Six start-ups chosen to accelerate food innovation

Mars Food Australia has selected six innovative food start-ups to take part in the inaugural Seeds of Change Accelerator program.

The accelerator program is designed to help early-stage Australian food-focused start-ups fast-track growth and build a healthier and more sustainable future. A panel of expert judges chose the final six start-ups from 15 finalists shortlisted out of 224 applicants nationwide.

In addition to a grant of up to $40,000 AUD, each of the final six start-ups will undertake a tailored four-month program to help tackle the biggest individual challenges to their business growth, whether that’s branding, product development, market intelligence, sales or supply chain.

The finalists have access to an extensive support system to help them become the next generation of food businesses transforming the way Australians eat and share meals. The Accelerator program also offers a series of face-to-face workshops and access to a team of expert mentors and advisers from within the Mars business and across the wider Australian food innovation network.

The final six Australian participants selected to take part in the Seeds of Change Accelerator in Australia are:

  1. Spiralz Fermented Foods, Tuggerah NSW: Michelle Amor and Tracey Rochford create gourmet fermented foods. They use traditional methods to ferment without the use of any starter culture or preservatives. The range is organic, vegan, free of gluten, dairy and nuts. Their products are widely sought after for their probiotic and gut health benefits.
  2. The Australian Superfood Co, Oakleigh Vic: Hayley Blieden and Ralph Wollner produce a range of food products from Australian native bush foods such as native fruit powders, herbs and spices, fruit and granolas. They source their ingredients from indigenous communities and local growers to enhance respect for Australia’s indigenous culture, increase access and affordability and foster the local food movement.
  3. Edible Bug Shop, Sydney NSW: Skye Blackburn runs Australia’s first and largest commercial edible insect farm and manufacturing facility producing insects such as ants, crickets and meal worms. The insects are made into ‘invisible’ ingredients manufacturers can use to enrich everyday food products with safe and nutritious ingredients to feed more people, more sustainably.
  4. Your Prep, Brisbane Qld: The focus of Matt Boyce’s business is to bridge the gap between nutritious, healthy meals and anxiety and depression. There is a documented link between gut health and mental health, and his business provides dietician-designed, chef-prepared, cooked meal components direct to the customer to help maximise family time and human connection via easy-to-access nutrition.
  5. Grounded, Melbourne Vic: Veronica Fil and two hatted chef Shaun Quade have produced their first line of plant-based cheese products using all-natural ingredients without preservatives or additives. They are allergen free and lower in fat than traditional and vegan cheeses. Using the same cultures and processes as traditional cheese-making, they taste exactly like real specialty cheese such as Camembert and Roquefort.
  6. Plant-based Meat, Sunshine Coast Qld: Michael Fox is focused on producing plant-based meat products that are healthy, environmentally sustainable and difficult to distinguish from the real thing. Using shredded shiitake mushroom stems as the base ingredient, the product is healthy, sustainable and superior in taste and texture to other vegetable protein products.

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