PARMA, ITALY — Barilla is looking for startups to participate in the fourth Good Food Makers global accelerator.

The program is a collaboration between BLU1877, Barilla’s venture group, and KitchenTown, a San Francisco-based incubator. For the 2021 cohort, the pasta maker identified four specific challenges aimed at promoting a circular economy, improving food delivery, developing digital nutrition guides and creating easy meal routines.

The circular economy challenge focuses on solutions to upcycle three specific side streams: pasta regrind, wheat bran and bread crust. The food delivery challenge aims to advance creative solutions in preparation, delivery logistics, automation, packaging and recipe development. The nutrition guides challenge is geared toward startups developing digital platforms that provide nutrition, well-being and sustainability information, and the meal routine challenge is focused on better-for-you meal services, kits and products.

One startup will be selected from each challenge area to work directly with a team of Barilla experts for eight weeks. The cohort also will receive $10,000 in grant funding. 

“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 startups’ growth by providing access to our best-in-class expertise from around the world,” said Michela Petronio, vice president 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.” 

The call for entries begins in June and runs through August. Criteria include a specialization in one of the four challenge areas and proven business results. The program will kick off in September and take place virtually, with the possibility for in-person collaboration depending on the location of the teams and current COVID-19 public health guidelines. More information may be found here.