Barilla’s Venture Group, BLU1877, launches Good Food Maker start-up accelerator programme

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AUTHOR: Tilly St Aubyn
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Barilla’s venture group, BLU1877, have launched their fourth Good Food Makers accelerator programme and are encouraging applications from young companies across the globe. Introduced in 2018, the programme enables a selection of small companies to work with Barilla’s industry experts over an eight-week period developing their product and executing impactful business solutions. The successful companies will benefit from mentorship, technical expertise, marketing support, distribution advice, high quality equipment, scalability guidance, research and development and culinary expertise. As well as expansive insider industry knowledge across all areas direct from the world’s largest pasta producer, each company will also receive a $10,000 grant to use towards innovation and development. Longer-term investment and collaboration beyond the eight-week programme will also be considered.

This year, Good Food Makers seeks to address four key focus areas. The accelerator hopes to attract small companies working within the paradigms of these focus areas to reflect emerging challenges facing the food industry.

  • Circular Economy: possible contenders may include by-product processing technologies specifically tackling pasta regrind, wheat bran and bread crust, or any other novel biotech technologies contributing to the creation of a circular economy.
  • Better Food Delivery: possible contenders may include kitchen robotics, food preparation technologies (with a particular consideration for pasta), new delivery models or any other solution intended to improve the meal experience.
  • Digital Nutrition Guides: possible contenders may include personalised nutrition or sustainability apps, tools to identify online misinformation, internal data management systems or any other digital platforms encouraging transparent and honest nutritional guidance.
  • Easy Meal Routines: possible contenders may include meal delivery subscription services, quick-prep meal kits, innovative food products or any other solution offering immediate nourishment without compromising on nutrition or sustainability.

The programme is launched in collaboration with KitchenTown, a San Francisco based incubator.

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,” KitchenTown CEO Rusty Schwartz says“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.”      

“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” adds 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.” 

Applications are open until August 31st 2021 and the four successful companies will be selected in September. Taking part is free, but applicants must demonstrate proven business results,  transformative approaches towards an improved food system and specialise in one of the four focus areas.

The eight-week programme will run virtually from October through to December with longer-term support available.

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