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Grupo Bimbo launches accelerator to stimulate innovation among food startups

Gill Hyslop

By Gill Hyslop+

27-Jun-2017

Grupo Bimbo has launched venture capital arm Bimbo Ventures and is inviting food startups to submit innovative projects to win a spot in its accelerator program. Pic: Grupo Bimbo
Grupo Bimbo has launched venture capital arm Bimbo Ventures and is inviting food startups to submit innovative projects to win a spot in its accelerator program. Pic: Grupo Bimbo

Mexican bakery conglomerate Grupo Bimbo is inviting food entrepreneurs to submit project proposals to be part of its newly-formed innovation accelerator.

Grupo Bimbo has become the latest food multinational to set up an inhouse investment arm to help fledgling companies in the food industry establish themselves.

Bimbo Ventures is an alliance between Grupo and venture capital firm BlueBox Ventures, purportedly the largest network of incubators, accelerators and corporate investment funds in Latin America.

The partnership has created the Eleva Food Technology Accelerator to help startups develop their projects.

“Eleva is a comprehensive model that encompasses three fundamental aspects: Mentoring, funding and trade alliances,” said Bimbo Ventures vice president José Manuel Ramírez.

Benefit from Bimbo’s expertise

Eleva has issued an invitation to entrepreneurs to submit innovation projects related to new products, materials, automation, supply chain, distribution, payment methods and transactions, renewable energies and retail, said Bimbo.

Ten startups will be given the opportunity to develop their projects with Grupo Bimbo and will join the accelerator program for 16 weeks.

Jumping on the bandwagon

Originality is proving to be a key driver in achieving success in the highly competitive food industry – especially in the bakery and snacks sectors.  

Many of the larger FMCGs need to reinvigorate established product portfolios or want to move into new channels, and are viewing innovative early-stage businesses as the way forward.

As such, several have launched venture capital (VC) arms to develop projects to work with startups in a bid to tap into some of the emerging consumer trends driving the sector.

Earlier this month, PepsiCo named the eight European entrepreneurs it will be assisting with a €25,00 ($28,000) grant and six months of advice from PepsiCo through its Nutrition Greenhouse incubator.

The Doritos and Cheetos maker also announced it was inviting submissions for alternative protein ideas.

Other global corporations to jump on the VC bandwagon include Nestlé, General Mills, Kelloggs and Tyson Foods.

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