Meet our Pitch Competition 2021 Finalists!

We are so excited to announce that we have selected our Pitch Competition 2021 finalists! With our focus on addressing agri-food systems, we are lucky to have five diverse businesses, passionate about making a long-term, global impact.

EarthPup

Representing EarthPup is Lucy Cullen, who worked in the restaurant industry for 12 years, and grew frustrated with the amount of waste they threw out every day. She saw that the juice industry in Toronto was booming, yet no one was utilizing the nutrient-dense juice pulp in products. With her passion for reducing food waste alongside her love for dogs, EarthPup was founded.

Pictured: Lucy Cullen

EarthPup is a Toronto startup addressing the food waste problem in Canada by turning nutrient-dense food otherwise destined for landfill, into healthy dog treats. They are proud to be Canada’s first certified Plastic Negative pet brand offsetting 200% of the plastic used in our supply chain. They are at the forefront of sustainability in the pet industry, and have diverted over 1,110 pounds of food from landfills to date.

Check out EarthPup’s website here!

Sommalife

Representing Sommalife is Mawuse Gyisun, who grew up in Ghana, schooling and selling clothes and water at various points to support her family. This exposed her to rural women who would come to trade their shea butter on a daily basis. She interacted with hardworking women who attempted different economic activities such as shea butter production, yet still remained poor.

Pictured: Mawuse Gyisun

Sommalife was founded with a daring and defiant mission: empower rural women out of poverty and inspire their children to dream. They build the capacity of rural women to produce high-value products, such as shea butter, coconut oil and cocoa butter, to connect them to global food and confectionery markets, and to offer them financial inclusion and support for their children.

Check out Sommalife’s website here!

mūket

Representing mūket is Nicole Rojas, along with teammates Dávid Pardavi and Eric Weiner.

Nicole has always had a passion for sustainable food systems, growing up surrounded by dairy farms. When auditing a seminar called Stanford Climate Ventures, she heard of whitespace opportunities in tackling climate change – one of them being methane emissions within the oil and gas, agriculture and waste management sectors. Nicole, Dávid and Eric partnered together to tackle this issue across dairy and beef sectors – and mūket was born.

Pictured: mūket team

mūket utilizes a methane management platform that assists dairy and beef corporations to trace, quantify, verify and tackle methane emissions in their cattle supply chains. In the 20-25 years after emission, methane is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide at warming our atmosphere. Their platform provides data-driven, and research-backed recommendations on the optimal way to reduce methane emissions for a given farm and livestock profile.

SkyAcres Agrotechnologies

Representing SkyAcres Agrotechnologies is Ishaan Kohli, who was first inspired when enduring British Columbia’s heatwave. During this time, his family friend’s irrigation system for their blueberry farm malfunctioned. As he helped to manually water their bushes, hundreds still died. He found out that only around 2% of the water supplied is actually taken up by the roots, and knew he had to find a better solution.

Pictured: Ishaan Kohli

SkyAcres has developed, an ultra-low-cost vertical farming system that is tested to grow certain produce 2.8 times as fast as traditional land and greenhouse farming techniques, all while using 94% less water. Their stackable, modular system delivers a nutrient-rich mist of water directly to the roots of the plants, which is further combined with light, temperature, and carbon dioxide controls to maximize yields.

YYC Growers and Distributors

Representing YYC Growers and Distributors is Theophile Ossinga (pictured bottom left), along with teammates Julia Kricken, Logan Renaud, Rod Olson, and Louis Brown (from left to right, respectively). Their business was sparked by the need for a positive revolution in the food supply chain ecosystem.

Pictured: YYC Growers team

YYC Growers’ purpose is to connect farmers with eaters by gathering and distributing nutrient-dense food through a system that regenerates our environment and community and supports the local economy. By supporting local farmers who are intentional in their regenerative agricultural practices, they are building resiliency in the land and the local economy to sustain a growing city for generations.

Check out YYC Growers and Distributors’ website here!

Our finalists just keep on getting better and better every year. Curious to see how they will progress in Pitch Competition? Register for MEDA’S 2021 Convention here! Pitch Competition will be taking place virtually on Saturday, November 6th, from 5:15pm-6:30pm EDT.

We cannot wait to see you!

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