June 2021

Future of Food Texture Challenge: Givaudan’s call for collaboration with startups


Givaudan aims to support start-ups that offer solutions to feed 10 billion people by 2050 while improving food experience.

Givaudan, the global leader in flavours, natural food ingredients, fragrances and cosmetic ingredients, is committed to fast-track market access and innovation for start-ups. This year, it is hosting and mentoring entrepreneurs at the newly-opened Zurich Innovation Center – and potentially at other locations around the world – to provide all the support a start-up needs to scale up and commercialise disruptive new solutions.

Program Outline and Benefits

Givaudan will search within start-up communities globally to enrol the best players based on their eligibility. The top start-up will be invited to follow a 10-15 weeks program to accelerate their development and grow their network with experts and stakeholders. It will form the base for a future collaboration with Givaudan, and be given media exposure via the Givaudan social media channels. The program will take place at Givaudan’s innovation centres in Switzerland, Netherlands, France, the US and in other locations, with a mixture of online and face-to-face meetings. Travel and accommodation can be discussed to facilitate attendance to live sessions.

The experience for the start-ups will be as follows:

  • Stage One – Pitch

5-10 pre-selected start-ups will participate in an online pitch and networking event where they will expose and connect their innovation for 20 minutes to key representatives of Givaudan. Then, the top 1-3 start-ups will be selected to work closely with selected Givaudan representatives to plan a pilot program that will take place at ZIC or other innovation centres around the world. 

  • Stage Two – Pilot Program

The top start-ups will work in a well-defined pilot of 12 weeks (+/- full length, with in-person/remote) with Givaudan experts to create a prototype (demonstrator, minimum viable product) showing commercial potential. Each start-up will:

    • Be part of a team composed of the start-up and Givaudan’s technical and business experts and mentors.
    • Have access to the Givaudan ZIC or other innovation centres, industrial equipment, lab and pilot work.
    • Lead the co-development of a prototype and optimise it for a live demo.
  • Stage Three – Demo Day

Each team will present their prototype and a roadmap proposal towards potential commercialisation. The audience will be composed of members of the category executives of Givaudan, key stakeholders, some key thought and corporate leaders from its business network, and investors from their innovation network. 

Each start-up will:

  • Have the option of having a booth at the ZIC to talk more about their innovation with the selective audience.
  • Be exposed and connected to a jury of experts.
  • Co-promote a joint solution to Givaudan’s customer network.

For the Winning Start-Up(s)

At the Demo Day, the jury will select the very winner who, in addition to the above, will receive:

  • A specific press release from Givaudan, with an in-depth interview to be published on their social media channels.
  • The opportunity to extend the team’s assignment and participate in a 3-6 months acceleration program to advance development from prototype to full developed pilot.
  • An invitation to attend one of the next top foodtech events sponsored by Givaudan. 
  • An invitation to fast track the application process of MassChallenge’s start-up accelerator in Switzerland.

Eligibility Criteria

Givaudan is looking for food technology start-ups with the following profile:

  • Activity: Focus on technologies and solutions for unique food texture for food consumers around the globe:
    • Methylcellulose replacement in meat analogues
    • Gum replacement (particularly gellan gum) in beverages
    • Modified starch replacement in soups and sauces

The company is also looking for wider ideas to collaborate with which provide natural, clean label and competitive solutions that deliver amazing texture and emulsification. 

  • Stage: Typically post-seed and pre-series A.It is important that the start-up already has some traction.


  • Other attributes:
    • Impactful: to massively benefit consumers and the environment.
    • Viable: easily adopted by consumers, governments and/or businesses; scalable to mainstream consumers, and; replicable around the world.
    • Innovative: disruptive, preferably solid IP and ‘new to the world’ ideas


For more information, contact:

Alexandre Bastos

Head of Front End Innovation at Givaudan

Givaudan International SA
5, Chemin de la Parfumerie
Vernier, Geneva 1214, CH

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