This program, supported by the Posner Foundation, will work with entrepreneurs across Latin America to increase food security and resilience by supporting startups focused on empowering consumers, improving food center processes, and reducing loss risk in production. We will target solutions that are exclusively working with food management technologies that prevent food waste before it is created.
Almost a quarter of all the meat consumed in the world comes from Latin America, and Brazil is the fourth largest food producer globally. Still, undernourishment in the region affects 42.5M people, more than 6% of all Latin Americans. Latin America and the Caribbean represent 20% of global food losses from the post-harvest period.
The main reason for food loss in Latin America, and the Caribbean, is the lack of infrastructure and logistics within production, storage, processing, distribution, and at consumer levels, which translates into 223 kg of food wasted per person, per year.
Eligibility requirements include:
Location: Have legal incorporation and operations as a for-profit entity in at least one Latin American country, as well as having a market-based solution that tackles food loss and food waste challenges in Latin America, while being in compliance under local fiscal and business law.
Stage: Have a minimum viable product (MVP), and less than $1M in equity. Startups also need to have meaningful customer or business validation (not limited to revenue, it can also be successful pilot studies, number of users, and/or strategic partnerships).
Team: Have at least one full-time founder based in Latin America.
One third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted each year. Those losses have an economic impact of $940B USD, which translates into economic losses for farmers and higher prices to consumers, consequently increasing food insecurity for vulnerable groups. Food waste is expected to rise by another third by 2030.
Food waste can be caused by unsold food from markets or other retail outlets, plate waste from restaurants, prepared food that was not eaten, trimming from food preparation, and by-products of food and beverage processing, all of which undermine the sustainability of our food systems.
Food waste is also a source of environmental damage. The FAO states that Greenhouse Gases (GHG) resulting from “Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use” have nearly doubled, and projections suggest a further increase by 2050. To reduce the emissions of GHG, the way we produce and distribute food will need to change.
We are looking for innovations that allow the final consumer to make informed decisions and take a proactive role in reducing food waste, such as Shopping Assistance, Kitchen Tech, Shelf-life Extension Technologies, and Smart Home Devices.
We are looking for solutions that provide food centers with tools to prevent food waste, such as Inventory Traceability, Waste Tracking, Demand Planning, and Inventory Management.
We are looking for startups working on solutions, including but not limited to detecting and preventing food loss in the production and distribution phases, such as ambient and freshness monitoring technologies, sustainable biotechnology to protect food and crops from climate and disease, as well as other crops and harvest protection solutions such as indoor farming.
Ability to meet with and receive mentorship from potential strategic partners, investors, potential customers, and other founders from prominent Latin American and U.S. investors.
Access to a diverse and inclusive network of mentors and founders within the agtech and foodtech sectors.
Access to an investment analyst who will coach them 1:1 on building a financial model, identifying unit economics, and using financial metrics to drive both the business and investor diligence. Participate in mock board meetings with representatives from financial institutions, corporates, experienced entrepreneurs, and investors that can help their company scale.
Access to live and asynchronous sessions tailored to a virtual learning environment to help their companies identify early milestones and prepare for their next round of capital (if relevant) or big expansion.
Exposure on Village Capital’s program website and other communications collateral.
Milestone-based funding (USD $4K per organization).
Program virtual workshop
Milestone development period
2-day Investor Forum (Mexico City)
Learn more about mentoring with Village Capital.