2019 winners announced for Future Food Asia

2019 winners announced for Future Food Asia

Singapore, 6th June 2019

2019 winners announced for Future Food Asia, ADB Ventures award and Alibaba Cloud and Bühler AI Challenge on Food Safety

  • RapidAIM from Australia earned the US$ 100,000 Future Food Asia Award. Led by Nancy Schellhorn, the startup was crowned the winner for their innovative solution that provides high-resolution, real-time information of the location of pests for early detection, and targeted control.
  • Two startups were awarded the ADB Ventures award – Jai Kisan (India) and SatSure (India)
  • Three teams were awarded prizes as winners of the Alibaba Cloud and Bühler AI Challenge on Food Safety
  • As previously announced, four startups were also awarded Startup SG prizes worth S$50,000 each – Intello Labs from India, Phyto Corporation from South Korea, Shiok Meats from Singapore and VakSea from United States of America

The Future Food Asia conference was hosted on June 3-4 in Singapore. The conference recognizes up and coming talents and rewards entrepreneurs from the Asia Pacific region who are building disruptive and sustainable innovations to tackle the inefficiencies and scarcities in our agri-food value chain.

More than a hundred of contenders coming from 13 different countries from Asia Pacific applied to the Future Food Asia Award. The finalists pitched their original proposition to improve food & agriculture sustainability in front of a live audience of over 300 industry leaders, professionals and investors.

The jury named RapidAIM from Australia as the winner for its real-time detection and monitoring solution that leverages on a network of sensors to provide updates to end users on the presence of pests starting with fruit flies.

They have combined their knowledge of insect behaviour with proprietary hardware and software to create an instrumented grid of smart traps that detect the presence of an insect, communicate the information to the cloud, then to an end user via a mobile app. The novel low-power sensor is similar to a ‘behavioural fingerprint’ of an insect, detects, discriminates, and communicates the information using radio technology.

Nancy Schellhorn the Founder & CEO of RapidAIM said, “The RapidAIM team is thrilled and honoured to win the Future Food Asia start up award! It was an honor to be amongst the distinguished group of startup finalists from across Asia Pacific, all of whom presented fascinating solutions for the food production challenge. This is a very special win and a terrific opportunity to work with ID Capital to better connect RapidAIM to the Asia Pacific for protective pest surveillance and management.”

“As A.I. becomes a marker of Asian innovation, we are proud to celebrate agripreneurs unleashing the power of data to build a better food future. From a diverse pool of exceptional propositions, RapidAIM emerged as a deep tech platform bound to revolutionise its sector, taking the guesswork out of pest management,” said Isabelle Decitre, Founder and CEO of ID Capital.

ADB Ventures, in collaboration with the FFA judging panel, selected two India based startups Jai Kisan and SatSure to receive market expansion pilot funding. The ADB Ventures Award was earmarked for a startup for startups with high-impact sustainable agriculture solutions.

“Asia is blessed with a multitude of AgriTech solutions that increase the supply of safe and nutritious food, reduce negative environmental impacts from farming, and speed up climate change adaptation. ADB Ventures is proud to align with the Future Food Asia Conference in order to bring awareness to these innovations and help them scale throughout Asia and the Pacific,” said Dominic Mellor, Senior Investment Specialist and ADB Ventures Lead.

The three finalists of the Alibaba Cloud and Bühler AI Challenge on Food Safety were also unveiled during the conference. Co-organized by Bühler, ID Capital and Alibaba Cloud, over 600 teams competed in the inaugural challenge hosted on Tianchi, Alibaba Cloud’s global big data crowd intelligence platform with more than 270,000 developers and scientists from 93 countries and regions, to develop solutions to food-safety related events such as product recalls, foodborne outbreaks or fraudulent activity.

Contestants were required to create algorithms that can generate automated summaries of discovered food safety incidents at both high relevancy and great precision. Their models had to analyze large sets of data provided by Bühler which have been aggregated from dozens of sources.

SHEN Linghao, GAO Yichen, ZHANG Xinyuan, WANG Jingwere of Team Lavida were adjudged the winner of the challenge and received US$ 10,000 from Bühler. Team Enlightenment who come second and third place Team Dut were also awarded US$2,500 and offered internship opportunities at Bühler in recognition of their achievement.

Ian Roberts, CTO of Bühler Group, present at the event declared “I would like to thank the 621 teams who took part in the competition and congratulate our three winners. Those proved incredibly efficient at identifying and categorizing food threats among vast amount of data. We are confident this was an insightful dive into the fascinating world of food safety. We hope such initiatives will bring more scientists and students to think about food value chain challenges and invite them to collaborate with us to create the future innovations needed to sustainably feed 9 billion people by 2050.”

“We are heartened by the overwhelming response to this challenge, which is Alibaba Cloud’s first Tianchi competition in Asia outside China, and our very first agrifood-related contest in the world. We have successfully demonstrated how technology can be used to solve real-world problems on a global scale, and the quality of talent available right here in Asia to do so,” said Dr. Derek Wang, General Manager, Singapore, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.

Future Food Asia has benefited from the continued support from one of the world’s largest agricultural processor and food ingredient provider Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM), Singapore’s lead public research agency A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), enterprise development agency Enterprise Singapore and the Singapore Economic Development Board.

They are joined this year by four new partners: Bühler Group, the leading global technology supplier to the food processing and advanced material manufacturing industry, Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, Corteva AgriscienceTM, previously the agriculture division of DowDuPont and now an independent public company committed to enriching the lives of those who produce and those who consume, and ADB Ventures, an Asian Development Bank (ADB) technical assistance program targeting sustainable development impact through technology solutions that enable climate impact, inclusive finance, health, and gender equality.

As in the past two editions, the Future Food Asia Award jury for the selection of the 10 finalists consists of: Gérard Jacquin, former Director of Partnerships, Transfer and Innovation at INRA, Europe’s leading agricultural research institute; Dr. Ralph Graichen, Director of Food & Consumer at A*STAR’s Biomedical Research Council; Victoria de la Huerga, Vice President of ADM Ventures, Archer Daniels Midland Company; and Isabelle Decitre, Founder and CEO of ID Capital.

The Future Food Asia 2019 Conference took place in Singapore on 3-4 June 2019, more details are available at https://futurefoodasia.com/ffa2019/

Overview of Future Food Asia 2019 Winner

RapidAIM (Australia)


RapidAIM takes the guesswork out of pest surveillance, detection and management. Delivered as a service, RapidAIM provides high-resolution, real-time information of the location of pests for early detection, and targeted control. With RapidAIM users have confidence that control is working and crops are protected. Know now. Act early.

Overview of the ADB Ventures Award Winners

Jai Kisan (India)


Jai Kisan is an agri-fintech platform catering to rural emerging markets by providing a risk-adjusted return to lenders while ensuring a low cost of capital and quick turnaround time with minimal documentation for the borrower. Jai Kisan finances agricultural equipment, dairy, and other yield generating rural assets.

SatSure (India)


SatSure is an innovative large area analytics company which leverages advances in satellites, machine learning and Big Data analytics to provide answers to large-area questions, with agriculture, forestry, and environmental management. We combine satellite imagery with weather, IoT, social and economic datasets, etc to generate timely, location specific insights.

Overview of the StartupSG Prize Winners

Intello Labs (India)


Intello Labs is a deeptech startup that uses Artificial Intelligence and multispectral tools to make quality monitoring and grading solutions for food commodities. Its image-based solutions, which come in the form of smartphone apps, bring transparency and standardization to the quality assessment process in food supply chains, reducing value risk and wastage from farm to fork.

Phyto Corporation (South Korea)


Phyto Corporation is an innovative food & biotechnology company creating the future of food with Salicornia, a plant grown by seawater. Phyto Corporation has developed the world’s first 100 per cent plant-based salt, “PhytoSalt,” extracted from Salicornia, a plant containing high contents of salt. PhytoSalt is effective on high blood pressure and is a microplastics-free salt as well. By desalinating Salicornia, Phyto Corporation has also developed a new superfood and flour alternative, “PhytoMeal,” that can solve the global food crisis.

Shiok Meats (Singapore)


Shiok Meats is a cell-based shrimp company, the first of its kind in Singapore (Shiok in Singapore English means enjoyable and fantastic). Their aim is to bring cell-based crustaceans to your table, which is health-, animal- and environment-friendly, by growing cells instead of animals. Shiok Meats is co-founded and led by Dr Sandhya Sriram (CEO) and Dr Ling Ka Yi (CTO) - both stem cell and developmental biology scientists with over 20 years of combined experience.

VakSea (United States of America)


VakSea uses insect larvae to biomanufacture functional feed additives that protect farm-raised fish and shrimp from disease. Using its innovative insect larvae production platform, VakSea can produce large-scale quantities of affordable protein-based feed additives for a variety of purposes, starting with preventing viral disease outbreaks on shrimp aquaculture farms. 

About ID Capital

ID Capital is an investment company headquartered in Singapore specialized in the domain of AgriTech and FoodTech in the Asia-Pacific region. ID Capital is a pioneer in the agrifood sector in Asia-Pacific and has contributed effort and capital in also catalyzing the ecosystem in the region through its Future Food Asia platform launched in 2016. Its thesis is built on the fact that in this growing vertical, Asia-Pacific is the nexus between high growth and high stakes. ID Capital is also an Appointed Co-investment Partner of SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore for the AgriFoodTech sector.

For further enquiries please write to ffaa@idcapital.com.sg

About ADB Ventures

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region. ADB Ventures is an ADB technical assistance program targeting sustainable development impact through technology solutions that enable climate impact, inclusive finance, health, and gender equality.

About Bühler

Billions of people come into contact with Bühler technologies to cover their basic needs for food and mobility every day. Two billion people each day enjoy foods produced on Bühler equipment; and one billion people travel in vehicles manufactured with parts produced with our machinery. Countless people wear eye glasses, use smart phones, and read newspapers and magazines, all of which depend on Bühler process technologies and solutions. Having this global relevance, we are in a unique position to turn today’s global challenges into sustainable business. We want every human being to have access to healthy food. We want to do our part to protect the climate with energy-efficient cars, buildings, and machinery. Our motto is creating “innovations for a better world.”

Bühler invests up to 5 per cent of turnover into research and development. In 2018, over 13,000 employees generated a turnover of CHF 3.3 billion. As a Swiss family-owned company, Bühler is active in in 140 countries around the world and operates a global network of 30 production sites.

For further enquiries:

Burkhard Böndel, Head of Corporate Communications,

Bühler AG, 9240 Uzwil, Schweiz

Phone: +41 71 955 33 99

Mobile: +41 79 515 91 57

E-mail: burkhard.boendel@buhlergroup.com

Markus Reber, Media Relations Manager,

Bühler AG, 9240 Uzwil, Switzerland

Phone: +41 71 955 12 44

Mobile: +41 79 864 29 41

E-mail: markus.reber@buhlergroup.com

Vianney d’Hostel, Regional Marketing Manager Southeast Asia

Bühler (Thailand) Co. Ltd., Bangkok, Thailand

Mobile: +66 81 830 1678

E-mail: vianney.dhostel@buhlergroup.com

About Alibaba Cloud

Established in 2009, Alibaba Cloud (www.alibabacloud.com), the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, is among the world’s top three IaaS providers, according to Gartner. It is also the largest provider of public cloud services in China, according to IDC. Alibaba Cloud provides a comprehensive suite of cloud computing services to businesses worldwide, including merchants doing business on Alibaba Group marketplaces, start-ups, corporations and public services. Alibaba Cloud is the official Cloud Services Partner of the International Olympic Committee

Media Contacts: 

Flann Gao

+65 8798 9419


Carmen Zhang

+86 18601250967


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