The Italian Food Company Seeks to Collaborate With Start-Ups on Addressing Sustainability, Technology and Consumer Challenges
BLU1877, Barilla’s Venture Group, announced its call for start-ups to participate in the fourth Good Food Makers global accelerator. The program, which launched in 2018 in collaboration with KitchenTown, a San Francisco-based incubator, selects a small group of young companies from around the world to work directly with Barilla teams in developing and implementing innovative business solutions. For this cohort, the global pasta leader has identified four specific challenges that reflect the trends, technologies, consumer behaviors and values that will shape the future of the food system:
- Circular Economy: solutions to upcycle three specific side streams — pasta regrind, wheat bran, and bread crust — in order to create a healthy, safe, and nutritious circular food system.
- Better Food Delivery: creative solutions in preparation, delivery logistics, automation, packaging, recipe development, and more to deliver high-quality meal experiences – in particular for pasta – through new restaurant and delivery channels.
- Digital Nutrition Guides: digital platforms to co-develop transparent, honest and accurate guides for nutrition, well-being, sustainability, or even just what to put in your shopping cart.
- Easy Meal Routines: better-for-you meal services, kits, or products to meet busy eaters where they are without sacrificing on nutrition or sustainability.
One start-up will be selected for each challenge area and work directly with a custom-built, dedicated team of Barilla experts for 8 weeks to create actionable solutions and implement them in real-time. The cohort will also receive a $10,000 grant to use during the program to advance its solution.
“What makes Good Food Makers unique from other accelerators is that it is a real co-development program, meaning it helps our internal teams solve challenges and also fuels the start-ups’ growth by providing access to our best-in-class expertise from around the world” said Michela Petronio, VP of BLU1877. “One of the bright spots of the past year has been the flood of food innovators, and we can’t wait to unlock new talents and technologies while fostering a more resilient food system.”
KitchenTown CEO, Rusty Schwartz, says this is right in line with what start-ups need right now.
“As an incubator, we have watched entrepreneurs first-hand pivot their struggles into creative ideas that now need some nurturing and resources to become scalable businesses,” said Schwartz. “Good Food Makers is the perfect program for those hungry to make an impact, and for a company like Barilla to gain fresh insights and energy.”
The call for entries begins June 2nd and runs through August. Criteria include:
- A specialization in one of the four challenge areas
- Ability to demonstrate transformative ideas and approaches to supporting a better food system
- Proven business results
The eight-week program will kick off in September and take place virtually, with the possibility for in-person collaboration depending on the location of teams and current COVID-19 public health regulations. For more information and to apply for the program visit www.goodfoodmakers.net.