From music to health care, technology is disrupting virtually every industry, and now it’s coming to your dinner table. The food industry has yet to undergo the massive changes other industries have, but it’s not for lack of worthwhile opportunities. Challenges unique to food must be tackled before game-changing innovation can offer the kinds of benefits for farmers and small food businesses that it has for analogous constituents in other industries:
- Food is perishable. Perishability creates logistical challenges that others dealing in digital goods don’t have.
- Steep user adoption curves. Farmers are often resistant to technology because of entrenched habits, cost misperceptions and negative association with industrial agriculture.
- Lack of VC funding. Despite growing investor interest in food, this sector needs more financing and focus to scale.
These barriers have created difficult design challenges for food system innovation that require new and diverse perspectives to be overcome.
One effort to bring these perspectives together is Hack // Meat, hosted by Food+Tech Connect, Applegate and GRACE Communications Foundation on Dec. 7–9 in NYC. This “meat hackathon” gives a platform for “steakholders” to present their biggest challenges and work with entrepreneurs, technologists and creatives to develop new solutions.
Teams will pitch their hacks to an expert panel of judges, including Tom Mylan (The Meat Hook), Stephen McDonnell (Applegate), Hillary Mason (Bitly), Paul Matteucci (US Venture Partners) and Shai Goldman (500 Startups) for a chance to win $2,500 and business services to bring projects to market.
Learn how you can participate here.