Announcing the 2021 Bold Open Reverse Pitch Challenges

May 29, 2021

MN’s Ag and Food Businesses Seeking Fresh Ideas for Protein Innovation

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – June 23, 2021 – At the third annual Bold Open Reverse Pitch, Minnesota’s forward-looking food companies and commodity groups are asking the brightest minds in the world to provide solutions to one of the most important issues facing the planet: protein innovation. Representatives from Cargill, Compeer Financial, Hormel Foods, Land O’Lakes, MN Beef Council & MN Cattlemen’s Association, Midwest Dairy, Field Theory, SunOpta, MBOLD and AURI will pitch industry challenges. The challenges are focused on enhancing animal proteins and their sustainability as well as advancing plant and other novel proteins.

The ten challenges for the July 21 event have been announced. They are:

  • Reduce Feed Costs Through Utilization of Non-Traditional Protein Sources (Hormel Foods)
  • Enteric Methane Reduction (Land O’Lakes, Inc.)
  • Effective Communication on “Why Dairy” Messaging for Millennial Parents and Gen Z Consumers (Midwest Dairy)
  • New Uses for Oat Byproducts (SunOpta Inc.)
  • Novel Value Chain Approaches to Overcome Local Meat Processing Bottlenecks (AURI)
  • Developing Protein Products Without the Use of Traditional Solvents (Field Theory)
  • Spoilage Sensing and Detection for Protein Products (Cargill)
  • Beef Production Sustainability Resource Framework (Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association and Minnesota Beef Council)
  • Market Development Pathways for Winter Camelina (MBOLD)
  • Compeer Wants You to Grow and Win (Compeer Financial)

“Minnesota’s global leaders in food and agriculture are eager to accelerate innovation to address challenges facing our industry,” said Jeff Harmening, Chairman and CEO of General Mills and MBOLD Co-Chair. “MBOLD is thrilled to partner in the Bold Open again this year to help Minnesota companies find new ideas and collaborations with innovators and entrepreneurs from around the world that will help this year’s reverse pitch providers meet their innovation challenges for new protein products and more sustainable solutions."

Join us from 1:00-3:00 PM CT on Wednesday - July 21, 2021

Hear the live pitches and connect with the challenge providers at this virtual event.

Visit to register and learn more about the Bold Open

Enhancing animal proteins and their sustainability along with advancing plant and other novel proteins is a key opportunity area for the future of global food and agriculture production. Protein innovation, whether it be new products, processes or practices, is a central part of the solution.

“It’s amazing to see so many diverse challenges under the protein innovation umbrella from these Minnesota companies,” said AURI Executive Director Shannon Schlecht. “Seeing such variety means there is a significant desire to explore ideas and novel solutions and engage with innovators from around the world that could potentially solve a range of industry challenges within the protein space.”

At the Bold Open, ten Minnesota companies and commodity groups will seek solutions to the specific challenges from innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers, and businesses from across the world. These companies and industry organizations are committed to improving agricultural products and services as well as collaborating to accelerate innovative ideas into the marketplace. The collaborators are open to a range of solutions to the challenges presented to accelerate commercially viable approaches.

The Bold Open is one of its kind reverse pitch-style events in the country that focuses on the food and agriculture sector. It is a rare opportunity for solution providers to be able to connect with such a diverse set of decision makers that can accelerate ideas into commercial reality.

The Bold Open is powered by the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI), in partnership with MBOLD, a strategic initiative of the GREATER MSP Partnership, in collaboration with over a dozen other Minnesota food and agriculture entities including Cargill, Compeer Financial, General Mills, Hormel Foods, Land O’Lakes, Midwest Dairy, McKinsey & Company, Minnesota Beef Council, Minnesota Cattlemen’s Association, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, SunOpta, Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator, and the University of Minnesota.

Visit to register for the July 21 event to connect with this 2021 industry cohort and to learn more about the Bold Open platform and this year’s industry challenges.

For more information on the event and participating organizations or to request media credentials, please contact Erik Evans at 612.704.1120 or

About AURI

The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute’s mission is to foster long-term economic benefit through value-added agricultural products. It accomplishes this by using science and technology to help develop new uses for agricultural products. It partners with businesses and entrepreneurs to generate economic impact in Minnesota communities by helping businesses take advantage of innovative opportunities in four focus areas: biobased products, renewable energy, coproducts and food. AURI provides a broad range of services, including applied research and development, scientific assistance and a targeted network of resources to develop value-added uses for crops and coproducts.


MBOLD, an initiative powered by GREATER MSP, is a coalition of leading food and agriculture businesses, research institutions and other Minnesota-based stakeholders. At the MBOLD coalition, we believe that the future of food and agriculture must be one that nourishes a growing global population while protecting and preserving the Earth’s natural resource base for the generations to come. We work together to accelerate solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the food and agriculture sectors, particularly our changing climate and other natural resource challenges and the quest to meet the nutritional needs of a population expected to reach 10 billion by the year 2050.