Barilla ‘Co-Development’ Global Accelerator To Focus On Circular Solutions, Digital Nutrition & Better Food Delivery

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Pasta maker Barilla is seeking start-ups to join the fourth cohort of Good Food Makers, its global accelerator that aims to address sustainability, technology and consumer-related challenges, with a focus on founders working on

Through its venture group BLU1877, Italian food company Barilla has announced its call for start-ups to participate in its global accelerator, a program that was launched back in 2018 along with San Francisco-based incubator KitchenTown.

Selected young companies will receive an opportunity to work alongside Barilla teams in creating and innovating business solutions for the food industry. This year, the pasta giant has listed four specific challenges based on the trends, technologies and consumer behaviors that could shape the future of food.

The first is around Circular Economy, and the multinational is looking for solutions for upcycling three specific side streams: pasta regrind, wheat bran, and bread crust. The next is Better Food Delivery, where solutions in preparation, delivery logistics, automation, packaging and recipe development are welcome. There’s also Digital Nutrition Guides, which looks at online platforms that are creating transparent and honest guides for nutrition and sustainability, and the last covers Easy Meal Routines, which include better-for-you meal services, kits, or products to meet the demands of those who don’t have time without compromising on nutrition or sustainability.

In a press release seen by Green Queen, VP of BLU1877, Michela Petronio said: “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. 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.” 

For each challenge, one startup will be selected and will work with a customised team of Barilla experts for a period of 8 weeks to develop actionable solutions and execute them in real-time. In addition, the cohort will receive a US$10,000 grant that they can use during the program to help build their solutions.

Startups have to fit the following criteria to apply – a specialization in one of the four challenge areas; showcase ways on how they can support a better food system and implemented business results.

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 helps fuel the start-ups’ growth.

Michela Petronio, VP of BLU1877

CEO of KitchenTown, Rusty Schwartz, said this is what startups and our global food system 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. 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 will be open until August end and the program will begin in September taking place virtually, and depending on the COVID-19 public health regulations and the team locations, there could be in-person collaborations.

Lead image courtesy of The Spoon.