What is the 100+ Accelerator?
The 100+ Accelerator was launched by AB InBev in 2018 to help the company reach its ambitious sustainability goals faster by finding startups that could deliver breakthrough advancements across five key sustainability pillars—water stewardship, smart agriculture, circular packaging, climate action and upcycling. In its first two cohorts, more than half of the startups secured long term contracts with AB InBev. In 2021, The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company and Unilver joined AB InBev’s 100+ Accelerator to fund and pilot sustainable innovation in supply chains. In its first three cohorts, the 100+ Accelerator has worked with 70 startups in over 20 countries.
How many challenges have been issued? What are they?
This year, we have concentrated and expanded to six challenge statements across a wide range of areas that all help us to contribute towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the 100+ Accelerator Partner Companies’ Sustainability Goals. The 6 challenges are: smart agriculture, water stewardship, circular economy, climate action, biodiversity, and inclusive growth (equity, diversity and inclusion).
Why is it important for AB InBev, The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company and Unilever to champion startups through the 100+ Accelerator?
The 100+ Accelerator recognizes the need to combine efforts to develop and scale new and innovative solutions. Each corporate partner has set ambitious sustainability goals and knows that no one company can achieve them alone.
We support the Accelerator startups by providing mentoring, funding and opportunities to pilot and scale their ideas within our business and value chain. While these startups help us reach our goals, we in turn commit to being their advocates and champions in developing and growing their business with peer companies and investors.
We understand that new technologies and innovations are developed quickly, and 100+ Accelerator can bring us all closer to that cutting edge. We can work together to scale game-changing solutions and accelerate action.
Will any further challenges be launched?
The 100+ Accelerator will adapt to match the ever-evolving sustainability challenges we all face. Therefore, challenges are updated on a yearly basis. This year we included two new categories: biodiversity and inclusive growth.
Why did AB InBev decide to partner with Unilever, Coca-Cola and Colgate-Palmolive for the 100+ Accelerator?
No one can solve today’s sustainability challenges alone. Collective action is needed to deliver systemic change. Through the 100+ Accelerator, AB InBev is committed to partner with others, as well as to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Together the partner companies will scale and accelerate sustainable solutions that face the same core sustainability challenges. By partnering, they can share knowledge and resources to accelerate cost effective solutions.
Can other companies join?
Yes, other companies that share our common vision are welcome to join the 100+ Accelerator as a partner in the future. We want to become the leading Accelerator for sustainability, driving innovation and value creation, and this can only be achieved by true collaboration with others. Our dream is to have at least 10 global corporations partner with the 100+ Accelerator by 2025.
Will all of the challenges be open to everyone? Or are they specific to regions?
Open to all: challenges were developed with input from subject matter experts from our partner companies around the world to make sure we are focused on local issues that need to be addressed. We are seeking startups from around the world to answer the challenges and are eager to identify technologies and best practices that can be shared across our businesses and beyond.
What have some of the previous cohorts accomplished?
The 100+ Accelerator’s startup innovations have already created tremendous impact. Some examples include:
- The collection of more than 1.000 tons of glass waste in Brazil
- The introduction of returnable packaging in the United States
- Recycled electric vehicle batteries that store renewable electricity in China
- The implementation of green and profitable cleaning solutions for brewing operations to eliminate chemicals use in Colombia
- Solutions delivering traceability and insurance for smallholder farmers in Africa and South America
- The ability to upcycle saved grains from the brewing process to produce nutritious foods in the United States
How were the 100+ Accelerator challenges determined?
The 100+ Accelerator challenges were developed with input from subject matter experts within the partner companies to ensure both global and local issues are addressed.
Who should apply? Are there restrictions on the type or size of startup that can apply?
The 100+ Accelerator is looking for innovative solutions that have the ability to scale quickly and make a significant impact on one or more challenge areas. The Accelerator focuses on startups that have a product in market or are prepared to go to market. Also, the Accelerator is particularly interested in supporting great teams: companies led by passionate entrepreneurs who have surrounded themselves with diverse talent that are in the best position to succeed.
Startups that have demonstrated traction in the form of IP, revenue, clients, pilots or contracts etc. will have the best chance of getting accepted.
What stage startup are you looking for?
A large part of the program is based on launching pilots to validate product/market fit. Therefore, we are primarily looking for startups that have either a product that is ready to go to market or already in-market. Earlier stage companies will be considered by rare exception only.
How are startups selected for the accelerator?
Applicants will be evaluated on a rolling basis. Scoring will be assessed based on the following values:
- Fit with identified sustainability challenges
- Ability to demonstrate traction/product market fit
- Market expertise and team
- Capacity to carry out pilot in selected global zone
When will I know if I have been successful?
The vetting process has multiple stages, and the 100+ Accelerator is committed to communicating actively with startups along the way. Applications for the 4th cohort will open on March 28, 2022 and close on April 30, 2022. We ask for patience as we go through an incredible volume of applications. Successful applicants will be notified several weeks after applications close.
What will startups need to submit to be considered/accepted?
Startups will need to complete all questions on the application form on F6S: (www.f6s.com/100-accelerator-cohort-4/apply]. Startups will also need to confirm that they are able to travel internationally and specifically to the United States. Please noter, any travel throughout the program will be subject to biosafety measures and local vaccination requirements. Founders must have a valid passport with an expiry date of at least March 2023. Founders must also be willing to submit to a background check.
Why would a startup or inventor participate?
The 100+ Accelerator will provide support, guidance and access to potential funding through:
- Pilot customer opportunities with the four corporate partners: AB InBev, Unilever, Coca-Cola, and Colgate Palmolive (including the potential to scale company-wide)
- Active mentorship, training and programming in product development, go-to-market, operations, sales and more
- Top mentor network of scientists, academics, domain experts, venture capitalists, corporate sustainability leaders, etc.
- Potential funding from Partner Companies and their networks
How much are the partners putting into the 100+ Accelerator?
We are not disclosing details of the broader partnership; funding pilots up to $100,000 USD.
How long will these partners be involved?
Each partner has committed to one year with an option to renew.
How much investment will be raised at the end of the program?
The success of the 100+ Accelerator is not contingent on the amount of capital that the startups will go on to raise at the end of the program. Our goal is to find, test and validate solutions to environmental/social challenges; this is our primary focus.
I am already working with AB InBev, Unilever, Coca-Cola and/or Colgate- Palmolive should I apply?
Yes. Please disclose this information in your application and include the name of your main contact at the partner company.
Are you going to regularly communicate progress? How do we measure the success of the 100+ Accelerator?
Yes, we will announce achievements related to our six challenges. We will report on progress where possible.
While we will not have pre-scheduled interim announcements, we will share the stories of our progress on social media and invite you to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Do applicants give up IP when they submit to the challenges?
No, the applicants own their IP and don’t give up any rights to it upon applying. They will sign Statements of Work (SOW) once they are selected. Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) can be signed during the interview phase of the application process upon request (given the applicant makes it to the interview phase of the selection process.)
Are the solutions you are seeking only for AB InBev, The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company and Unilever? Or can other companies/ organizations benefit from the ideas and technologies?
We will share our solutions. We want to accelerate action so our challenges in sustainability are fundamentally beneficial to all.
How is the 100+ Accelerator different from other accelerator programs?
Collective action is key – No one can solve today’s sustainability challenges alone. The 100+ Accelerator will continue to establish new partnerships with scientists, innovators, entrepreneurs, students and companies around the world to identify and scale new sustainability solutions.
Global challenges/ Local solutions: The challenges facing the world today are complex, varying from region to region. The 100+ partner companies source, produce and sell locally through companies around the world, making them uniquely positioned to understand and to solve sustainability challenges in the communities where they operate.
Driving solutions across the value chain – We have identified six initial challenge statements that are designed to encourage innovation. These challenges are intended to support promising ideas and high potential technologies that align with the Partner Companies’ Sustainability Goals. We want to tackle the following challenges: smart agriculture, water stewardship, circular economy, climate action, biodiversity, and inclusive growth (equity, diversity and inclusion). The 100+ Accelerator will drive progress and innovation across value chains – from the farms that supply ingredients to make products, to their packaging.
How are you involving your brands in the 100+ Accelerator program?
We are helping to build companies that will continue to bring people together for the next 100 years and beyond. Our global brands are committed to purpose driven initiatives and sustainability. Therefore, we encourage brand engagement in our pilot implementation when appropriate.
Will the 100+ Accelerator contribute to your business growth?
The 100+ Accelerator is a transformational program that drives value creation, creates efficiencies and reimagines how to do business.
Your Partner companies work in many parts of the developing world. How are they supporting the vulnerable people in the value chain?
They are dedicated to responsible sourcing: all forms of human rights violations are prohibited in these organizations and in supply chains. For example, AB InBev has a human rights policy and a responsible sourcing policy as well as processes in place to monitor. It is a non-negotiable commitment for our business.
They are prioritizing supplier development in key areas: Through various supplier development efforts, they are working to build and strengthen their supplier base in the developing world.
We are looking for partners to help us: As one of our initial 100+ Accelerator Challenges, we are soliciting partnerships to help us increase the transparency of complex supply chains, and for scalable solutions to enhance responsible sourcing practices.
Do you plan to announce additional partners participating in the 100+ Accelerator program in the future?
We are open to more partners. Our goal is to have ten global corporate partners join the 100+ accelerator by 2025.
How will the cohort be organized?
There will be three phases, with progressively larger business goals and relationships resulting.
- Phase One: Initial pilot planning. There will be one session of at least three days for the entire cohort in New York City during this time.
- Phase Two: 100+ Accelerator will provide in-person and remote corporate development and programming to further support startups as they scale. Pilot execution will continue, along with potential investment opportunities from the 100+ Accelerator Partner Companies and other VC Funds.
- Phase Three: The Accelerator culminates in a Demo Day with investors, where we seek to highlight the best startups and celebrate their progress. After this process, if the pilot is successful partner companies seek to have a commercial deal.
** All in-person events are subject to change or convert to a virtual format based on travel restrictions.
Who is evaluating the applications?
The 100+ Accelerator team will be managing the application process; the corporate partners will be involved in final startup selection.