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Apply now for the WFF Startup Innovation Awards 2023 for Innovative Entrepreneurs


The Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC)  is excited to invite entrepreneurs using technology to transform agri-food systems in addressing global hunger to apply for the WFF Startup Innovation Awards. it is the largest startup competition for entrepreneurs.

About the WFF Startup Innovation Awards
The XTC WFF Startup Innovation Awards is a global startup competition organized by Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC). The purpose of these awards is to support and showcase innovators and entrepreneurs who are utilizing technology to drive sustainable transformation in agrifood systems. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the eradication of global hunger and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In partnership with XTC, which is recognized as the world’s largest startup competition for entrepreneurs addressing global challenges, these awards aim to promote and uplift the next generation of entrepreneurs who are developing new technologies and innovations for the betterment of our planet and the agrifood systems that are vital for our well-being.

To ensure a fair and comprehensive evaluation process, agrifood systems specialists, innovators, and entrepreneurs from all over the world have volunteered to serve as experts and judges for the WFF Startup Innovation Awards.

The WFF Startup Innovation Awards mission

The mission of the WFF Startup Innovation Awards is to recognize and promote the role of technological and digital innovation in shaping the future of our food. Given the unprecedented challenges faced by our agrifood systems, the awards aim to discover new and inclusive solutions that can effectively address these challenges. It is essential that these solutions take into account the complex and interconnected nature of global agrifood systems.

The primary objective of the awards is to identify, support, and accelerate the growth of startups that have the potential to make a positive impact in transforming agrifood systems. The startups are evaluated within four categories: better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and better life.

By participating in the WFF Startup Innovation Awards, finalists and award winners gain the opportunity for global visibility, access to capital investment, and networking opportunities with influential entities such as governments, United Nations agencies, corporations, venture capitalists, and partners. Additionally, they receive mentorship opportunities that can facilitate their pioneering work in technological advancements and contribute to the sustainable future of our food.

To be eligible for the XTC WFF Startup Innovation Awards, companies must meet the following criteria:

  • Agrifood systems: Companies whose work has made an impact in the Agrifood system such as but are not limited to the sustainable production of food and bioenergy, reduction of food loss and waste, sustainable forest and water management, landscape restoration, reduced deforestation, sustainable management and restoration of high-carbon ecosystems (such as peatlands, wetlands, rangelands, mangroves, and forests), reclamation of degraded soils and education programmes to help consumers make choices that are both healthy and environment-friendly.
  • Private Company: The company must be a private company and not publicly traded.
  • Non-Confidential Information: It is agreed that only non-confidential information is being submitted, and there is no implied confidentiality agreement between XTC, its partners, and the applications regarding the submitted pitch decks.
  • Technology Innovation: The company has developed, or is in the process of developing, a product or service based on a new or innovative technology, or has implemented an innovative application of an existing technology developed by the company.
  • Alignment with Sustainable Development Goals: The company’s product or service, developed or under development, has the potential to address the categories specified in each specific XTC competition, which are based on the Seventeen United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Funding Restrictions: The company does not have any restrictions on future funding based on the funding received by the company as of the date of submission of the entry.
  • Publicly Traded Status: The company is not publicly traded and remains privately held.
  • Legal Incorporation and Eligibility: The company is legally incorporated in any of the Eligible Countries listed. It does not have any subsidiaries or affiliates located or incorporated in any Excluded Country.
  • Compliance with Official Rules: The company must comply with all the terms and conditions outlined in the Official Rules of the competition.
  • Sanctions: The company and its officers, directors, managers, and employees are not subject to sanctions in the United States. They are not listed on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Person List or the Office of Foreign Assets Control Sanctions Lists.
  • Founder/Executive Eligibility: At least one founder or executive of the company is a legal resident of an Eligible Country and is at least 18 years of age at the time of entry into the competition.
  • Disclosure of Relationship: It is agreed to notify XTC if there is any pre-existing or developing relationship with any XTC Partner before judging the competition. The Competition Partners are the companies and individuals identified on the XTC website.
  • Eligible Countries. The following is an eligible Country for the WFF Startup Innovation Awards:
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United States, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Curacao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine


To participate in the XTC WFF Startup Innovation Awards, the following requirements are necessary for the pitch deck and video presentation:

Pitch Deck: Prepare a pitch deck that provides an overview of your company and your innovative product or service. The pitch deck should be created by a founder or co-founder of the company.

2-Minute Pitch Video: Create a 2-minute video presentation that complements your pitch deck. The video should effectively convey your key messages and capture the essence of your business. The video should also be prepared by a founder or co-founder of the company.

Founder/Co-founder Responsibility: It is important that the pitch deck and video are created and presented by a founder or co-founder of the company to ensure authenticity and firsthand knowledge of the business.

Slide Guidance: Use the provided slide guidance document available at as a reference to structure your pitch deck. This document offers guidance on the content and organization of the slides to effectively communicate your company’s value proposition.

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Presentation Guidance:

  • Refer to the provided guidance documents at and for tips and recommendations on how to deliver an impactful and compelling presentation. These resources will assist you in maximizing the effectiveness of your pitch video.
  • Launch your page on the World Food Forum
  • The application must be submitted in English


Benefits of Participating in the WFF Startup Innovation Awards

  • Global visibility for finalists and winners.
  • Access to capital and networking opportunities.
  • Engagement with governments, UN agencies, corporations, venture capitalists, and mentors.
  • Support for technological breakthroughs and a sustainable future in food.


The application timeline for the WFF Startup Innovation Awards is as follows:
Phase 1: Launch
On 2 May 2023, the WFF Innovation Labs officially launched the Startup Innovation Awards, powered by Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC), during the UN Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) Forum. The announcement will be made through the WFF website, mailing list, and social media platforms.

Phase 2: The WFF-XTC Startup Cup
From June to October 2023, the WFF-XTC selection team will review the applications and shortlist a group of startups. These shortlisted startups will be featured on the WFF website and will have the opportunity to participate in the semi-finals held in September.
In the semi-finals, eight finalist startups representing the Four Betters categories (better production, better nutrition, better environment, and better life) will present their pitches to a panel of judges.

The final award ceremony will take place during the World Food Forum flagship event held from 16-20 October. The finalists will deliver their pitches, and winners will be announced for each category of the Four Betters in relation to the 2023 theme: “Agrifood systems transformation accelerates climate action.”

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Additionally, one overall winner will be selected as the WFF Startup Innovation of the Year Award recipient, which will be presented at the WFF Innovation Award Ceremony.

The selection process for the WFF Startup Innovation Awards
The selection process for the XTC Startup Innovation Awards involves evaluating finalists and winners based on equally-weighted criteria assessed by the judges. These criteria include:

  • Team: The judges assess whether the team is uniquely qualified to build the startup. They consider the team’s understanding of their customers and industry, as well as their determination and endurance to see the project through to completion.
  • Product Innovation: The judges evaluate whether the product or service represents a disruptive innovation that creates a new market or value ecosystem, potentially displacing or radically modernizing an existing industry. They also assess if the product is differentiated from competitors or substitute offerings.
  • Product Market Fit: The judges consider whether the target customers are actively using or buying the startup’s product. They also evaluate the startup’s ability to demonstrate scalability in the addressable market, ensuring sufficient growth and profit potential for an attractive investment.
  • Tech for Good/Responsible Innovation for a Radically Better World: Judges assess whether the innovative product addresses a significant global challenge impacting society and/or the environment. They look for startups whose products have the potential to make a wide-reaching positive impact.
  • These four criteria are equally weighted, meaning that each criterion carries the same level of importance in the judges’ evaluation process. By considering these factors, the judges determine the finalists and winners who have the greatest potential for creating positive change and achieving success in their respective industries. he Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC)  is excited to invite entrepreneurs using technology to transform agri-food systems in addressing global hunger to apply for the WFF Startup Innovation Awards. it is the largest startup competition for entrepreneurs.

* To apply for the WFF Startup Innovation Awards kindly Register by creating an account
* Each participating company (“Entrant”) must complete and submit a Competition application that complies with all the terms of these Official Rules

Types of opportunity: Grant
Deadline: 15 June 2023
Open to: Agrifood systems entrepreneurs
Organizer: World Food Forum (WFF)
Country: Global

To Watch programme Video click  
For more information visit the World Food Forum (WFF) 

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