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The 2023 Bold Open Reverse Pitch Challenges Announced

Minnesota’s Ag and Food Businesses, Commodity Groups Seek New Ideas from Innovators and Entrepreneurs

How can millions of pounds of spent coffee grounds be upcycled into a high-value byproduct? What should be done to harness data to ensure Minnesota’s agriculture economy is as efficient, profitable and coordinated as possible? Can a bank make faster decisions on small agriculture loan applications?

These are a few of the questions some Minnesota food and agriculture brands and commodity groups are grappling with and asking the best minds in the world to help solve in the 2023 Bold Open Reverse Pitch program.

The eight challenge titles for this year’s event are:

  • Help Us Upcycle 3 Million Pounds of Spent Coffee Grounds (Bizzy)
  • Fast Decision Making for Small Agricultural Loans (Bremer Bank)
  • Traceability in Row Crops (CHS Inc.)
  • Ag Data Wrangling (Compeer Financial)
  • Upcycled Food Ingredient Landscape (Hormel Foods)
  • Scaling Innovation—Oilseed Crop Pressing, Workforce Training and New Uses (Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council)
  • Identifying high-potential Strategies to Deploy Medically Tailored Foods as a Reimbursable Health/Medical/ Insurance/Wellness Expense (Step One Foods)
  • Recovery of Nutrients from Agricultural-Derived Waste Streams (AURI)

The participating Minnesota companies and commodity groups are soliciting novel solutions to the challenges from everyone – innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers businesses, etc. These companies and industry organizations are committed to collaborating with entities that can help accelerate innovative ideas into the marketplace. The collaborators are open to a range of solutions to the challenges presented to accelerate commercially viable approaches.

The Bold Open, which is powered by the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, is a reverse pitch-style event focusing on the food and agriculture sector. It is also an opportunity for solution providers to be able to connect with a diverse set of decision makers across Minnesota to innovate around current business challenges.  The full challenge descriptions and proposal submission instructions are available at 

“We are excited about this year’s Bold Open Reverse Pitch. The participating companies and commodity groups are looking for actionable solutions to these aspirational and practical issues. They want specific and innovative ideas to move forward and form actionable partnerships,” said Shannon Schlecht, AURI’s Executive Director. “The solutions that result from the Bold Open Reverse Pitch have the potential to catalyze innovation  to overcome problems facing our food and agriculture sector.”

A complete description of each challenge, plus more information on how to submit a proposal, is available at the Bold Open website.

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.