Food Innovation Challenge

Develop your team's food and beverage innovation project towards a viable business with the Food Innovation Challenge (FIC). 

Through workshops, exposure to industry experts, and individualised coaching, the FIC will empower student teams to design and validate their innovation projects towards the development of a viable food and beverage business.

This program is offered in association with Australia’s Food and Beverage Accelerator (FaBA) and is open to students from the FaBA partner universities UQ, QUT and UniSQ. 

Teams will compete for multiple prizes worth $10,000.

Key dates

Applications close. 11:59pm, Tuesday 6 August 2024

Submit your video pitch. Sunday 29 September 2024

Pitch event. Friday 4 October 2024

Register today

The Food Innovation Challenge is in partnership with the Food and Beverage Accelerator (FaBA)




Personalise, functional and convenient foods
Think: mental boosting products (omega-3s or nootropics), probiotics for gut health, or medical hydration beverages for wellness-seeking consumers.
Natural, healthier and nutritional diets
Think: non-alcoholic beverages, synthetic biology and precision fermentation for novel food products, or special healthy diet plans backed by scientific evidence.
Sustainable production and consumption
Think: green and ethical value chain, repurposing inedible by-products, or process efficiency through AI, robotics, sensing and cyber-physical systems.
Supply chain resilience
Think: digital twins' solutions to make supply chains more efficient, creating opportunities for Australian markets to address global wheat gaps, or local industries facilitating access to affordable and high-quality seasonal produce.

Program objectives

This 7-sessions program empowers student teams to develop food and beverage innovation projects towards a viable business. Students will do this by achieving the following milestones:

  • Problem Identification: identifying a problem or gap in the food and beverage industry that needs to be addressed.

  • Problem-Solution Fit: validation that the solution directly addresses the needs and goals of the user.

  • Product-Market Fit: validation that the product offered creates value to be captured into a viable business.

On completion of the program, students should be able to provide a compelling case for business investment and/or buy-in from their key stakeholders.


Terms and conditions for the final pitch competition will be uploaded shortly. 

Who can participate

The FIC is open to students from all disciplines and study levels at UQ, QUT, and UniSQ.

Why participate

By participating in the FIC you will be able to:

  • build your networks,
  • strengthen your entrepreneurial skills,
  • work with participants outside your discipline,
  • address a real problem worth solving, and
  • have the chance to win a cash prize!


The top 5 teams in the Food Innovation Challenge will pitch for a share of $10,000 in prize money. Each team can pitch for up to $2,000 of prize money to take their idea forward. The top 5 teams will get access to FaBA’s network of labs, makerspaces, and experts to further develop their products.

Program overview

Problem and Solution 

Week 1

Date: 8 August
Time: 3-5pm

Team formation and problem discovery session. 

Week 2Date: 15 August
Time: 3-5pm
Mentoring session to help participants validate their problems and gaps.

Week 3

Date: 22 August
Time: 3-5pm

Design Thinking and Universal Design session.

Market Validation and Value Proposition Canvas

Week 3

Date: 29 August
Time: 3-5pm

The importance of conducting customer interviews. How to conduct customer interviews. How to use the Value Proposition Canvas.  

Week 4Date: 5 September
Time: 3-5pm
Teams to share insights from customer interviews and solutions with industry experts and mentors.



No session. Teams to conduct customer interviews. Target (20). Ad-hoc support sessions are available to be booked with Ventures experts.

Pitching and Storytelling

Week 6

Date: 19 September
Time: 3-5pm

The importance of creating a compelling pitch. Teams to start developing their pitches. 

Mid-sem Break 

Teams have time to develop their pitches and submit a video pitch to gain entry to pitch in the finals.

Pitch submission due date: Sunday 29 September
Finalists announced: Friday 4 October.

Week 7

Date: 10 October
Time: 5-7pm

Pitch final. Top 5 teams to pitch for a share of $10,000.

Each team will get matched with an industry mentor or expert to further their ideas to commercialize.

Have a question?

For more information about the Food Innovation Challenge, please contact Ventures.