Nestle furthers commitment to innovation

by Eric Schroeder
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Terra Food + Ag Tech Accelerator
 The Terra Food + Ag Tech Accelerator program was established to fuel cross-industry innovation and set a new standard for food and agriculture.
 

ARLINGTON, VA. — Nestle USA is partnering with Rabobank and RocketSpace to support start-ups for the Terra Food + Ag Tech Accelerator program, an initiative established in June 2016 to fuel cross-industry innovation and set a new standard for food and agriculture.

Rui Barbas, Nestle
Rui Barbas, chief strategy officer at Nestle USA

“We’re experiencing a seismic shift in the food industry, and our partnership with Terra by Rabobank and RocketSpace is just one way in which Nestle can play a leading role in meeting quickly evolving consumer expectations and explore new disruptive technologies and business models,” said Rui Barbas, chief strategy officer at Nestle USA. “When we combine the resources of Nestle with the creativity and new thinking born from the start-up culture, we can create real change in our industry and best deliver on consumer needs.”

The Terra Food + Ag Tech Accelerator program brings together large global brands like Nestle with start-ups to work on product-testing and go-to-market solutions. Nestle said it was attracted to Terra because of the success and experience of Terra co-creators, Rabobank and RocketSpace.

Manuel Gonzalez, Rabobank
Manuel Gonzalez, global head of F&A innovation at Rabobank

“The complementary capabilities of everyone involved are extremely exciting,” said Manuel Gonzalez, global head of F&A innovation at Rabobank. “Combining Nestle’s expertise in nutrition, health and wellness with RocketSpace’s well-known accelerator acumen within the start-up community and Rabobank’s strong involvement in the food and beverage start-up community, we expect dynamic results from the collaboration.”

Nestle said it will rely on its experience with its Silicon Valley Innovation Outpost (SVIO) program to guide it in its collaborative efforts with Rabobank and RocketSpace. Launched in 2012, SVIO combines cross-functional marketing and technical teams with early-stage entrepreneurs to rapidly build, test and deploy new value-added services and solutions around the world.

Mark Brodeur, Nestle
 Mark Brodeur, vice-president of digital innovation at Nestle

“Our goals at the SVIO include providing entrepreneurs with access to the expertise and nutritional know-how that Nestle has developed over its 150-year history,” said Mark Brodeur, vice-president of digital innovation at Nestle. “In exchange, Nestle will have the ability to learn from and co-create with creative entrepreneurs. That’s why partnerships like ours with Terra make so much sense for both Nestle and those with whom we collaborate.”

Nestle said it expects to support 20 start-ups over the duration of the two 6-month accelerator programs to explore new and improved ways to produce, sell and distribute food. Nestle said it will work with a diverse cross-section of start-ups, selected from more than 1,000 applicants, with the goal of finding healthier and more sustainable products and services that enhance the quality of people’s lives. Registration for companies interested in taking part opens on June 21, and details are available at www.terraaccelerator.com.

The first of two Nestle-hosted Terra programs will be selected in fall 2017. The call for applications for the second program will be open in early 2018. 
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