Tyson Foods seeks ‘upcycling’ startups for July demo event

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 654 views 

Tyson Ventures is seeking applications for startups to take part in a July 11 investor demo day. Tyson Ventures is looking for startups that offer “upcycling” technology, which provides for the reuse of discarded materials to create a higher value than the original.

“We’re embracing the circular economy and putting waste to work,” said Tyson Ventures President and CEO John R. Tyson. “At Tyson Foods, this means reimagining and reusing materials and working to reduce our environmental footprint.”

Tyson Ventures is an investment arm of Springdale-based Tyson Foods.

This is the second year for Tyson’s Demo Day event which debuted in 2022. The company said startups can apply online for consideration to pitch at the event until May 1. Participants will be selected from all submissions and then invited to pitch in person at Demo Day. During the in-person pitch, startups will demonstrate how their upcycling solutions can potentially help create a more sustainable food system.

Tyson said it plans to select six startups from participants to engage with senior leadership at Tyson Foods and potentially partner with the meat giant to test their innovations in real market conditions, helping advance sustainability across the company. Last year, Tyson said more than 120 startups from around the world applied and 20 finalists pitched at Demo Day. Tyson selected six startups to work with in testing innovations and developing potential solutions.

“It was an honor to pitch to Tyson Foods leadership,” said Aayush Thakur, co-founder and CEO of FR8relay, a resident startup from Demo Day 2022. “The opportunity to learn more about the company’s strategy and execution, while receiving feedback from Tyson’s leadership was invaluable in developing potential solutions.”

Following are the startups chosen last year to work with Tyson on sustainability innovation.
• AgThera – developers of antimicrobial live biotherapeutics that facilitate the sustainable production of livestock

• BioIonix Inc. – a technology platform that develops, manufactures, and distributes proprietary electrolytic systems to eliminate biological and chemical contaminants from water

• FR8relay – a transportation company working to create a more efficient, profitable, equitable and sustainable trucking logistics ecosystem

• Grain4Grain – a technology firm that specializes in upcycling a variety of food byproducts into food-safe ingredients and products for use in materials and cosmetics

• Tangible Robotics Inc. – a robotics manufacturer focused on automated tasks requiring true dexterity and manipulation abilities, beyond simple pick-and-place

• Vanguard Renewables – a national leader in developing food and dairy waste-to-renewable energy projects that decarbonize supply chains