The 2022 edition of the startup competition will award a total prize pool of $2 million
Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed, founder and CEO of KBW Ventures, joins a diverse panel of food sector experts and technologists as a judge of the 2022 UAE Food Tech Challenge, headed by Minister of Climate Change and Environment HE Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri.
As a venture capitalist actively investing in green technologies, Prince Khaled is also a food security sector advocate, campaigning for climate change awareness. Alongside Prince Khaled, two finale judges, successful entrepreneurs from the food tech and agtech sectors respectively, Dr. Uma Valeti, founder and CEO of Upside Foods, and CEO and co-founder of AeroFarms, David Rosenburg, represent the private sector for the competition’s finale winner selection.
Now in its second edition, the Challenge is staged by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Tamkeen, and in association with Aspire. The competition focuses on finding the next “wave of technologies that are on the cusp of transforming food and traditional agriculture practices, efficiently and sustainably.” The prize pool, a total of $2 million, will be divided between four winning teams and dispersed through different measures, including cash awards and grant opportunities.
Seeking innovative approaches to food security, the Challenge is looking for startups with solutions in two main segments: food production and food loss and waste. The food production segment encompasses alternative proteins, next generation nutrient-rich substitutions, as well as abundance and access of foods. The food loss and waste segment seeks sustainable approaches to the supply chain and the wider planet. Qualifying startups must be pre-Series A and have a workable minimum viable product, as well as meeting various other criteria.
The first edition of the Challenge debuted in September 2019, staged by the UAE Food Security Office (now part of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment) and Tamkeen. The four winners of the first Challenge’s business models ran the gamut from AI-driven food supply chain logistics and sustainable food supply, to protein source cultivation and agtech.