Past Competitions & Winners

2020 Finalists & Winners

5 teams pitched their ideas and 3 teams won prizes for their new approaches to food and nutrition.
Jacob Weiss of Sacramento Valley Food Hub

The first-place winner of the 2020 Entrepreneurship Competition was The Sacramento Valley Food Hub:

  • Jacob Weiss, Founder
  • Cyrena Thibodeau, Operations and Distribution Consultant
  • Emily Moschowits, Innovation and Design Consultant
  • Erin Havens, Co-Founder
  • Brennan Havens, Co-Founder

The Sacramento Valley Food Hub, a food distribution platform connecting beginning farmers with schools, hospitals, and other institutional customers, received both the $20,000 first prize and the $5,000 audience choice prize at the Oct. 7 competition, which was held on Zoom. Jacob Weiss delivered the team’s 10-minute pitch and answered questions from judges, who included representatives from Friedman and various food, wellness, healthcare, and investment companies.

Read more about all of the teams and other prize winners below.

View All 2020 Finalists and Winners

Farewell – Second Place

The compost bin, re-designed for city-dwellers. Through thoughtfully designed products for small spaces and busy schedules, Farewell makes it easy for urban residents to live a low-impact lifestyle.

  • Julie Sanduski, Tufts A’17, Designer
  • Jennifer Sanduski, Tufts A’13, Principal

 

Notemeal

Notemeal is a software platform built for performance dietitians to optimize athlete nutrition.

  • Sean Harrington, Co-Founder, CEO
  • Kevin Kusch

 

Sacramento Valley Food Hub – First Place & Audience Choice 

The Sacramento Valley Food Hub is an innovative food distribution platform that connects small, beginning farmers with institutional customers.

  • Jacob Weiss, Founder
  • Cyrena Thibodeau, Operations and Distribution Consultant
  • Emily Moschowits, Innovation and Design Consultant
  • Erin Havens, Co-Founder
  • Brennan Havens, Co-Founder

 

Sea Dragon Aquaculture Farm

Sea Dragon Farm is a shrimp aquaculture facility utilizing a unique biofloc technology to sustainably grow organic shrimp. Our recirculating system reduces water consumption and environmental contamination to produce a healthy product currently not available in Massachusetts.

  • Benjamin Sawicki

 

Sweet Swap – Third Place

We’re hitting the streets with Sweet Swap—a truck that brings nutritious and affordable alternatives to communities. Imagine if instead of a sea of high-sugar snacks + beverages, there was mobile, healthy, and affordable convenience in your neighborhood or school. #MaketheSwap

  • Alexis Babaian, Friedman Alum, FANPP, 2020
  • Hannah Macfarlane
  • Erin Hennessy, PhD
  • Christina Economos, PhD

2019 Finalists & Winners

8 teams pitched their ideas and 3 teams won prizes for their new approaches to food and nutrition.

The first-place winner of the 2019 Entrepreneurship Competition was Baravena:

  • Silvia Berciano Benitez, Graduate student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition)
  • Nayla Bezares, Graduate student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (Agriculture, Food and Environment)

They created a sustainable and healthy oat cream desert by creating flavors and branding that celebrated their Latin American cultures and flavors. Team Baravena won the judges over with their top-notch pitching skills and product samples. Learn more about their journey since winning and how they’ve been working through the process of starting a business.

Read more about all of the teams and other prize winners below.

View All 2019 Finalists and Winners

AroMenu

AroMenu leverages the power of aroma to promote healthy eating. It decodes and customizes the aromas of your favorite foods to make healthy but bland poached chicken taste more like fried chicken.

  • Simon Ye, Graduate student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition)
  • Zhengqi Chen, MS, N17

Baravena – First Place + Audience Choice Award

Baravena is an irresistible frozen dessert made with oats. We offer delicious flavors that celebrate Latin American cultures, promising to deliver better nutrition at the lowest possible environmental cost.

  • Silvia Berciano Benitez, Graduate student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition)
  • Nayla Bezares, Graduate student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (Agriculture, Food and Environment)

Mighty6 Energy Snacks

Mighty6 Energy Snacks are made to fuel your most zealous adventures. Our key ingredient, cricket powder, gives Mighty6 snacks a powerful nutrient profile – rich in B12 and iron, naturally and sustainably. Pioneer with us!

  • Laura Walsh, Graduate student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (Nutrition Interventions, Communication and Behavior Change)
  • Zoe Gregorace, Graduate student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (Food and Nutrition Policy and Programs)
  • Lyn Wojcik, Graduate student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (Agriculture, Food and Environment)

Nourished Home

Optimizing family nutrition, saving time, easing the burden of meal prep all while reducing waste is finally achievable with Nourished Home. At last, a solution that will provide curated recipe recommendations and take the hassle out of nourishing your loved ones.

  • Jennifer Onopa, Researcher, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
  • Ryan Onopa
  • Ayo Oshinaike

Plena

Plena frees you from the restrictive diet mindset and goes beyond counting calories. Powered by machine learning, our holistic app will teach you how to eat intentionally and rethink your relationship with food. Find your home no matter your dietary lifestyle and wellness goals.

  • Kayla Kaplan, Graduate student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (Food and Nutrition Policy and Programs)
  • Trevor Collins

Rootopia – Third Place

Where the art, science and fun of raising happy, healthy kids comes together.

  • Michelle Markesteyn Ratcliffe, PhD, NG08

Sustainable Agriculture For All (Sustag4all) – Second Place

Sustag4all is a knowledge, community, and finance platform for sustainable avocados. In Colombia, the peace process is at the post-conflict stage where reintegrados and farmers can lead the world’s $23B avocado market by 2027 and generate positive social and environmental impact.

  • Luis Villegas, Graduate Student at the Fletcher School (International Relations)
  • Natalia Estrada, co-founder and COO, is a food engineer and human resources management graduate
  • Rockford Weitz, JD, PhD, F02, FG08, Director of Maritime Studies Program at the Fletcher School
  • Jacquie Kay, PhD
  • Cesar Augusto, Avocado agronomist in Chile, Peru, Mexico, and Colombia
  • Jacob Weiss, Graduate student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (Agriculture, Food and Environment)
  • Cyrena Thibodeau, Graduate student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (Agriculture, Food and Environment)

TAMARA

TAMARA is a brand of flavor-rich food products made with all-natural, organic, nutrient-dense ingredients and no added sugar. Our products are a substitute to highly processed, nutrition-void, sugar-loaded food products in your kitchen cabinets.

  • Arwa AlHarbi, MBA Candidate, MIT
  • Khaled Shuwail
  • Aaron Stinnett, MBA/IDM Candidate, MIT
  • Cassy Whooley, Finance Coordinator at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

2018 Finalists & Winners

7 teams pitched their ideas and 4 teams won prizes for their new approaches to food and nutrition.

The first-place winner of the inaugural Entrepreneurship Competition was SmartBakery created by Team Smartketi:

  • Robin Shrestha, N15, Project Manager at the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy 
  • Sapana Adhikari 

Team Smartketi impressed the judges with their pitch for a low-cost, but high-impact solution to help Nepalese children who are often food insecure and far away from a quick and nutritious meal while in school. Their method of working with communities, teaching baking, building kitchens, and formulating nutritious and culturally appropriate foods made the most of every prize-winning dollar. Learn more about their work after the competition.

Read more about all of the teams and other prize winners below.

View All 2018 Finalists and Winners

OptDiet优乐食Tied for Second Place Winner

An intelligent food-based nutrition designer for your personal dietary upgrade.  

  • Xinge Ding (Sophia), Graduate student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy 
  • Yan Bai, Graduate Student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy 
  • Ying-Ju Li (Ruthy), F16 
  • Perng-Hwa Kung (Pau), Alumnus of MIT (Media Lab) 

Sustain Energy Gel 

Sustain Energy Gel is the sustainable, healthier alternative to traditional energy gel packs. Made with dates, chia seeds, and salt and packed in biodegradable seaweed-based pouches, Sustain Energy Gels offer whole-food, plant-based energy to sustain both the athlete’s performance and the planet’s health. 

  • Chloe Andrews, Dietetic Intern at Tufts Medical Center and Graduate Student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy   

N2 Appliance 

Using industry standard for food packaging, our nitrogen gas appliance keeps your preservative-free food fresh! No bags, no vacuum, just store your food in the appliance!  With what industries and themes does your venture most closely align? Bakeries, coffee shops and small distributors (we will expand to fruits and vegetables by 2020) 

  • Patrick Mulcahy, EG17 

GleTechTied for Second Place Winner

GleTech’s mobile app links small farmers to buyers on an online market and coordinates cold chain solutions, credit, inputs and training. 

  • Dylan Anderson-Berens, N17 
  • Ulrich Dossou 
  • Lauren Betz  
  • Alvaro Mufarech Rey 
  • Suvankar Mishra
  • Guy Kodjogbe 

 Machines learning to Analyze Dietary Intake    

Is a picture worth a thousand words? Tufts Nutrition-Engineers using cutting-edge AI to estimate caloric intake from food photos @Picturethis! 

Team: Picture This 

  • Christina Economos, Professor, New Balance Chair in Childhood Nutrition and Chair of the Division of Nutrition Interventions, Communication, & Behavior Change, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
  • Erin Hennessy, Research Assistant Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy 
  • Shreyas Kamath, Graduate Student, Tufts University School of Engineering 
  • Karen Panetta, Professor and Dean of Graduate Education, Tufts University School of Engineering 
  • Eleanor Shonkoff, Postdoctoral Scholar, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy 

Nourishing Brains in a Rural Nepali School with a ‘Smartbakery 

Nourishing Brains in a Rural Nepali School with a ‘Smartbakery’: Improving nutrition, school attendance, and school performance through a community-supported, school-based bakery. 

Team: SmartketiFirst Place Winner

  • Robin Shrestha, N15, Project Manager at the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy 
  • Sapana Adhikari 

BabyGen Audience Choice Winner

BabyGen is the first app that empowers pregnant women to optimize their baby’s health using science-based personalized nutrition. 

  • Silvia Berciano Benitez, Graduate student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy 
  • Alessandra Verme, Graduate student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy 
  • Jose Ordovas, Senior Scientist and Lab Director at the HNRCA, Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy 

 

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