Founder Michael Rhys of Barnwell Bio, a platform revolutionizing how health and wellness in livestock is monitored, clinched the top prize at DBP’s Make It in Brooklyn: Brooklyn Bites Food Tech Pitch Contest. Held at City Point BKLYN, nestled in the heart of a community that thrives on innovation and creativity, and home to DeKalb Market Hall — a vibrant hub of culture, culinary delights, and entertainment — the event provided an ideal backdrop for the unveiling of groundbreaking ideas.

The competition showcased a diverse array of companies that are redefining the landscape of food technology, agriculture, farming, and food distribution. Among the contenders were Plot Bot, spearheaded by founder and CEO Samia Lemfadli; Foodstream Network, led by Cofounder and CMO Richard Cumming; ZeroDay, under the leadership of CEO Maneesa Wijesinghe Nelken; and Plate Post, led by CEO Brandon Shi.

The event was emceed by Brian Braiker, Editor of Brooklyn Magazine, who did a great job keeping the evening running smoothly and entertaining the crowd. Each finalist was allotted three minutes to present their pitch to a panel of five distinguished judges. Once the pitches were complete, the judges retired for thorough deliberations, ultimately choosing Barnwell Bio.

Barnwell Bio introduces a groundbreaking data platform designed to monitor the health and wellness of livestock and poultry through wastewater analysis — a cost-effective, proactive, and non-invasive method offering invaluable insights into animal health. The data generated provides early warnings of emerging outbreaks and trends, empowering stakeholders across the supply chain to make informed, data-driven business decisions.

The judges panel comprised influential figures from the culinary world, including Anna Castellani, founder of Local Culture Management; Nazli Parvizi, president of the Museum of Food and Drink; Shorne Benjamin, Founder and executive chef of Fat Fowl; and Shad Ahmed, the content creator known as The Brunch Guy.

Make It in Brooklyn is dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship and supporting Brooklyn’s innovation ecosystem with its series of pitch contests, meet-ups, and panels. These initiatives have united hundreds of entrepreneurs and provided over $100K in seed funding, along with invaluable pro-bono professional services.

Thanks go to our sponsors, NYU Tandon School of Engineering, whose generous support underwrites the Make It in Brooklyn series, as well as our event partners at City Point BKLYN.