Mondelēz’s SnackFutures hub reveals CoLab plans to support wellbeing ventures
A key initiative has been created by SnackFutures, the Mondelēz International innovation and venture hub, in developing its CoLab aimed at supporting new start-up businesses within well-being snacks fields, reports Neill Barston
The company explained to Confectionery Production that its latest strategy has been devised to be a collaborative effort that allows entrepreneurs to gain access, and benefit from, its global resources.
According to Mondelez, SnackFutures will provide participating start-ups with tools, technologies and access to networks and industry expertise, while also gaining insights, capabilities and prospective investment opportunities. The initiative has been designed with the company’s core mission in mind – to innovate products that are good for people while being respectful of the environment.
As the company noted, since SnackFutures launched in 2018, the team has been immersed in the start-up community, traveling around the globe to uncover trends, gain insights, understand entrepreneurs’ business challenges, and fuel the SnackFutures innovation pipeline. The team has also created and launched five well-being brands in the U.S. and Europe including CaPao, Dirt Kitchen Snacks, Millie Gram, NoCoé, and Ruckus and Co, and made minority investments in Uplift Food, Torr and HU – which was recently acquired by Mondelēz International.
“SnackFutures is in a unique position of both creating our own brands and investing in start-ups, so we can offer participants empathy and understanding from our own experiences along with the rigour, discipline and insights of global snacking leader,” said Brigette Wolf, Global Head of SnackFutures, Mondelēz International. “It’s even more important for programs like CoLab now as these small brands try to recover and grow out of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
CoLab is a 12-week program customised based on each participant’s business challenges and growth priorities with a key emphasis on providing dedicated attention, 1:1 mentorship, workshops and access to Mondelēz International’s leadership, best-in-class expertise, resources and networks. The curriculum will be a combination of virtual sessions and three in-person activities (where and when travel is permitted). Up to 10 start-ups will be chosen to participate in the program and receive a $20,000 grant.
The call for submissions is now open with the program set to begin in June 2021. To apply, start-ups must be based in the U.S., generating at least $500,000 in revenue, have high growth potential, align with the Mondelēz International innovation priorities, and can benefit from working with Mondelēz International and the company’s partners. For more information or to apply to the CoLab program, visit www.snackfutures.com.