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Seeking Fresh Ideas for Protein Innovation: Announcing the 2021 Bold Open Reverse Pitch

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – May 20, 2021 – Minnesota’s food and agriculture companies are challenging the world’s most creative thinkers to drive innovation and propel solutions at the third annual Bold Open Reverse Pitch event.  This year’s challenges will focus on protein innovation: enhancing the sustainability of animal proteins and advancing plant and other novel proteins.

The Bold Open is designed to incubate innovative solutions to critical industry challenges. Leading Minnesota companies and commodity groups will present specific challenges and solicit solutions from innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers, and businesses from anywhere in the world. The goal is to identify scalable solutions to the challenges presented and then to accelerate commercialization of innovative approaches.

Join us on July 21st  2021

Visit to learn more about the Bold Open

The Bold Open is powered by the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI), in partnership with MBOLD in collaboration with over a dozen other Minnesota food and agriculture entities.

“We’re pleased to lead the third Bold Open to accelerate innovation on key issues facing the food and ag sectors,” said Shannon Schlecht, AURI’s executive director. “Minnesota is unique in that we can bring together multiple globally leading companies and trade organizations to highlight industry issues and to create solutions for collaborative advancement.”

“One of the most critical challenges for the future of food and agriculture is reconciling the world’s growing demand for food with our changing climate and limited natural resource base,” said JoAnne Berkenkamp, MBOLD Managing Director.  “Innovation in the protein space – both from animal sources and plant proteins – is a central part of the solution.”

The Bold Open is made possible by AURI, MBOLD, Cargill, Compeer Financial, Field Theory, General Mills, Grow North, Hormel Foods, Land O’Lakes, Inc., McKinsey and Co., Midwest Dairy, Minnesota Beef Council, Minnesota Cattlemen’s Association, SunOpta, TechStars Farm to Fork, and the University of Minnesota.

To learn more about the Bold Open, please enjoy this video.

For more information or to request media credentials, please contact Erik Evans at 612.704.1120 or


About AURI

The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute’s mission is to foster long-term economic benefit through value-added agricultural products. It accomplishes this by using science and technology to help develop new uses for agricultural products. It partners with businesses and entrepreneurs to generate economic impact in Minnesota communities by helping businesses take advantage of innovative opportunities in four focus areas: biobased products, renewable energy, coproducts and food. AURI provides a broad range of services, including applied research and development, scientific assistance and a targeted network of resources to develop value-added uses for crops and coproducts.


About MBOLD®

MBOLD is a coalition of CEOs and other senior leaders working together to accelerate solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the food and agriculture sectors, particularly our changing climate, related natural resource challenges and the growing global demand for food.  Members include General Mills, Cargill, Target, Schwan’s Company, Compeer Financial, Land O’Lakes, Inc., Ecolab and the University of Minnesota as well as the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, the Minnesota AgriGrowth Council, Grow North and McKinsey & Co. To learn more, see