrifood tech ecosystem, but also to raise awareness across broader society of the need for transformation and greater sustainability throughout our food system.”
AgFunder unveiled the 12 chosen startups this morning:
- Augmentus: A code-free robotics automation platform built for use in settings like urban farming
- CocoPallet: Makes shipping pallets from byproducts of coconut farming for use in the global logistics industry
- Crust Group: Uses leftover bread from hotels, restaurants, and cafes to create craft beers and other beverages
- DiMuto: Uses internet-of-things and blockchain to digitize the supply chain for better visibility for both suppliers and customers
- Fortuna Cools: Uses coconut husks to make a cheaper and biodegradable alternative to traditional iceboxes
- Invertigro: A modular indoor farming system with specialized crop recipes companies can integrate into their existing business models
- ListenField: An IoT-enabled app that gives farmers actionable data on crop and climate analysis
- Lleaf: Developing a polymer film that can be applied to greenhouse panels to increase crop yields
- Mi Terro: Turns spoiled milk into an odorless, temperature-regulating fabric that can be used for clothes, bedding, and food packaging.
- Organic Technology Holdings: Repurposes organic waste for pet foods, aquafeed, flavor additives, and health supplements
- SingCell: Provides biotech development and manufacturing services to help cultured meat companies get to market faster.
- Smoocht: A “r’ice cream” maker that uses organic brown rice milk to make plant-based desserts
Given the state of the pandemic, the 12-week program is completely virtual. It’s in session right now and will run through mid-September.