Food Hackathon + Forum | What was it?

Food Hackathon

Food Hackathon + Forum was an annual event bringing together leading innovators, entrepreneurs and academics with tech talent and emerging food leaders to come together to create solutions for major food system challenges.

The idea was to find new innovative ways to solve food problems.

It was first launched in January 2013 in San Francisco and the last event taking place on October 28th – 30th 2016 at the swissnex, Pier 17, The Embarcadero #800, San Francisco, CA 94111:


But Food Hackathon + Forum didn’t end – it evolved. It’s now known as the Future Food-Tech and future dates can be found on their website. They’re still held on an annual basis.

If you’re interested in food, we’ve been looking at numerous foods such as proteins recently including:

So, how did Food Hackathon and Forum get started?

About Food Hackathon + Forum

The Food Hackathon + Forum brought together leading food innovators, chefs, entrepreneurs, and designers to find solutions for the future of food.

Food Hackathon and Forum was founded by Tim West, a Culinary Institute of America graduate and the grandson of Arch West, the inventor of Doritos.

Tim West is a fantastic slow food chef who has cooked and worked for Facebook Headquarters.

He created Food Hackathon and Forum for an alternative way to educate and encourage entrepreneurs to help solve meaningful problems regarding food.

Each year they aimed to tackle a different problem when it came to the world and foods, for example, in 2015 the challenge was ‘Affordable Nutrition for All’, here’s a brief video from that event:

New food ideas were given judged and given the potential to score up to 100 points, made up of 20 points in each category:

  • Accessibility: 20 Points
  • Financial Sustainability: 20 Points
  • Scalability: 20 Points
  • Innovativeness: 20 Points
  • Fun: 20 Points

It was a definitely a great concept and the start of something big for the food technology industry.

Previous Winners of Food Hackathon

Food Hackathon + Forum

The 2016 event was aimed at Food Hacking for kids, these were the three winning ideas:

First Place: Salad Sultan

Salad Sultan was a 10 day kit in which children could grow microgreens. During the 10 days children could grow, sculpt, wear and then at the end of the 10 days – eat the microgreens.

A great way to teach kids about alternative nutrition.

Second Place: Veggiemon-Grow

Similar to another app of a similar name, Veggiemon-Grow was an AR experience that allowed children to “catch” and collect new foods.

After collecting them, they would learn more about the food and why they were nutritious to eat.

Third Place: Zombie Eats

The bronze medal was awarded to Zombie Eats: a food waste product company whose aim was to create pulps and purees for packaged food bases that would be easy for kids to eat as a snack.

The more liquid look to the food would give it more of a “zombified” look.

Other Noteable Ideas from Hackathons

The Food Hackathon + Forum in San Francisco has created numerous interesting ideas over the years. Here’s just a few of them.

Pantry Drop

Pantry Drop was a great concept that allows you to share your foods that are close to expiration with neighbors in your area. This was a more food-orientated idea to the social network site Next Door.


This idea came from the Affordable Nutrition for All Food Hackathon. InstaHeart was an idea to function in a similar way to Blue Apron – except aimed at customers who are EBT holders. The customers were given generous discounts and sent foods which are both nutritious and affordable.

Touching Hearts, Touching Minds is a nutrition and fitness related health site. We like to look at products and resources all across the web regarding food, nutrition and general wellness.

We’ve always admired the work of Tim West’s Food Hackathon + Forum and hope it continues to do more great work as Future-Food Tech.