IFTNEXT Start-Up Alley

As a part of IFT’s mission to “advance the science of food and its application across the global food system,” we launched IFTNEXT—the next step in our journey to fulfilling our mission. 

Among the many IFTNEXT initiatives, we are inviting cutting-edge food entrepreneurs to their showcase innovative products and ideas to a worldwide audience at the second annual Start-Up Alley taking place at IFT18, July 15–18, in Chicago.

Interested in Showcasing Your New Innovation?

The IFTNEXT Start-Up Alley is a unique opportunity to showcase your innovative technology, products, and/or services to a global audience 20,000+ food professionals at one of the world’s largest annual food science events.

Start-Up Alley

Benefits of Exhibiting

Start-ups chosen to exhibit will benefit from a reduced exhibitor fee, a small carpeted kiosk with electricity, internet access, and a graphic panel complete with the company name and logo. In addition, IFT18’s own marketing and promotion of Start-Up Alley will drive traffic to your exhibit. Participating start-ups will be immersed in the industry’s largest collection of food ingredient, equipment, processing, technology, and packaging suppliers on the forefront of the latest global food trends. See more benefits of exhibiting at the bottom of the page.

Important Dates

For companies interested in exhibiting at IFTNEXT Start-Up Alley, applications will be accepted until May 31, 2018.

The application process is easy, but here are five guidelines to follow:

  1. Your company must be new. We are looking for operating companies no more than five years old. Also, you cannot have exhibited at a prior IFT annual event or be a regular exhibitor at IFT18.
  2. Your company must create sales revenue. Your company must have at least one paying customer.
  3. There is a revenue cap. Your annual sales volume must be under $5 million.
  4. Emphasis is on cutting-edge technology and innovation. We are looking for companies in the following categories:
    • Kitchen/foodservice equipment
    • Wearable technology
    • Food and water security
    • Food waste solutions
    • Food packaging
    • Fermentation
    • Agricultural technology
    • Robotics and artificial intelligence
    • Innovative functional ingredients
    • Delivery/supply chain disruption

Participation fee: $1,500

Apply for Start-Up Alley Today!

Exhibitor Details

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  • Package Details and Pricing

    IFTNEXT Start-Up Alley Exhibitor package participation fee is $1,500 and includes the following:

    • Exclusive company recognition at the IFT18 annual meeting
    • Dedicated kiosk booth space in a prominent location on the IFT Food Expo floor
    • Company recognition in marketing promotions to IFT18 attendees
    • Access to IFT media list before, during, and after the IFT annual meeting
    • Full access to IFT18 educational sessions, presentations, and the IFT Food Expo (1,000+ food industry companies)
    • Personalized event schedule to maximize your IFT18 experience and address your growing business needs


    Secure your IFTNEXT Start-Up Alley IFT18 Booth Today!
    Contact Patrick Simmons, at 312.604.0280 or psimmons@ift.org

  • Benefits of Exhibiting

    More than 80% of attendees make or influence their company’s buying decisions.

    Exhibiting at the IFT Food Expo will help you...

    • Get more qualified leads and accelerate your sales process
    • Build deeper relationships with current and prospective customers
    • Increase exposure and awareness of your current and new products and services
    • Gain access to valuable year-round marketing and sponsorship opportunities
    • See what your competitors are doing to help you keep your competitive edge
  • Booth Specs

    IFTNEXT Start-Up Alley Kiosks include the following:

    • Graphic panel complete with the company name and logo.
    • 42”H table-top counter with chair and storage
    • Electricity
    • Internet access


    Booth Dimensions: 84” H X 48’’ W

    IFT18 Start-Up Alley Kiosks
  • Attendee Demographics and Exhibitor Testimonial

    More than 80% of attendees make or influence their company’s buying decisions

    Attendee Infographics

    *Metrics reflect data captured from IFT16 Attendee and Exhibitor Survey. IFT16 metrics provide insights into expectations for Chicago-based IFT Food Expos.


    Testimonial from a past exhibitor:
    “Participating in IFTNEXT allowed us to have an IFT experience normally reserved for large companies with large pockets. From the pre-built professional booth, focused presentation hours, and dedicated support team, the IFTNEXT event took the headache out of attending and presenting, and allowed us to focus on what we do best—attracting and meeting clients. We’d recommend it for any start-up looking to attend IFT’s annual event! Thanks for a great show!”
    – David Leeds, SEVENx LLC

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