decorative graphic with text reading Agri-Food Innovation Student Pitch Competition.  Pitching agri-food innovations to meet one of  the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences hosted a university-wide pitch competition in Fall 2023.  

How could an innovation in agri-food help meet one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

Select one of the 17 SDGs and align it with a specific target within the chosen goal. The proposed innovation will connect to the agriculture and food sectors.


Learn more about the goals on the United Nations website, and be inspired by work underway in these areas at the U of A as reported by the Sustainability Council.


The finalists and the title of their pitches are as follows:

  • 1st place ($3,000): Welcome to the world of MAG blocks - Jazdn Moore, Jennah Salls 
  • 2nd Place ($2,000): Apple Buffing to Innovation - Giovanni DeRosa, Ellen Tam  
  • 3rd Place ($1,000): Low Phytate Lentils to Combat Iron Deficiency Globally - Eric Prefontaine, Sydney Wong, Zachary Burgess-Akitt, Sara Mah, Megan Mah  

We'd also like to applaud the the other two finalists:

  • Bioethanol Production from Fruit and Vegetable Waste - Ryo Pranata 
  • DEW BOX - Cindy Kwok

Thank you to our judges! We're proud to have had the following community and industry experts as part of this competition:

  • Tristin Brisbois - Director, Advanced Personalization Ideation Center, Life Sciences, Global R&D at PepsiCo
  • Chris Micetich - Brass Dome Ventures
  • Heather Bruce - Professor and Chair, Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science

Winning teams were also invited to present their pitch to the Innovation Mastermind Edmonton (imYEG) Council of Founders.

Students give a powerpoint presentation to a panel of judges in the professional-looking Edmonton Unlimited office

Read more about the winning pitches

This article includes an overview of each winning idea, and accolades for the ambitious students from leadership in attendance.

Read more

Information for participants 

Eligibility: U of A undergraduate students in any faculty can participate as individuls or groups of up to four people.

Students enrolled in the Certificate in Sustainability can use this opportunity to complete the presentation requirement of their integrative project. Participation and successful presentation of a pitch abstract to the Academic Sustainability Coordinator meets the Integrated Project Requirement for the Certificate in Sustainability.


  • Abstracts due by October 17 
  • The top five teams will be selected by October 20 and invited to pitch their idea at an event on November 22 co-hosted by Edmonton Global and Edmonton Unlimited
Submission supports
What is agri-food innovation?
Agri-food innovation refers to using any part of the agricultural or food producing research into practice in a novel way.
  • Innovation means bringing new or existing processes, products or ways of organizing into use for the first time to address, a goal. In this instance, the goal would be a specific United Nations sustainable development goal.
  • Agri-Food can include practices used by farmers, food processors; inputs like water and soil; or any part of a plant or animal traditionally used as a food source.
Pitch requirements
Your project pitch must meet the following five criteria:
  1. UN Sustainability goal is of the project is identified
  2. A target is identified for the respective goal for your innovation
  3. The innovation is identified
  4. The pitch is agri-food related
  5. There is business case for the innovation
The top five teams selected will present their pitch on Nov. 22 to a panel of judges and invited audience members. Teams will have 10 minutes to present and 5 minutes to field questions from the judges.
Sponsored by the Alberta School of Business and available campus-wide, Pitchbook allows students, faculty and staff to access a wealth of startup, venture capital and business data across a variety of sectors. Access Pitchbook online through the U of A libraries ezproxy server.

Read more:

This event is supported by donors

This pitch competition is made possible by generous donors to the Ag-Food Innovation Endowment (AgIE) Fund. We are grateful to these visionary donors who recognize that the students of today are the innovators of tomorrow. Learn more about this initative on the AgIE Fund website.