Innovator Lightning Round

Do you have an innovative solution for America's food waste problem? Submit it for the chance to present at the 2018 Midwest Food Recovery Summit and walk away with $1,000 thanks to a sponsorship from the University of Northern Iowa's Center for Business Growth and Innovation (CBGI).

How It Works

Businesses, non-profits, and entrepreneurs submit their innovative food waste solution to the IWRC. Accepted solutions will take center stage on Thursday, September 13th at 9:00 a.m. to share their innovations with conference attendees. Innovators will present their idea/concept/business, followed by rapid-fire questions from attendees/panel of experts. After all of the innovators have presented, a live vote will take place to determine the winner of the $1,000, which will be presented by the the special event sponsor, CBGI.

For Innovators

All accepted innovators will receive speaker registration for one person. To attend only on Thursday, September 13, there will be no cost and if you would like to attend the full conference, you can attend at the speaker rate. No travel expenses will be provided.



2018 Innovators

AeromatiCo: Clean + Simple Composting, AeromaticCo, LLC

AeromatiCo, LLCAeromatiCo is the only “plug and play” composting solution for individuals who want a clean and simple way to deal with their plant-based kitchen waste. There is no monitoring or turning your compost. Pests are not attracted to your waste and rotting smells are nearly eliminated. The AeromatiCo composter is a fully contained unit that simply requires an electrical outlet and water. AeromatiCo accepts up to 2L of kitchen scraps per day. It is continuous process, meaning you never need to wait to add more waste or to use your liquid compost. AeromatiCo requires no additives and is energy efficient drawing the equivalent power of a 60 watt light bulb.

Bridging the Food Rescue Transportation Gap Through Partnerships, Eat Greater Des Moines

Eat Greater Des MoinesIn April 2018, Eat Greater Des Moines organized and funded a food rescue transportation pilot. For the pilot program, 4 Wesley Life Meals on Wheels drivers pick up donations from 22 Kum and Go convenience stores and deliver to 12 recipient locations, 3 times a week. Food recipient partners included the "usual" food rescue partners - food pantries, school pantries, churches, and free meal sites - but also expanded to new food rescue partners - affordable housing communities. Four affordable housing communities are now
receiving food 3 times a week and providing it to their residents.

More Coming Soon!


2017 Innovator Lightning Round

Ugly Apple Cafe, 1st Place Win Six innovative businesses/non-profits took the stage for the inaugural Innovator Lightning Round at the 2017 Midwest Food Recovery Summit. Each had the opportunity to present a short pitch presentation about the ways they have figured out to prevent, reduce, recover, and/or recycle food that would have otherwise been thrown away, with each presentation followed by rapid-fire questions from the attendees. Once all was said and done, a live vote took place and attendees awarded Laurel Burleson from Ugly Apple Cafe in Madison, WI as the most innovative.

Additional innovators included:

2018 Midwest Food Recovery
Summit Partner

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency