Thank You!

We are so grateful to the many sponsors that are supporting food entrepreneurs in bringing innovative ideas to the family table around the world.

Host Sponsors

Archer Daniels Midland Company

ADM LogoFor more than a century, the people of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) have transformed crops into products that serve the vital needs of a growing world. Today, we’re one of the world’s largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers, with more than 32,300 employees serving customers in more than 160 countries. With a global value chain that includes 428 crop procurement locations, 280 ingredient manufacturing facilities, 39 innovation centers and the world’s premier crop transportation network, we connect the harvest to the home, making products for food, animal feed, industrial and energy uses. Learn more at

National Foodworks Services

National Foodworks LogoNational Foodworks Services (NFS) is thrilled to co-sponsor the Food Innovation Challenge! As a world-class food processing and innovation hub in the heart of Central Illinois, NFS is well placed to be an invaluable asset to the food entrepreneur. With ample production space, FDA approved kitchens, state-of-the-art food processing machinery, and centralized access to shipping routes throughout the nation – NFS will be joining ADM and the Food Innovation Challenge winners to develop, perfect, and produce exciting new food products for the consumer. NFS owners Tony Caccomo and Jim Milano bring decades of real estate development and food processing expertise to the contest and look forward to sharing their knowledge and insights as the challenge progresses. Learn more at

Lead Partners

PTL specializes in designing and manufacturing innovative chocolate and bar machinery in full processing lines or as individual modular components. PTL was founded with a clear objective: to create high-quality machinery focused on simplifying operations and improving efficiency. PTL works closely with its customers and when our customers tell us what they need, we listen. Our machinery is easy to operate and maintain, with fast and simple cleaning and changeovers. Our objective is to work closely with our customers, deliver effective solutions and build long-term partnerships. We promise a personal approach where you deal directly with the people at the heart of the business. Learn more at
Jones+Thomas Marketing Communications
Marketing strategy and communications are what we do. But understanding a brand's meaning and value, building relationships with clients and their customers, and turning challenges into opportunities are how we provide value to the organizations we work with on a daily basis. We love what we do, and we love helping those who feel the same way build businesses around the globe. That's why we're so proud to be a part of the Food Innovation Challenge. If you want to see some of our work, well, you’re looking at some of our efforts right now, because we built this site. Learn more at
Millikin University
Millikin University's Center for Entrepreneurship, in the Tabor School of Business, is a nationally recognized leader in multi-disciplinary entrepreneurship education. The Center exists to inspire, advance, and connect entrepreneurs and those who influence the entrepreneurial ecosystem every day. It boasts an entrepreneurship major, minor, two undergraduate certificates, and a graduate certificate. Signature programs include the Arts Entrepreneurship program, the Institute for Science Entrepreneurship, and various student-run business ventures ranging from arts to technology and from theater production to personal training. Learn more at
Mérieux NutriSciences
As part of Institut Mérieux, Mérieux NutriSciences is dedicated to protecting consumers’ health throughout the world by delivering a wide range of testing and consulting services to the food and nutrition, agrochemicals, pharma and cosmetics industries. Headquartered in Chicago, we have grown from a single laboratory founded in 1967 (Silliker) to a global presence throughout North, Latin and South America, Europe, Middle-East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Our expertise in food safety has been extended to six strategic industries with an impact on consumers’ health. We provide laboratory, auditing, consultancy, research, sensory evaluation and education services. Learn more at Mérieux NutriSciences
Richland Community College
The Culinary Arts Institute at Richland Community College is the only Central Illinois culinary program having accreditation by the American Culinary Federation. The curriculum covers all aspects of culinary preparation including meats, poultry, fish, vegetable, sauces, soups, bread and pastry baking, desserts, specialty cooking and international cuisine. Entrepreneurial experiences such as the Bistro, Richland Coffee House, and development of food products such as Professor Bean Coffee, serve as capstones of the culinary program and ensure that graduates have the credentials and skills necessary to be successful in the culinary field. Learn more at
County Market
County Market is proudly owned by over 2,000 associates all committed to helping our loyal customers. As we get ready to celebrate 100 years in business in 2017 we are reminded the importance of not only serving our communities but being a part of them! We pride ourselves in selling the freshest food and seek out every opportunity to sell locally grown or produced items whenever possible. Learn more at
Dale's Southlake Pharmacy
Looking for a pharmacy that feels like home? Break your big chain habit, and shop local for your healthcare and gift needs. Dale's Southlake Pharmacy & Colee's Corner Drugs offer fast, friendly, and reliable customer services for our pharmacy and gift customers. We offer free delivery to your home or office in Decatur, Forsyth and the surrounding area. Both locations offer competitive pricing plans, including matching $4 prescription prices from local box stores when possible. We also work with customers who require special medication packaging, a free kid's vitamin program, and a unique gift selection for all occasions. Ask how our patient advocate can help answer your insurance questions. Both locations accept many major insurance plans. Download our free mobile app today by searching Colee's on your app store.You should be more than a number at a pharmacy, so stop in today and see why we're "Friends Helping Friends". Learn more at
Since 2001 Aripack has provided flexible and rigid packaging materials to the North America market. We offer package and graphics development, sourcing, supply chain management, and automated equipment sourcing, financing, installation and service. Our team works with each customer to understand their packaging and equipment needs, providing unique solutions to their individual requirements. Our technical expertise and our superior customer service, allow us to promote our client's project from concept to reality. We are a local supplier with a global reach, and we welcome you to discover why Aripack is “Packaging Above and Beyond™”. Learn more at

Supporting Partners

Universty of Illnois

Associated Wholesale Grocers

Perozzi Consulting
Zero Percent
Iowa State University
Serra Venture
Gordon Food Service