February 18 -19, 2020   |   Riga, Latvia

Food is the source of energy, and uniquely necessary for life to survive and thrive. As the global economy shifts, it becomes increasingly important for us to change the current food production and consumption habits towards a more sustainable and thoughtful future.

There is no single solution, but many, and in many areas all at once. The green economy is based on innovation, and improving the food system requires innovative solutions that have real impact. 


The 24h hackathon will provide a platform to connect students, food innovators, startup founders and leading industry experts to brainstorm, build and validate new ideas with the potential to transform the food sector. The participants will be invited to offer fresh perspectives on current issues in the areas of food production, processing and consumption, and develop new approaches through the lens of digitalization and technology to work towards a more sustainable and thoughtful future.


Participants will develop projects within the following four sectors: food waste, circular shift, new food, and digitalization. 




Circular shift

Circular economy is a major shift from a linear based economy and a take-make-waste approach, to a circular system based on the principles of eliminating waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems. This track will welcome ideas aimed at preventing plastic waste, improving collection and recycling systems, increasing supply and demand of renewed plastics, facilitating strategic cooperation chains and ‘closed loop’ return systems.

Food waste

Around one third of all food produced globally is lost or goes to waste; the underlying causes of food waste are primary production systems, the potential for food redistribution and the impact of date labelling. National initiatives are in place to meet the target of 50% global reduction in food waste by 2030. In this track, we are looking for projects to reduce food waste with the help of technology, including artificial intelligence; suggestions for changing consumer behavior and new strategies of fixing corporate supply chains. 

New food 

Consumer groups are making more diverse and specific dietary choices, both due to lifestyle and moral decisions such as vegan and vegetarian diets, or due to health and medical reasons related to food allergies, intolerances or others. The advancement of science and technology makes it possible to introduce new, regional or unorthodox types of food, with adapted characteristics and properties, more suitable to certain diets, more resistant to climate specifics and harsh environments. 


Digital solutions are integrated into our lives more than ever, and technology offers new opportunities to design cross-sectional food systems in a more efficient, sustainable and forward-thinking manner. In this track, participants are invited to propose and build ideas to overcome the digital divide, facilitate data availability and sharing across the board, create digital solutions for food producers, corporate distributors and partners, food academics and consumers.


Juhani Mykkänen

Co-founder and Head of Internal Development @Wolt
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Afton Halloran 

Independent Consultant in Sustainable Food Systems Transitions
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Sandra van Kampen

Founder @De Schaal van Kampen
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Gustav Fernström

Marketing and Business Development Director @Rimi Baltic Group
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Vigants Lesausks

Head of Revenue at Fastest growing Print On Demand platform Printify.com
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Anna Andersone

Founder at be-with
Chief Empowerment Officer at Riga TechGirls 
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Krišs Pujāts

Senior researcher @ISSP UL, CEO/Co-founder @SSS
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Managing Director @TechHub Riga
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Calum Cameron

Digital Society Developer
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Sauli Böhm

CEO of ResQ Club  
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Chantal Engelen

Co-founder @Kromkommer
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Sabine de Witte

Professional storyteller and PR expert for startups
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prize fund


Main prize fund - 10 000 € in funding, after taxes, split between three winning teams. In collaboration with Rimi, the leading food retailer in Latvia, three lucky teams that will develop the most promising ideas during the hackathon, will share the main prize to kickstart their project.

In addition to the main prize, the one lucky team member from the winning team will have a chance to attend The Next Web conference that will be held in Amsterdam on June 18-19.


practical information

who can apply?

The Future of Food hackathon is open to individuals at least 18 years old from any country, with preference being given to current and potential entrepreneurs, students and academics, technology sector representatives and professionals interested in or with prior experience in the food sector. No other restrictions apply. 



February 18 

February 19 






How to change the food system by Sandra van Kampen, Founder @De Schaal van Kampen


On the road towards zero food waste with ResQ Club: the failures and epiphanies by Sauli Böhm, CEO at ResQ Club


Kromkommer on a mission: equal rights for all fruit and vegetables by Chantal Engelen, Co-founder at Kromkommer


The delicate art of repairing an airplane whilst flying it by Afton Halloran, Independent Consultant in Sustainable Food Systems Transitions


Idea pitching & team formation


Work in teams 


Dinner & back to work


Work through the night


Breakfast & back to work


Work in teams, mentoring rounds & parallel workshops


Untapped potential for innovations in food retail by Gustav Fernström, Marketing and Business Development Director @Rimi

/Optional workshop


Short food chains for real change by Sandra van Kampen, Founder @De Schaal van Kampen

/Optional workshop


Understanding value of your product by Vigants Lesausks, Head of Revenue at Printify.com

/Optional workshop


A pitch that lasts by Sabine De Witte, Professional storyteller and PR expert for startups

/Optional workshop


Lunch & back to work


Pitch workshop by Anna Andersone, Chief Empowerment Officer at Riga TechGirls


Work in teams


Team final pitches


Keynote by Juhani Mykkänen, Co-founder at Wolt


Winner announcement


Event will be held at Kultūrvieta “Spīdola” located in 15min ride from the city center.


Address: Ieriku iela 5A, Vidzemes priekspilseta, Riga, LV-1084  


If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us:


Hackathon is co-organised by The Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia, EIT Food Hub Latvia, Riga Technical university Design Factory and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.



Communication Partners:


Technical organisers:

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