Every year, we put out a call for innovators who are using tech to disrupt and ultimately improve the way we eat, prep and interact with food. We receive Startup Showcase applications from all corners of the global food system and get to learn about the ideas that will spark change and help shape the future of food and the kitchen. In the end, our editorial team selects 10 or so finalists who represent the most unique and transformative ideas in food tech.
In its 8th year, the SKS Startup Showcase has served as a launching pad for some of today’s most interesting food tech startups. With companies as diverse as smart stove and food delivery startup Tovala, food delivery packaging startup SavrPak, and upcoming Shark Tank contestant IncrEDIBLE Eats, alumni of the Showcase are making an impact across the food innovation landscape.
Each finalist will get a chance to pitch on stage at the 2021 Smart Kitchen Summit, happening virtually in just a few weeks on November 9th and 10th.
If you want to see the finalists pitch and have a chance to network with some of the top leaders and newest startups in food and kitchen tech, grab your ticket to SKS here.
Let’s meet the 2021 Startup Showcase Finalists.
- AIGecko is powering a touchless checkout kiosk with their AI-powered food recognition API. Customers can select food and place their selection at the kiosk and using artificial intelligence that drives both facial and food recognition at the kiosk. Guests can also get the nutritional information of their dish and get connected to a nutrition expert through the connected app.
- Blix is a smart food maker that promises to eliminate both the preparation and the cleanup of cooking a meal from scratch. Blix includes a smart lid with an integrated blade and RFID tag to ensure consistent results each time a dish is made.
- Castiron is a central hub and platform for independent kitchen-based chefs to sell their creations direct to customers. It also includes resources and creator community to support and grow their business. Castiron says their customers include bakers, juicers, jammers and similar culinary artisans to market and sell their goods.
- Chocomake is a smart home chocolate maker and ingredient kit developed by a female-led startup launching in 2022. The appliance allows users to create custom varieties of chocolate in different shapes, composition and texture. Chocomake can help with allergies and dietary restrictions and can produce vegan, non-GMO and sugar-free chocolate with easy prep and cleanup.
- Clew is a countertop appliance that grinds, heats and dries home food waste in two hours and transforms it into shelf-stable material that can be refined into compost or place into a recycling stream for further processing. After processing through the Clew appliance, the amount of waste material is reduced by mass by over 80%. Clew is working to produce an early prototype.
- Mezli is building containerized robot restaurants called “auto-kitchens.” The “restaurant-in-a-box” business leverages automation and shipping containers to power a fully autonomous kitchen able to cook, plate and pack each dish. Mezli founder and CEO told The Spoon that their auto-kitchens can go 48 hours or make 300 meals (whichever comes first) before requiring servicing by a non-robotic worker.
- Natufia is an integrated and automated indoor smart hydroponic kitchen garden created for at-home food growing. The smart kitchen garden can grow up to 32 simultaneously with automatic watering and lighting and gives users of 40 seedpods. Natufia customers can grow everything from leafy and microgreens to vegetables and flowers.
- Ottonomy creates autonomous robots that enable contactless deliveries of food and retail products. Ottonomy robots require zero human supervision for navigation and can operate in both indoor and outdoor environments. The company’s proprietary software claims to allow for fully autonomous operation in crowded and unpredictable environments including in airports, malls and office buildings.
- Culineer is a platform where farms can educate and communicate with consumers looking for locally produced foods. While consumers often don’t know how to cook everything they may purchase direct from farms, farmers don’t have resources and time to provide food level education. Culineer fills that gap with recipes, harvest updates, education and peer support; this gives farms increased customer satisfaction and retention.
- WSVC is an appliance company that has invented a new type of multi-purpose microwave oven that features traditional microwave cooking as well as Waterless Sous Vide Cooking (WSVC). WSVC cooks food with low consistent heat similar to sous vide but without the water bath and vacuum seal. WSVC will debut for the first time at the 2021 Smart Kitchen Summit.