For 48 hours on December 7-9, leading entrepreneurs, technologists, creatives, academics, and policymakers will team up to develop innovative new solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing sustainable meat. On December 9, teams will pitch their final prototypes to an expert panel of judges including Tom Mylan (The Meat Hook), Stephen McDonnell (Applegate), Hillary Mason (Bitly), Paul Matteucci (US Venture Partners) and Shai Goldman (500 Startups). Winners will be awarded up to $2,500 and marketing services to help them continue working with stakeholders to bring their products to fruition.
During the first-ever meat “hackathon”- an event during which volunteers self-organize to develop tools and solve problems in a short period of time - teams will tackle a number of specific challenges that are universal to all those in the meat industry, among them:
• How to better source GMO-free feed
• The impact of consolidation on rural communities
• Access to markets for emerging products and producers
• Improving food labeling for consumers
“If you keep inviting the same people to the table, you’re going to keep getting variations of the same solutions. We're using the hackathon model to bring together a cross-disciplinary group to create tools that help scale the innovative work already going on to improve the health, sustainability and profitability of meat,” says Danielle Gould, Food+Tech Connect Founder.
Destin Layne, Program Director at GRACE Communications Foundation adds, "It's inspiring to see disparate voices converging to bring ideas to the table through a wider, more inclusive lens. Our online conversation kick-started public dialogue on the country's most pressing issues around meat, and because of Hack//Meat, technologists, entrepreneurs, farmers, academics and policymakers will transform collective ideas into actionable tools for a healthier future."
“As a judge for the final projects,” notes Stephen McDonnell, CEO of Applegate, “I’m most interested in seeing pitches that have a high feasibility of implementation and impact. As an industry we’re moving toward a more sustainable, transparent system but we still have serious hurdles to overcome. The group gathering in NYC represents a fantastic chance to directly address these barriers.”