Startups with a mission to “transform the food and beverage industry,” this one’s for you. PepsiCo recently announced it was expanding its Nutrition Greenhouse accelerator program to North America—and the deadline to apply for it is Oct. 12.
“Nutrition Greenhouse is part of our commitment to open innovation and collaborating with the changemakers of the future,” Jim Andrew, PepsiCo executive vice president, corporate strategy and chief venturing officer, said in a release.
“Nutrition Greenhouse is part of our commitment to open innovation and collaborating with the changemakers of the future.”
The 10 U.S.- or Canada-based startups selected are guaranteed $20,000 in grant funding and participation in a six-month business optimization program. Designed to accelerate growth, the program aims to provide personalized mentorship from leading PepsiCo brands, such as Quaker, Naked, KeVita, Stacy’s, Red Rock Deli, and Off the Eaten Path.
According to the release, PepsiCo executives will provide expertise geared toward early stage business operations, including brand optimization, product development, corporate structuring, and supply chain management.
At the end of the six-month program, one startup from the 10 chosen will be granted an additional $100,000 in funding for continued expansion and the opportunity to partner with PepsiCo.
Andrew said Nutrition Greenhouse aligns with PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose vision with its goal to support entrepreneurs using nutritious, natural, and sustainable products.
PEPSICO JOINS OTHER FOOD COMPANIES IN CONNECTING WITH STARTUPS
PepsiCo is just one of many large food companies hoping to stay on the forefront of innovation by connecting with young startups. As reported by Xconomy, some of these incubators include “The Hatchery,” a Chicago-based Conagra Brands and Kellogg collaboration; and Pilotworks, which was founded in New York.
Pilotworks, the largest U.S. operator of on-demand kitchen space, has six facilities, with one here in Dallas. And most recently, coworking commercial kitchen space Locavore opened a few months ago in downtown Fort Worth.
These are just two of the over 15,000 food and beverage businesses in North Texas. Earlier this year, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington was named as the No. 1 “most competitive” North American food and beverage city—an impact that accounts for roughly 370,000 jobs in everything from corporate headquarters to production facilities.
With such substantial numbers, the odds seem to be in DFW’s favor when it comes to representation in a food and beverage competition like PepsiCo’s Nutrition Greenhouse.
NEED TO KNOW
The Nutrition Greenhouse program launched last year in Europe, with the eight startups chosen delivering an estimated combined sales growth of over €10 million. Last year’s European winner, Erbology, says the program helped its revenue grow over four times and its expansion into the U.S.
The program will run from November to April, and will center around three main events:
- a kickoff at PepsiCo headquarters in Purchase, NY;
- a mid-term event at Frito-Lay headquarters in Plano; and
- a graduation event in Chicago, where the final grant recipient is announced.
To be selected, brands must have a demonstrated consumer sales track record under $5 million. Applications are due Oct. 12, and can be submitted here.
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