The TFF Challenge has a track record of bringing forward early-stage entrepreneurial teams that are ready to launch their project into the world. In the past years, we have seen an increase in startups who are already past the early stages of their journey and are ready to scale. The Boost Program is our top-tier accelerator track that supports more advanced teams participating in the TFF Challenge.
In this 2019/20 TFF Challenge, we have selected 5 Boost Teams next to the 10 Finalist Teams. The Boost Teams are joining us for a pilot acceleration track that specifically trains in hiring/ leadership/ team culture, advanced storytelling/, maintaining relationships with diverse stakeholder groups, striving for long-term success.
The 5 Boost Teams of 2019/20 are:
- Agricycle Global (USA/Global): fully-traceable dried fruit snacks, flours, and charcoals produced using a fully vertically-integrated supply system approach incorporating circular economy principles.
- AgriMatch (Malaysia): a mobile application that increases the transparency about the practices of rice middleman, creating equal access to opportunities across the agri-value chain.
- GEOPOTATO (Bangladesh): SMS and voice-based service for farmers that uses satellite and weather data to send alerts and recommendations regarding possible late blight attacks.
- GrowCab (UK): low-cost, open-source benchtop plant growth cabinets that can be used to shorten plant generation times and accelerate the breeding of crops.
- Smart Agrometer (Lithuania): hand-held device to measure what specific nutrients are missing for plant growth at certain stages of its vegetation, which makes specific recommendations for nutrient application to save costs and increase sustainability.
The virtual TFF Academy 2020
In late March, we kicked off the virtual TFF Academy 2020, which is a program we have put together specifically for the TFF Boost and Finalist Teams. We have also open-sourced the program to make it accessible for anyone to join for free.
The Boost Teams will benefit from the program through
- Mentorship: A mentor whose expertise and experience can help identify the areas in which to advance, as well as making introductions to relevant people in their network.
- Experts: Introductions to experts from fields that are relevant to the solution and/or the problem areas we identify together. Building a support network is the key to success.
- Startup Training & Acceleration: Step-by-step content released on the TFF Digital Labs to help them develop their concepts by gathering customer feedback, building their organizational structures and sharpening their business models. There will also be regular live sessions where they can learn from thought leaders and visionaries.
- Storytelling Training: Expert training in appearance, pitching and confidence on stage from international pitch coach Beth Susanne, and storytelling coach Holley M. Kholi-Murchison.
- Media Features: Teams will be profiled and featured on our digital media channels to help them with brand positioning and global awareness. They will also have the chance to be exposed to international leading media in food, agriculture, technology, sustainability, and innovation.
- Personal Coaching: Access to a marketing/ branding/ personal growth coach.
- International Connections: Teams will be integrated into and profiled in the TFF network. We will introduce them to relevant people and industry connections that will help them develop into a more rounded, successful venture.
Team Smart Agrometer describes the virtual TFF Academy as an opportunity to connect with big corporations which might become their potential end-users;
“We have an understanding of our own market, what we’re lacking is an international network. Joining TFF can help us gain global exposure and partners who can introduce us to stakeholders worldwide.”
For innovators and entrepreneurs: The virtual TFF Academy is freely accessible for anyone to join and take part in the courses that are offered on the Digital Labs. Just sign up to the Digital Labs and make sure to request to join the TFF Community Facebook group here where we will keep an active feed for peer-to-peer discussions and relevant conversations!
For anyone working in the food industry or startup ecosystem: Your creative thinking and expertise can contribute to advancing amazing projects that will make an impact on our food systems! Support a TFF Challenge Team in catalyzing their business venture towards success and impact. Reach out to Marie to get involved!