CovHack Virtual Innovation Challenge Welcomes Concepts For The Future Of Food

Do you have ideas and potential solutions to improve global food supply chain? This is your opportunity.

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Do you have ideas and potential solutions to improve the global food supply chain? This is your opportunity. Innovate4Good (I4G), a sourcing and networking platform for the impact startup ecosystem, is calling out MENA changemakers to join the CovHack Virtual Innovation Challenge.


In collaboration with UN75, the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED), Catalyst, Youth 4 Sustainability and STRATECIS, the competition is welcoming applications to startups, entrepreneurs, SMEs, young professionals, tech talent and individual innovators under two categories: early-stage startups and teams.

The competition is running under the theme ‘Circular Economy for Food’ that corresponds to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12: responsible consumption and production. As COVID-19 reveals the deficiencies of the current food supply chain system, it’s an opportune time to recover better and consider more sustainable ways of consumption. According to the release, the challenge seeks to discover innovative ways of building resilience in local and global food supply chains through the towards a new economy in the post COVID-19 world.

Set to take place in context of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the competition is a chance for the public, and notably young people, to bring forward the world’s challenges and potential solutions by focusing on UN75’s three big questions: What is the future we want? Are we on track? What do we need to get there?

Participants will submit their solutions across three types, which includes, technologies, services and products. Ideas and concepts are welcomed from eight focus areas: water efficiency and alternative resources; energy efficiency in agriculture; sustainable greenhouse technologies; innovation in sustainable growing media; food loss and waste management; distribution channels and delivery; sustainable packaging; and urban farming.

The program kicks off with idea submissions, after which, judges will shortlist 20 best ideas in each of the two categories. The 40 shortlisted solutions will participate a mentorship program to develop their ideas and prototypes into viable solutions, followed by a second round wherein 20 solutions will be chosen for the semi-finals. It will culminate in the CovHack Virtual Demo Day on July 20-21. Participants will receive KFED’s support through essential financial, admin and technical consultations, including key training courses to develop successful business models. Catalyst will offer winning startups the chance to participate in its acceleration program with up to US$190,000 of funding opportunity, consisting of incubation and acceleration program for six months, free office space, multi-discipline lab access, and access to its network for a pilot application.

Applications are open until June 18. Interested participants can upload their five-slide idea deck with a two-minute video pitch on the website.

Related: in5 Dubai Launches Competition For Startups And Entrepreneurs To Create Innovative Solutions For The UAE's Fight Against COVID-19