SAN FRANCISCO — Myriad Mobile's Bushel won a prestigious award at Rabobank's 2019 FoodBytes! San Francisco event.
Bushel is a software platform and app launched in 2017 that allows grain elevators and cooperatives to digitally connect with growers and deliver real-time information to inform better business decisions. Based in Fargo, N.D., Bushel touts itself as a software company "made up of farm kids."
Bushel received the Food and Agriculture Technology Award at the March event, the 15th edition of Rabobank's global pitch competition and networking platform to help sustainable food, food tech and ag tech startups succeed.
Rabobank, a global food and agribusiness bank, in 2015 launched FoodBytes! as part of an effort to support sustainability and innovation in food and agriculture. This year, FoodBytes! specifically targeted supply chain food tech startups and ag tech startups, including innovations in waste reduction, packaging, transparency, food safety and sustainable production.
Jake Joraanstad, Myriad Mobile co-founder and CEO, said Bushel was one of more than 150 companies to apply for participation in FoodBytes! San Francisco and one of only 15 chosen to attend.
Bushel representatives were able to meet with mentors and investors associated with Rabobank.
"That was really exciting and pretty valuable for us to understand the market space out there," Joraanstad said.
For the competition portion of the event, they had three minutes to present Bushel to a panel of judges and hundreds of people in attendance, followed by a three-minute question-and-answer session.
Bushel was one of three ventures honored at the event. Shaka Tea, of Hilo, Hawaii, won the Consumer Packaged Goods Award. Shaka Tea produces Hawaiian-grown herbal teas brewed with māmaki, an antioxidant only found and grown in the Hawaiian Islands, and supports regenerative agriculture and economic development. Toast Ale, of New York, won the People's Choice Award. Toast Ale brews craft beer from unsold bread from local bakeries, with one slice of bread that would have been wasted going into each beer, and donates its profits to charities reducing food waste.
"The food and ag startups at FoodBytes! SF demonstrated enormous potential to address major challenges in our food system and meet consumer demand for products that provide both health and environmental benefits," said Arif Fazal, a FoodBytes! SF judge.
Joraanstad said Myriad Mobile was able to meet several groups of investors that he considers "a good fit to potentially partner with," as well as several potential new customers from around the world.
"The quality of the connections we made far exceeded our expectations. We met a new customer on day one of FoodBytes! and can already see the direct impact this experience will have on our business as we continue to expand in the U.S. and introduce our technology internationally," he said.
As one of the winners, Myriad Mobile will get to pitch Bushel and network with leading food and agriculture executives in New York later this year at Rabobank's Annual Food & Agriculture Summit in New York. Joraanstad said that opportunity is particularly exciting for his team as they continue to grow for the future. Myriad Mobile now has more than 110 employees and anticipates continued growth, he said.
To learn more about FoodBytes! and the companies that presented at FoodBytes! San Francisco, visit www.foodbytesworld.com/bushel-shaka-tea-toast-ale-take-top-honors-foodby....