FoodTech Startup Competition#3

FoodTech Startup Competition is a program of Maistra Hospitality Group in collaboration with Infobip, Kaufland and Pepermint Agency to advance startups working on products/ services that want to solve sustainibility and digitalization challenges in Food and Hospitality Industry.

The most successful participants of the innovative gastronomic competition were honored at Weekend.16

A new addition to the second FoodTech StartUp competition is the announcement of an extra winner this year due to the significant interest from small and regional innovators. The winner in the new retail category is Ruralina, a startup based in Split. Their digital solution facilitates seamless interaction among individuals, producers, and organizations, empowering small suppliers to grow through their platform...

What are we looking for

We are looking for startups in the category of Food and Hospitality Ecosystem with companies addressing innovation across the entire food value chain; whether it's producing, delivering, purchasing, enjoying, or disposing of food by leveraging technology to create efficiency and sustainability throughout.

Some categories of the above could fall into the following categories:

Agriculture Tech

Products & solutions that improve farming quality and output using technology

Food Science

Food products that reflect consumer health needs, ingredient transparency, and Food environmental concerns

Food Product and Health Coaching

Helping customers have a better view on what is “good for me”

Food & Hospitality Services

Reinventing how Hotels, Restaurants and Cafe businesses are managed including innovation in customer facing processes

Food Supply Chain & Retail

Creating new shopping experiences, digitization of the supply chain in Food Retail (next gen vending)

Food Delivery

New ways of addressing delivery challenges and demand in the food industry

Food Waste

Novel ways of decreasing food waste in the different areas of the food and hospitality industry

Special CategoryRetail

A special category of the competition in which all submitted works are viewed according to the standards mentioned above - but must be closely related to retail. Food producers or specially developed technologies (connected to retail) are considered

The Best Of The Best In Retail: overall winner of this category/competition will get marketing support worth 30,000 euros through Kaufland's online channels

The Best Local Food Producers: Up to 5 best local food producers who apply, and meet all the criteria, will get the opportunity to be listed in Kaufland's offer. It is necessary that they be in some way innovative, have everything technically and legally well arranged and checked around the product, barcode and shelf ready packaging.

Who can apply

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

Seed and Pre-Seed stage, with an established company

With a committed multidisciplinary team and the company established

Focused on hospitality and gastronomy 360º and foodtech, developing technologies to promote the future of gastronomy and/or hospitality

With a product or service proposal that fosters the transformation of the agents of its entire value chain: chefs, waiters, managers, producers, distributors, diners, guests

Focus on regional and European startups, global are also welcome

With market metrics and validation with real clients

What are we offering

The winner of the competition will get:

20k EUR credits for Infobip services

A voucher for accommodation in Rovinj's Hotel Lone for 3 days for up to 3 team members.

Access to a startup community, investment opportunities, assistance landing in the local gastronomic and hospitality ecosystem

To present the product @ Weekend Media Festival to gain visibility and network

Assistance landing in the local ecosystem and corporate network

Admission fee for Weekend Food Festival and Weekend Media Festival in 2024

To participate in “Mentoring Bootcamp” with our Expert Team to be held online and/or on site in Croatia. The Mentoring Bootcamp will focus on development of skills and support in the area needed for the winner to kick of the proposed business model or bring it on the next level. The area of focus for the mentoring could be: retail base know-how, hospitality management, customer engagement and omnichannel communications.

Meet our jury

  • Tina Turk Lupieri

    Tina Turk Lupieri

    Maistra Hospitality Group

  • Aleksandar Raić

    Aleksandar Raić


  • Nikola Pavešić

    Nikola Pavešić


  • Hrvoje Petrić

    Hrvoje Petrić

    Amuse Bouche

  • Daniel Šturm

    Daniel Šturm


The Process and How To Apply

Calls for the competition will be published between 19. - 21.4.2024. @ Weekend Food Festival

The registration period will be open from 22.4.2024 to 31.7.2024.

The finalist project will be selected to participate @ Weekend Media Festival and present the product/services

The date of the Mentoring Bootcamp will be defined by 15.9.2024.

For more information, please send an email to

What are you waiting for? Apply now!