SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods, hosted its first-ever Demo Day event for sustainability entrepreneurs and startups to pitch innovative solutions for a more sustainable food system.

According to a press release from the Springdale-based food company, six companies were selected to receive mentorship and other partnership opportunities with Tyson Foods.

“This effort is surfacing the best and brightest innovations to tackle complex industry challenges,” said John R. Tyson, EVP, and chief sustainability officer of Tyson Foods. “We’re excited about the promise each startup brings to create a comprehensive approach to sustainable food production.”

The startup companies showcased solutions including greenhouse gas emission reduction, reducing food waste, animal welfare, regenerative agriculture, packaging, soil health, water management and more. Of the twenty participants, the following six companies will receive mentorship and other partnership opportunities with Tyson Foods:

  • AgThera – developers of innovative antimicrobial live biotherapeutics that facilitate the sustainable production of livestock.
  • BioIonix Inc. – a technology platform company that develops, manufactures, and distributes proprietary electrolytic systems to eliminate biological and chemical contaminants from water.
  • FR8relay – a transportation company working to create a more efficient, profitable, equitable and sustainable trucking logistics ecosystem.
  • Grain4Grain – a technology firm that specializes in valorizing and upcycling a variety of food byproducts into food-safe ingredients and products for use in materials and cosmetics.
  • Tangible Robotics Inc. – a robotics manufacturer offering the possibility to automate tasks requiring true dexterity and manipulation abilities, beyond simple pick-and-place.
  • Vanguard Renewables – a national leader in developing food and dairy waste-to-renewable energy projects that decarbonize supply chains.

Tyson Demo Day was created to identify and ultimately invest in breakthrough, sustainable technologies to help Tyson Foods reach its sustainability goals. More than 120 applicants from 23 countries presented their sustainability solutions and were evaluated based on alignment with Tyson Ventures’ investment strategy.

A team of Tyson Foods’ senior leadership and Ventures Innovation Partners narrowed the field to twenty participants for Tyson Demo Day and served as an executive panel to determine outcomes from the final event presentations.

“There’s tremendous talent and innovation in these early startups, and Tyson Foods has an opportunity to learn by collaborating with these young tech companies to create movements poised to disrupt the marketplace,” said Veronica Tapis Banuelos, maintenance planner at Tyson Foods Storm Lake and Demo Day executive panelist. “There is strength in unity – working alongside companies whose visions align with our promise for a better tomorrow.”

Since its inception in 2016, Tyson Ventures has invested more than $100 million in startups and other companies focused on emerging proteins, new technologies for food and worker safety and sustainable food production.