If you have a question that's not captured below, reach out to us at ispic@gfi.org with the subject "ISPIC 2023 QUERY” and we’ll get back to you within 3 to 5 business days.

You can apply for the Challenge by filling the associated forms for Smart Up Track and Start Up Track which are both live and will remain open for applications until midnight on 04th June, 2023. We’ll be reviewing applications on a rolling basis, so we encourage you to apply sooner rather than later!

Eligibility criteria for applying to Track 1 and Track 2 are here. You may also submit any other specific questions about eligibility that may not be addressed by emailing us at ispic@gfi.org with the subject "ISPIC 2023 QUERY” and we’ll get right back to you.

Apart from actively participating in the critical work of stewarding planetary and human health, taking part in ISPIC 2023 exposes you to a cohort of like-minded peers, with access to expert mentorship and curated training resources. While these are invaluable, the tangible benefits include certifications for completion of the Digital Lab and winning, follow-on internships, incubation, and cash prizes worth up to 1 Lakh per team to further your smart protein careers and ventures. Read more about it here

ISPIC 2023 is geared toward solving the future of food. To be a successful smart protein innovator, you don’t necessarily require a background in food science or allied fields, but you should have a keen interest in understanding the problems and inefficiencies in our food system. You should possess a strong sense of logic and practicality, combined with a genuine desire to tackle the most pressing challenges confronting our food system today.

The Smart Up Track will be a theoretical Innovation challenge with no physical prototype required. You’ll conduct case studies and analyses, build dashboards, design new frameworks, and draft whitepapers depending on your chosen challenge statement. While in Track 2, we require you to already have a Proof of Concept (PoC) before applying, but you may develop it further during the course of the challenge. You may either continue product development on the idea you applied with, or start work on a new one more focused on the six challenge areas. In either case, we expect all startups in the cohort to have and develop a physical prototype. Remember, our aim is to help you become more robust and investable to funds and accelerators.

Every individual or team can only choose one challenge statement to work on in either track.

For Track 1, ensure you fill the application form with all the information asked including the questions with descriptive answers which show your understanding of your sector, interest area, etc. - this is what will really make you stand out! For Track 2, ensure you have a diverse team with a combined skill set spanning business and science, and highlight the differentiation your startup brings to the Indian market, or the uniqueness of your product/solution. We would also love to see your startup’s approach to the problem statement that interests you.

Hmm. Go ahead and apply, and we recommend that you highlight how you are incorporating, or plan to incorporate in the near future, any of these six Challenge Statements as part of your product development strategy. Highlight why your solution and product are unique and important to the Indian smart protein sector. Refer to Q8 above. While we are looking for startups that solve for and around the whitespaces we mentioned, building the sector is a collaborative process, and we promise to consider your application if you have something that helps differentiate and propel the sector forward.

You may, and we’d like you to look at Q8 and Q10 and urge you to put your best foot forward.

You may! ISPIC 2023 is designed with an expanded focus for participants to ideate and innovate in whitespaces across the value chain of plant-based, cultivated and fermentation-derived proteins. We have also updated our curriculum with new resources in our Smart Protein Digital Lab to keep you engaged, and expanded benefits to help participants with their smart protein careers and ventures.

None. Participation in ISPIC 2023 is completely free, thanks to the support of our key challenge partner, Spectrum Impact, and other supporting partners.

For the Smart Up Track, you will apply as an individual for Phase 1 and if successful, we will provide you with networking opportunities and a match-making platform to form your team prior to Phase 2 based on your chosen challenge statement. Meanwhile, you can only apply as pre-formed teams for the Start Up Track. Overall, starting from Phase 2 it is mandatory to participate in teams for both tracks. This is because we will have a number of webinar and mentorship sessions with industry experts and we find that it is helpful to split time across the team to attend these sessions, while also prioritizing the development of proposals at each phase. In addition, being a sole entrepreneur in the space in India is difficult and we want to set you up for success.

There will be ample time between each deadline for participants to plan around their personal schedules as this is a longer term Challenge spanning over 5 months. We suggest you apply for the challenge and see how it suits you, as your exact level of involvement will depend on your commitment to the challenge.

For Track 1, as part of Phase 1, participants will be enrolled in a first-of-its-kind Smart Protein Digital Lab. This MOOC will have participants go through four weeks of business, scitech and policy content across technology areas (plant-based, cultivated and fermentation) that are also relevant to all six challenge statements. They will be quizzed weekly and all those scoring above the 60% cutoff will be certified and the top 120 or so candidates will progress to Phase 2. During Phase 1 of Track 2, participants will access the Smart Protein Startup Toolkit: a compilation of resources focused on the business and technology of smart protein. Participants will use these resources to then inform and submit their preliminary business and technical plans for their startups, and progress to Phase 2.

Solutions from the participants of ISPIC 2020 and ISPIC 2021 have been captured in their respective Smart Protein Solutions Wall.

Results of the final list of candidates who are eligible to participate in Phase 1 ISPIC 2023 (starting on 29th May) will be given latest by midnight of 27th May. Stay tuned!.

If you are a startup with an idea in the smart protein sector, we encourage your team to apply for the challenge and participate in Track 2. Please note that your startup will apply as one team to ISPIC 2023, and the application form will capture all individual team members’ data. Throughout the challenge, we will provide you with curated foundational information and resources on the smart protein sector, access to business/scitech mentors, industry experts and GFI’s advisory network to support your team to succeed in the sector.

If you are looking to participate in Track 2, you will need to access infrastructure through your own networks (university, labs, etc.) and/or by making use of existing resources you have at your disposal. We will be unable to provide physical infrastructure support during the challenge. However, you will also have access to our bioincubator partners for support. At the end of the challenge, if you are successful at the Demo Day, our incubator partners will be able to offer you a place within their existing facilities at subsidized rates. Your prize money can also be invested towards the same.