Photo: Scott Payton

Every year at the Smart Kitchen Summit {SKS}, one of the most exciting parts of the whole event is the Startup Showcase. The competition gives young companies on the cutting-edge of food tech a chance to pitch to our audience and show off why their product/app/CPG product will change the way we eat.

The competition is so popular that this year we decided to grow it into two separate entities. The Startup Showcase focused on food technologies in kitchens, restaurants, and grocery, while the Future Food competition highlighted edible CPG products.

We whittled down the applicants to a few top-notch finalists and this week they pitched onstage before our panel of judges. And the winners are… (drumroll please)….

Startup Showcase Winner: StixFresh (pictured above)
Judges: Menachem Katz (WeWork Food Labs), Lisa McManus (America’s Test Kitchen), Joe Ray (Wired), Nicole Papantoniou (Good Housekeeping)

Roughly half of all food waste happens in the home. (That’s the reason we’re starting our new joint initiative with the Future Food Institute, The Wise Kitchen, which we announced at SKS 2019!) StixFresh makes a small food-safe sticker that, when put on produce, can extend its shelf life by a whopping two weeks. That’s the difference between throwing away a bunch of rotten fruit and eating it.

Our judges were so impressed by StixFresh’s potential to cut down on fruit and vegetable waste that it was named winner of the Startup Showcase. We can’t wait to see where this company goes next! Keep your eyes peeled for their stickers coming to a grocery store near you…

Photo: Scott Payton

Future Food Winner: Planeteer, LLC
Judges: Victoria Sparado-Grant and Michela Petronio (Barilla), Nina Meijers (Foodbytes!), Peter Bodenheimer (Food-X), Cheryl Durkee (Mealthy), Natalie Shmulik (The Hatchery)

As the popularity of food delivery grows, one of the unintended consequences is the uptick in single-use plastic cutlery. Startup Planeteer wants to replace plastic spoons (and eventually knives and forks) with tastier options. Yep, they make edible spoons, both sweet and savory, meant to cut down on the number of plastic cutlery that ends up in landfills. In addition to a sweet trophy, Planeteer’s team will be taking a trip to Italy to visit Blu1877, Barilla’s innovation arm.

The WeWork Food Labs and Millo teams. Photo: Scott Payton

Innovation Award: Millo
Judges: WeWork Food Labs team

The blender is one kitchen appliance that hasn’t seen a ton of innovation. Millo decided to change that by developing a smart, silent, cordless blender that looks cool enough to hang out all day on your countertop. Clearly the WeWork Food Labs team thought that the world was ready for a next-gen blender, since they awarded the Millo team with their WeWork Innovation Award. Along with the award, Millo will also get a desk in WeWork’s Food Labs.

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