Invent, invest and amplify: The inaugural class of innovators leading the charge with Mondelēz’s tech-forward engagement programme

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

The inaugural CoLab class comprises entrepreneurs who are doing disruptive things to make better-for-you snacks that are also good for the world. Pic: GettyImages
The inaugural CoLab class comprises entrepreneurs who are doing disruptive things to make better-for-you snacks that are also good for the world. Pic: GettyImages

Related tags Mondelez International mentorship CoLab SnackFutures Venture capital startups Snacks health & wellbeing Foodtech Sustainability

CoLab Tech is is designed to build a venture pipeline of early-stage snack brands focused on ideas that address tech-driven processes, sustainability and other priority areas for the Oreo maker.

The programme falls under the company’s SnackFutures umbrella, the venture hub designed to push boundaries in snacking, particularly within the wellbeing trend.

The Chip’s Ahoy and BelVita maker’s priorities support incremental growth against three key strategic areas: invent new brands and businesses; invest in early stage entrepreneurs; and amplify the SnackFutures impact​ with the CoLab start-up engagement programme.

Applications flooded in from around the world​ and whittled down to nine entrepreneurs to participate in the inaugural class, chosen for their disruptive solutions that have the potential to accelerate growth and innovation in the chocolate, biscuit and baked snacks sectors.

The early-stage innovators were also recognised for ideas to enhance the global snacking leader’s technological priorities, including reducing carbon footprints, enhancing sensory experiences, improving nutrition profiles and modernising production processes.

“One of the most exciting parts of this process was learning about the creative and clever solutions being developed across the globe to solve the food industry’s most pressing ingredient, process and sustainability challenges,”​ said Ian Noble, VP, Global Ingredient Research & Development for Mondelēz.

We are eager to start learning from and collaborating with these cutting-edge entrepreneurs who will introduce us to new capabilities and also learn from our expertise.”

The class of ‘23

Mentorship Getty
Pic: GettyImages

Stephane Thermal Runs: A France-based start-up, which has created unique sensors and software to optimise thermal profiling in baked snacks.

Epogee: A US ingredient business, which produces a modified plant-based oil that eliminates up to 92% of calories, total fat and saturated fat - compared to traditional fats and oils - without abolishing the vital attributes of mouthfeel, satiety and texture.

SoilTech Wireless: A US company that has developed wireless sensing technology and data analytics platforms to drive optimisation, sustainability and traceability throughout the agriculture supply chain.

Captic: A Belgium start-up that delivers secure AI-vision solutions that can be integrated into a company’s current product ion processes to provide actionable insights.

Prote-in: An Italian firm that produces carbon negative, farm-free proteins from a proprietary continuous CO2​ fermentation tech that will offset 1.8kg of captured CO2​ for every 1kg of single cell protein.

Computomics: A UK-based company that employs machine learning and metagenomics analysis to monitor different types of pathogens in real time, from the early soil stages to manufacturing facilities.

WNWN Food Labs: Another UK firm, which uses fermentation to create alternative cocoa ingredients.

Cultivated Biosciences: The Swiss startup also employs fermentation tech, but this time to create a sustainable dairy-free, creamy fat ingredient that can be substituted for animal-based ingredients in multiple applications.

Eggmented Reality: An Israeli-based business, which uses material sciences and precision fermentation to tailormake ingredient functionality solutions.

The cohort will participate in a 12-week curriculum that includes hands-on workshops, virtual sessions, 1:1 mentorship and access to Mondelēz’s global network of partners and experts.

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