Mondelez International has launched CoLab, its global start-up accelerator program in India. India is the first Mondelez market outside of US to pilot the CoLab Accelerator program. CoLab aims at nurturing the growing entrepreneurial pool in the country and drive growth, innovation and lead the snacking industry.
CoLab, in partnership with Huddle, will create a platform to attract relevant snacking start-ups and create engagement with the start-up ecosystem, including its leaders, founders, and other key stakeholders. This will also enable Mondelez India to identify high-growth snacking trends, while building category and consumer learnings. Mondelez India and Huddle will provide mentorship to participants and a $20,000 grant of for early-stage growth.
Commenting on the launch, Deepak Iyer, president India, Mondelez International, said, “As the company marks 75 years in India, the launch of CoLab reinforces our commitment to being a consumer - centric brand in India. This gives us the perfect opportunity to nurture the growing entrepreneurial talent in the country, while unlocking new ideas that drive innovation and scalability in the Snacking space. We are in a position to provide our expertise and experience for start-ups, help capitalize on new trends, mobilize talent and technologies to build emerging and resurgent snacks, to positively grow the snacking industry in the country.”
The program will be executed in partnership with Huddle, an experienced accelerator and fund for early-stage ventures, that is rightly positioned to co-anchor the CoLab program in India. Huddle shall offer participants tools, technologies, access to networks and industry expertise and the opportunity to raise early-stage equity capital from Huddle and other potential ventures.
Sanil Sachar, founding partner, Huddle, added, “At Huddle, our aim has constantly been to collaborate with leaders in our focused sub sectors. Mondelez being a key global snacking leader, with many loved and trusted brands in India, we couldn’t have asked for a better collaborator to partner with.”
The startups will partake in a 12-week program across virtual sessions and in-person interactions that will provide expert mentoring, workshops, access to Mondelez India’s leadership and their networks as well as connects with Industry experts. Post the program, at the final showcase event, selected startups will get a chance to pitch and raise capital from Huddle and other potential funds.
Mondelez India has defined key criteria for the selection of the startups. The lookout is for startups that are disruptive in the snacking category by being purposefully innovative in food production and packaging, challenging marketing and branding norms, running a differentiated business, driving growth through new avenues, etc. The disruptions should be applicable to chocolates, cookies, crackers, in-store bakery or bars.