The application phase of "Food Frontiers 2.0," an innovation contest aimed at encouraging new ideas in nutritious, affordable and sustainable food ecosystems, ended on 22 January, says a press release.
Among the applicants, over 130 young entrepreneurs, including 22 young women, have been shortlisted for their ideas to shake-up food business and production models.
The campaign for the contest started on 2 December. As part of the initiative, online campaigns, and road shows were held at six universities in the country including the University of Dhaka, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Comilla University, Jashore University of Science and Technology, and Daffodil International University.
As part of the campaign a webinar has been held with the participation of SM Mahmudul Hasan, acting coordinator of Scaling Up Nutrition Business Network, Professor SM Arifuzzaman from Canadian University of Bangladesh, and Sakib Bin Rashid, consultant at Ten Minutes School.
Representatives from 10 selected business organisations attended a three-day residential boot camp session in the capital as part of contest preparations.
Scaling Up Nutrition Business Network, which is co-convened by the Switzerland-based Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and World Food Programme (WFP) have jointly organised the contest.
National Association of Small and Cottage Industries of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Agricultural University are strategic partners of the event.
Seven winners (two each from three categories) including one for the International Nutrition Olympiad (INO) prize will get cash and pre-seed funding for implementing their business plans.
The three categories in the contest are: inclusive business models for reaching lower income consumers; disruptive technological innovation and innovative marketing campaigns.
The last date of application submission was fixed on 15 January but later extended due to massive responses from the applicants, the press release read.
Food Frontiers is an innovation challenge contest aiming to identify new ways to reach lower-income consumers with nutritious food products, build the capacity of young entrepreneurs on a sustainable food systems approach and help develop their business skills for managing social enterprises. The objective is to support innovative business models and technology-based solutions that could be implemented to increase access to nutritious foods.