Frequently Asked Questions


Signups for the current Thought For Food Challenge opened on April 23, 2015. Interested students may sign up at ANY time between April 23, 2015 and the pitch deadline (December 1, 2015 at 12:00 AM Pacific Standard Time).

Click the “sign up here” button on the homepage and create your team page. Then you will be able to invite your team members to join your team page and start working on Round 1!

Yes, teams may sign up with either an existing idea or project or without one.

Eligibility and Teams

University students (undergraduate, graduate, masters or PhD) from any country and any age group who are enrolled in a degree-seeking program at an accredited university are eligible to participate in the TFF Challenge.

No, however we strongly encourage you to find team members who are located near you so that you can gather on a regular basis to work on the Challenge.

There is no limit to how many teams can sign up from each university.

Teams should be composed of 3-5 members. While your team may have no more than 5 official team members (these are the 5 that will attend the Bootcamp and Summit should your team be chosen as a Finalist) you are allowed as many unofficial team members as you like, which could include other students, professors and/or advisors.

If the founding members meet the eligibility criteria, an existing non-profit may be entered into the TFF Challenge

Teams must have a minimum of 3 members in order to be eligible to participate.

There are lots of ways to find other interested students to participate in the Challenge with you. Below are just a few ideas:

  • Ask your department head or a professor of a relevant subject to send out an email to all of his or her students
  • Host a screening of the TFF Documentary and invite attendees to sign up for the Challenge
  • Host an informal “changemakers dinner” and invite attendees to participate in the Challenge
  • Post flyers with your contact information around campus (flyers can be found here)
  • Ask around! Start by contacting friends and colleagues at your university to find out who you know who is interested in the topic
  • Contact the leaders of relevant student groups to find out if they’d let you present the opportunity at one of their meetings

Judging and Prizes


10 Finalist teams will be chosen at the end of Round 1 (December 1, 2015) to move on to Round 2. These 10 teams will receive economy class travel and accommodation to attend the TFF Bootcamp and Global Summit in early 2016.


At the TFF Summit, one Grand Prize winning team will be chosen to receive $10,000 USD and one Runner Up team will be chosen to receive $5,000 USD.

Projects will initially be evaluated on how well they demonstrate significant potential to ameliorate either a current or future challenge in the way the world produces, distributes and/or consumes food. This might include food waste, hunger, obesity and malnutrition, post-harvest loss, environmental impact, etc. In addition, projects will be judged according to the following 4 criteria:

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.

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.

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.

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

All entries must be submitted through the online TFF platform using the “submit your pitch” form. More details of this process will be provided after sign up.

For Round 1, teams will be required to submit their idea in both text and video format by the pitch deadline (December 1, 2015 at 12:00 AM Pacific Standard Time). These videos must be uploaded to either YouTube or Vimeo and abide by the pitch criteria in order to be considered. More details will be provided after sign up.

The TFF Challenge is about much more than submitting pitches. Rather, it’s an in-depth learning and idea development process and your team will gain access to some great tools to help you along the way. In order to get the most out of the Challenge process, individuals will not be allowed to be a member of more than one team and teams will only be allowed to submit one pitch.

Round 2

If selected as a Finalist to move on to Round 2, your team will participate in an online training program in order to help you learn how to implement your idea and create a profitable business. Round 2 also includes the TFF Bootcamp and Global Summit.

A minimum of 3 team members are required to attend both the Bootcamp and the TFF Summit in early 2016 in order to stay in the running for the Grand Prize.

The Summit is a phenomenal, life-changing experience! In addition to the Finalist pitches, you’ll participate in workshops, hear from some great speakers and meet other young innovators from all over the globe. Check out this video of our last TFF Global Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.