We are happy to announce that VentureWell is an investor in the first seed round for Hazel Technologies, a USDA-supported food waste technology startup based in Chicago. Hazel Technologies raised $800k in seed round funding, led by Rhapsody Venture Partners, with participation from VentureWell and Valley Oak Investments.
Hazel Technologies, which began as a student team at Northwestern University, participated in every stage of our E-Team Program–Stages 1, 2 and 3–receiving $25k in grants and venture development training training and coaching. The E-Team Program provides funding, immersive workshops, and specialized coaching to student STEM innovators to help them move their inventions into the marketplace.
Hazel Technologies is developing technology to increase the shelf life of fruit. It has two products currently—FruitBrite and BerryBrite—which are small packets inserted into fruit packaging. BerryBrite utilizes a proprietary combination of essential oils to prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi and molds in berries, while FruitBrite uses an extended release technology that prevents ripening, and is effective for transportation and storage of ethylene sensitive produce such as avocados, melons, and cherries.