In keeping with the theme of supply chain innovation, Evaptainers, a company that offers low-cost, mobile, electricity-free units, took home the top prize at the 2017 Food + City Challenge. The third annual event highlighting startups and innovation in food technology was held at McCombs School of Business, on the campus of the University of Texas, Austin.
Evaptainers started as part of a class project at MIT where students were asked to create something that would change the lives of one billion people. The company, which has field-tested its cooling device in Morocco, is headed by co-founder CEO Scott Taylor, cofounder/COO Quang Truong, and co-founder/CTO Jeremy Fryer-Biggs. In addition to the $30,000 grand prize, Evanptainers has received grants from the United States Agency for International Development, National Geographic, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy center.
Rise, based in Brooklyn, won the Silver Award for $10,000. The company is a startup that upcycles spent barley from microbreweries into organic, high-protein flour for bakers. Nuwiel, a Hamburg-based company that has developed an intelligent e-powered bicycle to facilitate more efficient delivery, won the Bronze Award for $5,000.
The People’s Choice Award, chosen using internet voting by engaged citizens, was given to Origintrail. Based in Slovenia, the company provides detailed information about a food product’s roots which allows marketers the ability to create differentiation.