The ReThink Protein Challenge: 20 finalists will enter the Grand Finale

June 12, 2019

With the Grand Finale of the Rethink Protein Challenge approaching (June 27th), the 20 finalists have been announced. The selection has been tough. 58 student teams have initially registered for the Challenge. First selection round brought down the number of competing student teams to 40.

Rethink Protein Challenge

The Rethink Protein Challenge invites students to come up with an innovative business idea or prototype that proposes a solution for feeding 9 billion people worldwide with sustainable, affordable and healthy proteins. The ideas students could submit had to be related to new protein sources, new protein foods, processing efficiency, or services or interventions that could be a breakthrough in the protein revolution.

Throughout the different phases of the challenge, student teams have received coaching from multiple business partners in order to further develop their projects. Coaches from Cargill, Rabobank, Dalco food, and Nutreco amongst others speed dated with the student teams to provide the teams with feedback and advice.

The finalists

Now that the Grand Finale is only two weeks away, the 20 finalists have been selected. There are 10 finalists in the category Ideation and 10 in the category prototyping:





All Gaens


SWAP – Silk worm as protein

Lego Protein

Protein Forward

Dehydrated Cushuro








Food plus


INKA Spread

Morama: a lost crop from Africa


The Grand Finale, 27 June in Orion

During the Grand Finale, top 20 teams pitch their idea or prototype to the jury and the audience. The student teams compete for prizes between €500,- and €5.000,- and support from partners to further develop their idea or prototype. In addition four teams will be awarded a wildcard for the ‘Dutch 4TU Impact Finals’, where the best student teams from the Technical Universities in the Netherlands will compete with one another. The ideas and prototypes will be assessed on the basis of sustainability, social impact, technical feasibility, and economic viability.

The program of the Finale as well as registration can be found here.

The finalists: a sneak-peak

When attending the Grand Finale, one can expect to hear for instance from ‘SWAP – Silk worm as protein’, which is competing in the category Ideation. This project is specifically focused on reducing the protein gap in India. Its aim of is to utilize silkworm pupae, which contains 55 g protein per 100 g, for food or feed grade products whilst reusing an agricultural by-product and reducing pollution caused by dumping of excess pupae.

In the category Prototyping tune into the pitch by GrainGain. They are using a drying technique to use the left over residue of the beer brewing process, spent grain. Spent grain is high in protein and fibre, and is currently not being used for human consumption. Through collaborating with a local craft brewery, GrainGain has managed to create a variety of delicious and nutritious products, ranging from energy bars and protein powder to baking products.

Are you interested in hearing more from these and other projects competing in the Rethink Protein Challenge? Don’t forget to register for the Grand Finale!