Overview of
TFF Challenge

Our Call to Action

The 2015/16 Thought For Food Challenge calls on the world's best and brightest university students to form teams and develop breakthrough projects that address the global challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050.

In return, we provide a platform for you to shine, cutting-edge learning tools and resources, world-class mentorship from rockstar experts, innovators and entrepreneurs, the chance to win a trip to the inspirational TFF Global Summit as well as significant funding for your project. You'll also join a growing global movement, comprised of friends and supporters who share your passion to make the world a better place.

How it works

1. Sign up

Sign-up by December 1st to participate in the TFF Challenge (At least one team member must be registered by this date.)

2. Form your team

Create a team of 3-5 university students and add them to your team page.

3. Work on Round 1

Take advantage of the many tools available to you to come up with a groundbreaking idea (such as the TFF Design Lab).

4. Submit your pitch!

The deadline to submit your pitch is January 10, 2016 at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time

5. Ten Finalist Teams Announced

The Finalists will move on to Round 2 and will win a trip to the TFF Global Summit, get invited to join the TFF Bootcamp, and be in the running for the $10,000 Grand Prize.

6. Work on Round 2

Finalists will work through an online, business building crash course to hone their business model.

7. TFF Bootcamp

As a TFF Challenge Finalist, you are invited to join the TFF Bootcamp in March 2016 (1 week highly rewarding startup building experience).

8. Final Pitch

Pitch your idea on stage at the TFF Global Summit and compete for the $10,000 Grand Prize, $5,000 Runner Up Prize and $5,000 Kirchner Food Fellows Prize.

9. Enjoy lasting benefits

Remain involved with the TFF global community of movers and shakers and stay in the spotlight! (of course this applies whether you win or not).

Prizes every step of the way

Startup Investments


One Grand Prize winning team will receive a $10,000 grant for their project


One finalist team will receive the $5,000 Kirchner Food Fellows Prize


One Runner Up team will receive a $5,000 grant for their project

Life-changing Experiences


All participating teams get access to the TFF Design Lab and professional mentors representing a variety of fields of expertise.

Travel + Bootcamp

The 10 Finalist teams will receive a trip to a fantastic destination, where they will take part in a custom program to acquire skills and tools that will propel their projects to the next level.

TFF Summit

Finalists will represent their university at the TFF Summit and pitch their ideas to a top-caliber judging panel.


All teams become part of the amazing TFF community of friends and supporters. They also have the chance for their ideas to gain worldwide attention by being profiled in our TFF video productions and by other media.

Judging Criteria


How innovative is the solution, really?!

TFF commits to being at the cusp of new idea generation. You and your teammates will look to consolidate cutting-edge technologies and the latest resources to create a project that is fresh and exciting, in a way that has never been seen before.


Can the idea be implemented and scaled?

Food security solutions require short, medium, and long-term goals that shouldn't end when the competition is over. Your project should be implementable, with serious scalability potential on a global level.


Does the solution stand out from everything else out there?

You will be competing against some of the brightest minds. Your project should stand out among the wide array of proposals, providing game-changing solutions. It should embody a "wow" factor so that it gets noticed in a noisy world of innovation and startups.

Team Spirit

Does your team demonstrate passion, curiosity and commitment to get it done?

Being an innovator is one of the most exciting and rewarding things one can do. However, it is also a long and demanding one. Your team needs to demonstrate that it is able to withstand these challenges and truly deliver a solution that will improve lives.

Round 1 Judges

Alex Budak

Erin Lenhardt

Gabriel Wilmoth

Christoph Auer-Welsbach

Jessica Weddle

Steve Dauphin

Dr. Joseph King

Sara Farley

John Cumbers

Adam Little

Round 2 Judges

To be announced