The 2018 TFF Challenge

It's a wrap!

Wow, our 2018 TFF Challenge closed with a total of 800 participating teams from 160 countries! Thanks to this year’s participants - you exceeded our expectations!

We just announced the 10 Finalists of the 2018 TFF Challenge! Read our latest press release to find out more.

A collaborative competition

The annual TFF Challenge is a global “collaborative competition” to launch promising new ideas that address how we will feed and nourish our growing global population.

To date, TFF has catalyzed the creation of 40 new social-impact startups in key areas like nutrition, synthetic biology, vertical farming, logistics, new proteins, big data and appropriate tech for smallholders. Learn more in the Annual Report 2017.

Thought For Food is the world’s leading organization dedicated to supporting and funding the next generation of startups and leaders for food and agriculture. 

The next TFF Challenge is coming soon: register today to join a global community of 12,000 next-gen innovators!

  • Two men are hugging each other outside at the 2017 TFF Bootcamp, the sun is shining. There are more people standing near them.
  • A portrait of the Climate Edge team, 3 men, smiling. This is a 2017 TFF Challenge finalist team.
  • Thought For Food Program Manager, Jared Yarnall-Schane talks to a group of TFF Challenge participants.
  • Three team members of Wastebusters sitting together at a table, working on a project. This is a 2017 TFF Challenge finalist team.
The TFF Community - where innovators from 160 countries come together to remake the food system.
Challenge Timeline

How it works

Sign up

First, you need to register. Make sure that you and your team of 3-5 people, between the ages of 18-35, are signed up by the deadline!

From idea to business model

Utilize our free Design Thinking Lab to develop an idea and turn it into a reality. Activities include ideation sessions, talking to customers and building prototypes.

Time to pitch

Make sure to submit your pitch before the deadline. This only requires two short video submissions and a few text questions. Expert mentors will be available to help coach teams to submit their pitch before the deadline.

Win the TFF Challenge

As one of our 10 Finalist Teams, you will take part in TFF’s Startup Bootcamp and have the chance to win $25,000 in cash grants to start your business. Even if you are selected as a Finalist, you will get access to many parts of our Startup Bootcamp curriculum (which we open to all TFF Challenge participants). You’ll also connect with the world’s industry-leaders and our TFF Global Community.

This is visual of the 2018 TFF Challenge timeline. The sign-ups opened on January 15 and end on May 4.
What's in it for you

Why Join?

Tap into an amazing, global network of next-generation innovators & entrepreneurs

Whether you’re a scientist, engineer, agronomist, policy-maker, environmentalist or artist – become part of a growing global movement: comprised of next-generation innovators and young entrepreneurs, who share your passion to make the world a better place.

Access robust training programs, experts & mentors

You will take part in proven training programs and will work with world-class mentors who will help turn your idea into a reality. Dive into the latest technologies shaping the future, brush up on your food and agriculture knowledge and sharpen your business acumen. Absorb knowledge, make new friends – and have the time of your life.

Gain attention from investors & media

TFF Challenge participants have the chance to receive up to $25,000 in cash prizes, and you may be selected to participate in the TFF Bootcamp, an intense 9-week startup training program, culminating at the TFF Academy and Global Summit. Make connections that will easily leverage your global impact and business success and be covered by world-famous media.

Judging Criteria

Here's what we are looking for

Innovative solutions

TFF commits to being on the cusp of new idea generation. Leverage breakthrough technologies and business models to create a project that is fresh and exciting, in a way that has never been seen before.

Implementation & scalability

Food security solutions require short, medium, and long-term goals that shouldn’t end when our competition is over. Your project should be implementable, with scalability potential that puts sustainability first. 


Your project should stand out among the wide-array of proposals we see, providing game-changing solutions and embodying a “wow” factor in terms of presentation, so that it gets noticed in a noisy world of innovation and startups.

Team spirit

Being an innovator and an entrepreneur is one of the most exciting and rewarding things one can do. However, it is also a long and demanding journey. Your team needs to demonstrate that it is able to withstand these challenges and deliver a solution that will improve lives.

The 2019 TFF Challenge

Be the first one to sign up!

Did you miss this year’s TFF Challenge? No worries, the next one is starting very soon. Be part of our revolution!