For startups, getting into big corporations is always a challenge. More and more big companies are working to make this process easier through the creation of commercial deal accelerators. AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, is a great example of this movement.
This year, AB InBev will be launching its second cohort of startups into the 100+ Sustainability Accelerator , powered by Highline Beta. The program aims to fast-track a pilot between the startups and AB InBev and help validate a solution in the sustainability space across climate action, circular packaging, smart agriculture, water stewardship and smart drinking.
AB InBev has ambitious sustainability goals across these areas that it’s aiming to achieve by 2025. Recognizing it can’t achieve these goals alone, the company launched the 100+ Sustainability Accelerator in partnership with Highline Beta. Our goal with the program is to design an accelerator that helps startups pilot more quickly and effectively with AB InBev. Beyond the core pilot relationship focus, we add in mentorship, programming and ongoing support to help startups scale.
The first 100+ Sustainability Accelerator cohort ran in 2018-2019 with 21 startups. The program was an incredible success, and received recognition at UN Climate Week, 2019 Social Good Summit and featured in media including Fast Company and Fortune. Many of the startups from the first cohort continue to work with AB InBev, scaling their commercial engagements. Here are some examples of success stories:
- Baswood, a wastewater treatment company, was recently acquired by Cambrian Innovation, which also counts AB InBev among its core clients.
- BanQu, a blockchain digital identity company for empowering smallholder farmers has worked with more than 4,000 farmers in Africa and raised investment from AB InBev’s ZX Ventures
- EW Tech, a caustic soda cleaning replacement, saved over 70% of water usage in one pilot brewery and is now expanding throughout AB InBev’s brewery network
Today we are very happy to be able to announce the startups participating in the second cohort of the 100+ Sustainability Accelerator. The 17 companies were selected from 1,200 applications and represent 13 countries, truly demonstrating the global nature and intent of the program. The cohort is addressing 15 of the UN’s SDG goals.
Meet the 17 companies taking part in the 2020 cohort:
- Asarasi (Katonah, United States) – Sustainable, renewable plant-based water
- CH Bioforce Oy (Espoo, Finland) – Developer of biomass fractionation technology
- Club Soda (London, UK) – Club Soda is a movement of mindful drinkers
- Comet Bio (London, Canada) – Healthy and sustainable ingredients from upcycled crop leftovers
- Conscious Container (Truckee, United States) – Refillable glass bottle marketplace
- Ecopackers (Toronto, Canada) – Plant-powered eco resins for eco-friendly and non-toxic single-use plastic manufacturing
- Globelet (Auckland, New Zealand) – Technology-enabled systems that support returnable packaging
- Greenline Africa (Johannesburg, South Africa) – Solar thermal solution provider offering the best solution for heat
- Gybe (Portland, United States) – Water quality monitoring in real-time at a watershed or regional scale
- MIBA Solutions AB (Mölnlycke, Sweden) – Fractionation technology for recycling aluminum cans and other materials
- Nomo Waste (Bogota, Colombia) – Waste management and recycling solutions company
- OKO (Tel Aviv, Israel) – Weather-index insurance for farmers in emerging markets
- Plataforma Verde (São Paulo, Brazil) – Traceability solution for industrial inputs and solid waste management
- Shianco (Shunde, China) – Technology used to manufacture “wooden” products with the raw material of “rice husk”, taking place of wood
- Upcycled Nutrients (New York, New York) – Recovering and transforming nutrients from waste sources to sustainably enhanced efficiency fertilizers.
- Zoom Agri (Coslada, Madrid) – Quality determination of agriculture commodities via image processing
- Project X (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)
Startups are in New York this week to kick-off the program with AB InBev and Highline Beta.
“Our goal is to help these startups build a relationship with AB InBev and for AB InBev to solve its sustainability goals. We position ourselves as the ‘universal translator’ between a very large company and a bunch of small companies, with a deep understanding of how both sides work and what they need. We’re completely aligned to support win-win scenarios and prove that corporate-startup collaboration can work and scale in amazing ways.”—Ben Yoskovitz, Founding Partner at Highline Beta.
Throughout the 6-month accelerator program, Highline Beta and AB InBev will help startups navigate pilot engagements, provide mentorship, and programming on topics including fundraising, international sales, marketing, PR, go-to-market strategies and more.